Fanning Springs, FL to Perry, FL
Total Miles: 1993
Last night while I was cooking dinner I kept hearing these giant splashes coming from the river next to me. I figured it was just people out in their boats splashing around and having a good time. As day turned to dusk, though, it began to increase in frequency so I decided to investigate. I walked down to the river and not 5 seconds later I see this gigantic fish leap out of the water and do this kind of side flop. I’m no expert angler or anything but it looked like a sturgeon, it was certainly big enough. I stood there a while longer and must have seen at least 15 of these displays of aquatic acrobatics. Some cursory googling confirmed my identification of the fish. The article is pretty interesting and even mentioned the Suwannee River which is where I was camped next to. Pretty interesting.
Today’s going to be a light day, not necessarily in terms of miles but in interesting things that happened to James and his Bike. And also in photos, my bad. After all of yesterday’s excitements, though, I am totally fine with it. I woke up at 6, packed up camp and headed out. It was cool but, as always, cloyingly humid. I rode about 15 miles to the nearest McDonald’s for breakfast and by the time I got there I was absolutely drenched in sweat. Like when I stopped there was a small but consistent amount of sweat streaming from helmet strap. Gross. 2 sausage egg mcmuffins and a large gatorade later I was back on the road.
The next 40 miles was a long, sparsely populated and not particularly interesting stretch of road. I learned my lesson the last few times I’ve encountered this and made sure to fill up my collapsable 3-liter bag of water just in case. Google told me there was a service station 20 miles out but I’d rather rather carry 3 liters of warm water than have no water at all if it was wrong. I really wish there was more to say about this stretch but there’s not, it was pretty boring. The only thing that kept me sane was the new season of Serial, one of my favorite podcasts. If you haven’t heard of it, check it out. The first season was like the most popular podcast of all time or something.
I stopped in at a fuel station at the 35 mile mark for the day to get some much needed refreshments. Ice for my water bottles, a mountain dew and a giant pickle. But not just any pickle, this was a new flavor I hadn’t encountered before: Zesty Garlic! I think at this point it really speaks volumes about that I get such sheer joy out of finding a new kind of gas station pickle. The new, beautiful and exciting places I’ve been to or am going and I’m excited about a freaking pickle. Long days on the road really does strange things to you I guess.
Pickle powered and ready to go I hit the road again. It’s really hot but also really cloudy so I figure I’m safe to take off my shirt and not get sunburned. It was awesome. If I could confidently apply sunscreen to my back and not miss any spots I’d probably do this everyday. First world problems. So another 25 miles or so I pop into a Walmart to restock my pantry for the next few days. Unlike other grocery stores, I don’t mind shopping here when I’m sweaty and gross. Not only is it cheaper than most places it’s, like, you know, Walmart. I am far from the strangest thing in there at any given moment 🙂 After my shopping I pedal the remaining miles to my camp. It’s nothing like the beautiful spot I had last night but it has showers and it was only 7 bucks. I’m really digging being away from the tourist areas of Florida and the tourist prices that come along with it. It’s time for this guy to go get some beers. Stay tuned for the next edition of James and his Bike!