Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Day 28 Too Hot to Handle

Do you remember McDonalds in the 1960s? They looked like this with no inside seating. This is a new one, with inside seating, but it was constructed in the style of the 60s.

While some of the bridges were a challenge to climb, the views from the top were frequently quite beautiful. This is an example.

We were out at 6:10 or so. We wanted to really get going because the weather report said scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon and we thought we might have a long day. We got to bed a bit later than usual because we were able to get together with Cathy and Mike Toglia. Mike has retired from Cortland to take the chairmanship of Psychology at the University of North Florida. We had a nice dinner catching up on school, kids, and grandkids.  We made our goodbyes at about 8 and went back to our room and settled down for sleep.

We started out just fine. We thought we had gotten lost because either we missed a turn or a street changed names, but it all turned out fine. The traffic got heavy and the shoulder was either very small of nonexistent. Having said all that, somehow we wended out way around Jacksonville and on to 17 south. Apart from the hills on the bridges, the going was ok although we were not as fast as we had been.

One of the things we saw in the first part of the day was some unusual looking cattle. Many of them had fat horns in the shape of the Texas longhorns but not as long and much thinker. One of the animals was covered in fairly thick but uneven hair or fur. We were surprised to see the cattle in what appeared to be the city, south of the airport.

We stopped at a McDonalds at about 8:10 almost 16 miles out for second breakfast. It was a short stop but we took too long. Our next stop was for lunch at a Wendy’s in Green Cove Springs at about the 38.5 point. Here we had to make a decision whether to go on to Palatka which was about 22 or so miles more, or stay in Green Cove Springs. Staying made it too short a day and going on seemed to make it too long a day. We considered going to St. Augustine which was a shorter distance and had a Disney outlet store but the description of the bridge over a water feature scared us out of that idea. Then we found out that Green Cove Springs basically did not have any place to stay, so our decision was made for us.

We went on. It was getting warm (Mel means hot - it was up to 100 today) but for a change we had a bit of a tailwind and we made pretty good time. Florida is supposed to be flat but this part was a bit rolling. They were not really hills but they were not totally flat either. None-the-less we made good time for the rest of the day.

It turned out that Palatka was a bit further along than advertised. When we finally got to a sign announcing arrival at that town we stopped at a convenience store to get information. We had ridden 62 miles and were roasting. We found out that there were in fact several motels in Palatka, but the nearest ones (Holiday Inn and Sleep Inn) were at least 5 or 6 miles further on.

No choice, on we went. Happily, it turns out that the information was wrong. The Sleep Inn was only a bit over 4 miles away. We arrived, checked in, did our usual, and went to dinner. Now I blog.

Oh yes, and the thunderstorm hit. There is a severe thunderstorm warning for the area in which we are staying but so far it does not look too bad. I did see a couple of impressive bolts of lightening and I am hearing some thunder.

Today’s ride: Today we rode 66.9 miles at 10 mph (our fastest day). We were on the bike for 6 hours and 38 minutes. We are now 1253 miles into our trip and we can almost taste Walt Disney World.

Debbie’s Emotionometer: We had a good day today until the last few miles with a head wind and some hills and bridges, both over rivers and over railroad tracks, which got Mel a bit crabby. The heat was formidable. We drank a lot. Some of the views from the bridges over the rivers were fantastic.


  1. Debbie, you might want to consider contacting the Disney cast member you met on our trip in April. Seems like you're going to make it in a couple of days... and if there's a chance you can get an escort on property. Wish I was there to see you roll in :)

  2. An escort onto WDW property.... Cool Beans!!Janis

  3. I had lunch with Joe today who told me about this trip. It sounds great but will miss seeing you at the Lime Hollow run this Sunday. Have Fun!

    --- Mark Dodds