Crestview 2, FL

It was Sunday, so I looked for a nearby church.

Our Savior Evangelical Lutheran Church was either the closest, or one of the closest, to the motel. I don’t think I’d ever been to a Lutheran service, before.

Father Tech (that’s actually his name) delivered a dynamic sermon on Mercy, a topic near and dear to my heart. (And sometimes my stories.) They do things differently in the Lutheran church from what I’m accustomed to, but we worship the same Lord.

Roger and Trina
There I met Roger and Trina. Roger said he was impressed at my cycling, which I found surprising. I’m just on vacation. Roger got stabbed trying to protect an innocent stranger, and had top and bottom front teeth knocked out by brass knuckles. That’s my definition of a hero: someone with the courage to risk and take damage for another. Trina was tough, too. Besides supporting Roger through the surgeries, she had an accident of her own where she was fixing a flat on I-10, and a car hit hers. Fortunately, their toddler son was not injured, and she herself has fully recovered, now. They have a court date soon, so if you pray, please remember them.
I met so many new people there, I may have confused some names. I think this is Anna. If I’m wrong, would someone please correct me?
Father Tech
This is Father Tech. There was a meeting after worship service, and they had some refreshments out.

After church, I went out to do laundry.

Motel Hilton
The Hilton was across the street from the laundromat. Somehow, I don’t think it was the same as the Hilton Hotels. Convenient location, though. The parking lot was full of cars.
Soap Opera laundromat
The laundromat was closed! This was actually a blessing. I realized that I only had a tiny bit of laundry to wash, so didn’t bother going to one of the other laundromats. That gave me more time to rest, and assess where I was.
what is this insect?
Instead of spending time finding an interesting restaurant, I just went to McDonald’s, which was nearby. I saw this insect in the window. It was about an inch long, so not a common fly. I touched it with my finger, and it didn’t come after me (few wasps actually will).

Went back to Wayne’s Catfish House for a sit-down dinner. Chicken fried steak with two sides, $8. Plus I added a one-trip salad bar. Gotta have my raw vegetables.

Tomorrow, I should finish off Map 6, and move to Map 7, the final one in the Southern Tier. My present estimate is that I have 9 more days of riding, but that’s always hard to predict at this distance. Ponce de Leon will be my goal, just 41 miles. But thunderstorms expected.

I looked into riding an Amtrak train back, but that wasn’t looking good.  Although I saw freight trains all through this trip, the passenger train would require me to go from Jacksonville, FL to Washington, DC, to Chicago, IL, to Emeryville, CA, to San Jose, CA.  And that last leg would not take checked baggage – that is, my bicycle.  Four day trip.  I’d always wanted to take a long train trip, but this would have been too difficult.  For $504, I would have to sit in a regular chair the whole way.  Getting a semi-private compartment with a bed would cost $1900 or so.

Number of Sudoku I have done on this trip: 0
Times I played the harmonica I brought: 0
Times I used reserve water jug since California: 0
Times I used 3rd water bottle since Texas: 0
Flats since Arizona: 0

Miles today: 3.0

(Visited 83 times, 1 visit(s) today)
  1. That’s actually a beautiful bug but I’d have probably left it alone (allergic to too many things).

    Sorry that your proposed Amtrak trip might not work out, but having spent my undergrad years traveling on the THE worst Amtrak line in the country, I personally would not care if I ever set foot on a train again.

      1. It is not likely that you would take that route, but the one I took was from Union Station in Chicago down to Southern Illinois (I did my undergrad at SIU in Carbondale, IL).

        The train was ALWAYS running late; it was often shunted to some side track literally out in the middle of nowhere, to let freight trains go by. Iirc it was the most chronically late route (or very close to it) in the entire US. There were often other problems too – a/c or whatever cooling system broken, once the lights went out at night (some wit yelled out a complaint with “someone could get pregnant in here!” which was true enough, it was so dark). The only positive thing about the train (which had MANY stops along the way) was that at least the seats were wide and comfy enough to tolerate the MANY hours (nominally around 6 at that time, but never that short) it took to make the trip.

  2. re amtrack. i don’t know when you are planning to return but the various schedules list the last leg from emeryville to sjc as the “capitol corridor” commuter. it is true that on the web page the capitol corridor did not show a “checked bags” icon. however, this is because the capitol corridor commuter takes your bike as a “carry-on” (click on the train name link)…find the bike car – just like on a caltrain. you don’t even need a reservation since it is a commuter train but better to make one anyway, and board early to claim first-come bike space. you could even transfer earlier from the zephyr in sacto instead of emeryville to get dibs on bike space:

    but if you are passing on the train because of the transfer hassle and the single-seat for many hours…oh well. but you may welcome the transfers after sitting in a seat for so long!

    1. The worst part would be if I had to stay in that same seat. But I assume that I would be allowed to get up and walk around, and wouldn’t have to return to my seat because the plane was expecting turbulence, or because the cabin attendants would be coming through with the dinner carts.

      The positive of the train would be if I didn’t have to box the bike to check it. I should give them a call. There’s an additional effort involved with finding a box (probably at a bike shop, or at a UPS store), and either a car rental, or a lot of taxi or uber, because once the bike is boxed, I’d be on foot.

  3. oh if you go through union station in DC, you are just blocks from the capitol building and a few blocks from the smithsonians off the mall. stow your bike in the bikestation and spend the day … all walkable. i could spend a day in one wing of one museum so if you have a short layover, you might have to pick and choose.

    1. That’s an idea, but I’d only chance it if the ticket allows me to board the next train if I miss one. The Train Option is still far from set; I need to research more.

  4. I think I recognize your insect. His name is “Vincent.”

    I’m so glad to see that you’re doing well on your sojourn. David and I were camping and bike touring for a couple of weeks. The first week was a “Slow Death Ride.” We camped in Markleeville with friends and did one or two passes of the real “Slow Death Ride” each day. The second week was “Sierra to the Sea,” an ACTC sponsored ride that SAGs gear for riders from South Lake Tahoe to Golden Gate Park. The 7 days travel through extremely pretty norcal scenery.

    Looking forward to your safe return.

  5. Amtrak would be a slow and expensive way to get home. You can simplify the train ride if you first find your way to someplace like Atlanta, but even from there it’s still nearly 100 hours in a $600 seat. Even Greyhound will bus you all the way from St. Augustine to San Jose in under 74 hours for less than $300 (disassembled bike counts as one piece of luggage).

    1. Hmm, I thought I replied to you. Whatever. The Amtrak Plan is out – see the next day’s post. I agree with Marilyn that Greyhound would be worse. It would force me to box my bike, incurring all the same inconveniences as flying. Plus, I couldn’t get up and walk around. And there is no dining car, so the social environment would likely be about the same as a plane – maybe talk to my neighbors, if that.

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