Elevation gained: 1,700/Miles: 63/Total Miles: 347
I’m getting positively Pirsig in my approach to the bike and packing my gear. Every morning, I check the brakes, derailleur, spokes and alignment and then shake the frame to see if anything is loose. Each pannier is repacked with the same gear so that I can locate things without too much thought. This came in handy the other night when I pulled off in the dark and needed to find a light.
I left Marianna early in the morning and wound my way through a series of small towns with names like “Chipley”, “Bonifay” and “Ponce de Leon”. It was still very cold and windy, but at least there were clear skies today, which help to lighten the spirits a bit. Most of the route I’ve been riding is referred to as the “Lawton Chiles, Jr. Trail”. (Chiles was a former governor of Florida who walked from Pensacola to Key West as part of his election campaign.) Personally, I think it should be renamed the “Road Kill Highway”. I quit counting when I got into the triple digits. It’s not just domestic animals; it’s also birds, foxes, raccoons and possum. At times, it can be quite disturbing.
By the end of the day, I was feeling thrashed. It’s a challenge finding anything that doesn’t ache. Then the mental fatigue sets in and you start thinking things like: “De Funiak? Sounds like ‘the Funk’” and the next think you know, you have an earworm that you can’t get rid of. I even tried listening to a Bill Moyer’s podcast on banking reform to cleanse my mental palette, but nothing worked. And for two hours, all my brain kept coming back to was this .
I think I’m going to go off the ACA map tomorrow and head south to the beaches and then take Hwy 98 into Pensacola. That should make for a more pleasant ride, unless I think of a song from, for example, the Starlight Vocal Band. Oh, crap…