In 1985 I was fed up with my job and eager to try something different. So I rented out my house, bought a Trek 720 loaded touring bike, and hit the road.
Here are a few pictures and journal entries from that trip. Sorry the text is incomplete (as of May 26, 1999), as I'm packing for a new trip.
June 25: Ormond Beach, FL to Blue Springs State Park via South Daytona, Port Orange, and Deland. 50 miles.
This was my first day on the road. Left at 2:15, arrived at around 7:00 PM. Had to stop and do errands. Seems today was a comedy of errors: I took two wrong turns (one put me on Interstate 4!) and even camped in the wrong campsite. It's pretty hot -- I'm in the tent at 10:30 PM writing this, dripping sweat. Today I met two guys (Chris and Rod) who are nearing the end of their bicycle tour from Rhode Island to Clearwater FL. They said that their expenses have been about $10 a day -- they started out cooking but now eat a big "all you can eat" lunch and snack through the rest of the day.
|July 8: Fort Pickens to Pensacola to Fort Morgan;
ferry to Dauphin Island. 90 miles. 957 miles so far.
Woke, packed, and was on the road by 7:30 -- the Gulf Islands Seashore camping office was still closed. So, with very little guilt, I rode on. ($8 was probably excessive anyway, I rationalized). Ate breakfast on the island, where a very pleasant lady gave me directions to The Cycle Source on 9th in Pensacola. Decided to take the $8 I saved on the campsite and spend it on freewheel cogs. They changed them for $6 or so and I bought the Western version of Rhode Gear's "Cyclists Guide to Overnight Stops". They were almost next door to Olde Sarge's camping supply store so I went in there -- great selection of stuff! Bought food tubes, straps, 2 stuff sacks, and fuel for my oil lamp. Looked at a nice "Backpacker's Wok" there. Left Pensacola along the coast, into Gulf Shores (which, as Wayne said, is the "quintessential beach town"). In fact, Gulf Shores is even more of a beach town than Daytona Beach! Pedaled for what seemed an eternity (25 miles or so) down to Fort Morgan and the ferry to Dauphin Island. Finally got someone to take a picture of me and my bike on the ferry. Camped on Dauphin Island after eating dinner at the only restaurant open on the island.
|July 11. Slidell to New Orleans, 47 miles.
A friend I had made during a Florida tour offered me the use of his apartment in the Garden District. I stayed in New Orleans a week.
|July 24. Leesville, LA to Martin Dies St. Park (Jasper, TX) via LA8/TX63/US190. 69 miles (so far 1586)|