Palatka, FL

Earl
This morning, I met Earl at the hostel. He was staying at the hostel, checking out the area as a possible future place to live. He was originally from New Jersey, but lived all over in the newspaper business. At one time, he set the graph of the DJIA in the Wall Street Journal. He also spent time at papers in Northern California, Oregon, and Washington. He does exercises every morning, and rides a bike, too. Since he was going to Starbucks across the street, I tagged along, and got my breakfast there.
Hwy 26
From the Zen Hostel, it was easiest to follow Highway 26 all the way to Melrose, and pick up the ACA trail, there. Good shoulder, easy riding. Humid.
Earlton
Hey, Earl, maybe this is where you should move to.
Lunch at Melrose
At Melrose, I stopped at a grocery store. It was only 11 am, but I decided to eat. Had 1/4 of a watermelon, and pork riblets.
coconut popsicle
Across the street was Dollar General. After topping off my water bottle, I got an Outshine Coconut Popsicle.
44 oz Gatorade
6 miles later, at Putnam Hall, I was going to get the 20 oz Gatorade from the cooler for $1.49. But then I noticed that any size drink from the fountain was 99 cents, so got 44 oz of Gatorade there. I put half of it in my water bottle. Generally, I wouldn’t stop after such a short distance, but I needed to use the restroom, anyway.
bike path after Putnam Hall
Part of the route included a 13-mile bike path paralleling Hwy 100. Notice the wet spots from intermittent rain.

Rain came and went after Putnam Hall, but was never very hard.

mystery snake
It’s dead, but was this snake the poisonous kind?
The Budget Inn was right on the route. I like motels that have weekly and monthly rates, suggesting they are lower-priced. It was $55 including tax. One of the better places I’d stayed at.
Room at the Budget Inn
Just a quick shot of my spacious $55 room. Unusual paint scheme. Tile floor throughout. Clean bathroom, and all the fixtures worked well. I couldn’t stand far back enough to show the desk I used for blogging – it had convenient outlets built right into the side. The wi-fi was 8/5 Mbps. No coffee in the room, no tissues, no ice, and of course, no breakfast in the morning. All of the things I needed, and none of the things I didn’t.

I went to Wendy’s across the street to get a Frosty, then back to the motel to shower. It had started raining lightly, but I was determined to make it to the buffet two blocks down.

Palatka Buffet
Had to try this $7.99 buffet. I went in with low expectations.
lots of cars
Lots of people were eating there, a good sign.
Palatka Buffet selection
It was decent. Minimal salad bar with lettuce, tomatoes, and fruit. Cold shrimp and mussels (I only took one of each). Didn’t even touch the sushi, as it was rather basic. But hey, remember that the whole thing is $8.
more palatka buffet food
This is another of the 4 main food aisles. I had very little meat, but tons of rice and vegetables. Didn’t want to get weighed down. There was also ice cream in a freezer which people could scoop for themselves.

For the first time on this trip, I’m closer to the Atlantic Ocean than the Gulf of Mexico. Tomorrow, I will head for St. Augustine, the terminus of the Southern Tier. I’d like to stay at the Pirate Haus Hostel, but was only able to leave a message by phone, and online, the booking sites say that tomorrow is unavailable. I’ll have to physically go by and see. Worst case, I’ll find a motel room.

Miles: 47.2

(Visited 21 times, 1 visit(s) today)
        1. True, no motorized vehicles are allowed on these paths, and they are absolutely flat. Given the swamp on both sides of the path, it’s likely that the whole place floods during a heavy rain or storm surge.

  1. Dear Daughter learned a rhyme something like this when she was younger. (I still can’t keep which colors are “safe”.)

    “The coral snake rhyme varies from person to person, but the general premise is the same: Red touch black, safe for Jack. Red touches yellow, kills a fellow. The coral snake will have bands of red touching smaller bands of yellow.”

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