Different clouds, it could be rain-free this day.
I went to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast, and met Matt. He was 79, but still working in his own business supplying medical oxygen. Matt was an RN, originally from Ireland. He had moved to Canada and worked there when he was young, before moving about the US, and finally ending up in Georgia. His hat said, “Too Blessed to be Stressed,” a philosophy I really liked.
I stopped at Hastings on the way. I had never tried one of these ice cakes, so did so at the gas station.
I took highway 207 instead of the ACA route, saving some 11 miles. Nothing wrong with 207, good shoulder, no problems with traffic.
About 5 miles before St. Augustine proper, I saw a car that was starting to burn. The people had gotten out, and the flames spread quickly. I wanted to get to the other side of the highway quickly, in case the gas tank blew up.
I had 2/$2.50 hotdogs and a drink across the street, and watched the burning car for entertainment. The 4 tires exploded. Then a fire truck showed up and put the fire out.
The fire is out, now.
Right at the the St. Augustine city limit, I turned into the driveway of a Dollar General, and saw these snails.
Dollar General, the source of water. I also had an Outshine bar, and chatted a while with a woman named Carol. She was local, and warned me of high crime in Jacksonville. She said she would pray for me. While all prayers are sincerely appreciated, I was wondering, How bad could it be?
I checked into the Pirate Haus Hostel, the oldest continuously operated hostel in the US. At $25, it was a bargain, compared with luxury hotels on the beach. There was A/C, wi-fi, and a shower – all the essentials.
This is the first view of the Atlantic on this entire journey.
This is the old Spanish Fort, Castillo de San Marcos, still standing after 400 years. It’s now a national monument. As it was $10 to see the inside, I only looked at the outside. The walls are made of this amazingly durable coquina, composed of cemented seashells.
Didn’t seem like much of a moat. Or maybe the idea was that soldiers would shoot at whoever tried to cross the killing zone.
This is the old Slave Market.
The area around the Fort was a huge tourist attraction, and full of restaurants, ice cream shops, and gift shops. No groceries or ordinary drugstores.
I walked the length of the major streets, and it was enough.
If you gettin’ no kicks, ’cause you hea two weeks, mo’ betta you go hele on… (from the song, “Hele on Braddah”)
This intersection was the official end of the Southern Tier.
Right at the corner where the southern tier ended, was the A1A restaurant. I ate inside for the A/C, but still had quite a view. I also got 10% off with a referral card from the hostel.
I got the Grilled Seafood Paella, and a house salad. The Paella even had a split lobster tail in it, along with the normal shrimp, fish, squid, chicken, and sausage. I had no trouble finishing it. When I get home, I’m going to have to reset my eating habits to less.
This is Lisa, one of the other people in my dorm room. We moved to the kitchen to do computer work. She’s from a small town in central Alabama, and had come here for a few days vacation like kayaking. She also brought her bicycle. Unfortunately, parking is a problem in this area, so her car was a mile away.
Met a couple other people at the kitchen table – Ricky, from London, who was cooking some pasta for his dinner. He had been on a loop tour of the US, and was going further south in Florida before going back up the Atlantic coast, then flying home. Also met Corrinne (did I spell that wrong?), who was from Los Angeles, but moved here for a job in social work.
At the table, there were two Trump supporters, and one against, besides myself. Taking a cue from my friend Linda, I stayed out of the political discussion.
Tomorrow, the hostel has a pancake breakfast included with the room. I then plan to bike up to Jacksonville, or at least a rent-a-car near there. I could save on lodging by staying at the hostel longer (the bed is only $25), but meals would cost more, and I’ve had about enough of the tourist area. Also, if I stayed, I would burn my one extra day of margin to run errands before flying back on Saturday.
Miles today: 32.0