Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Journey of GuaJaTaKa: Day 2, OceAn PoNd to PeTeR K's PlaCe

It was a pretty cold night.
view out of my tent at ocean pond camp site

I made note of it, cause I knew, the further south I went, how much things would change.  I was gonna ride myself out of this chill, and I was curious to know when it would happen.

after a day in the flooded forest GuaJaTaKa wants more
Its hard when your on a schedule to guess if things will work out.
"Can I make my goals Happen"?
"Can I crank out 100 miles a day for 8 days without circumstance kidnapping me of my plans"???

I had made certain Mini challenges with myself during this challenge.  And one of those MINI challenges was to not Pay to stay anywhere.

I was packing up my things, observing the people around.  Taking my time, enjoying where I was, appreciating the moment.  Being mindful, and careful.  Lots of inner dialogue.   When along comes the Camp host wondering who I am.

He was polite enough, I explained I arrived late, in the dark(technically a lie) and wet and didn't know where to pay for camping.  He told me where to go and just like that, one of my MINI challenges died, LOL.

It wasn't long and I was off.  I was looking at the forest.  Now that it was a bright & sunny beautiful day, I could really get a good look at Osceola.  It was flooded still in the woods, but at least I  had better visibility.  And even though I was on pavement, it was just a paved over forest road, not much different from dirt.  The beauty was all the same.

It was interesting to see the houses that were way out here.  And the yard garbage was even better.  Old rusted out VW beetles and school buses.  Abandoned offices.  All of the sights made me want to release my inner shutter bug and snap away a zillion macro fotos.  So much texture.

because those two things go perfect together
I thnk they are out of business???
The battle ground was everything I thought it would be.  Ominous, eerie, weird, strange...full of an indescribable energy.  They had a little museum, so I went in.  There was no one in there.  When I got inside it was so warm compared to the outside temp, that my survivor man skills kicked in and I stripped down to my base layers to avoid feeling cold when I got back outside.

They had all sorts of authentic uniforms and artifacts.  As a trained Anthropologist I cant help but take mental inventory and catalog of the things I see.  I am amazed by old things.  Wondrous about the stories they tell, whose pockets they traveled in, whose flesh they may have torn apart(bullets).

There was a bench in the front room, facing a TV.  So I took the time to enjoy the warm building and learn about what happened at OLUSTEE.

definetely the not how the north won the war at Olustee
Apparently.  After a long battle.  The white soldiers, left the black soldiers to cover their retreat.  Interesting.  I put all my clothes back on and headed over to the cemetery.   I like cemeteries, call me creepy, but I do.  Almost always stop if I see one and I have time.  I sat there for a bit, listening to the wind, looking at the dates on the stones.

I returned to the route, and enjoyed my ride down to Butler for a restock.  I'm always careful when traveling alone.  I am not going to be the one to be taken advantage off.  I walk around with a smile on my face, and I give nothing but thumbs ups, hang looses and hello's, but you never know when there could be trouble so I am careful.

I restocked, wanted food, wanted to visit the dollar store.  It was an interesting little stop at the convenience store, I couldn't help but notice how "mixed" this little southern town was.  In five minutes I saw just as many interracial couples.  Being a person that is normally noticed by folks cause I look different.  I cant help but notice differences of where I am.  AND I couldnt help but take notice how mixed this community was.  Regardless, a local gave me some insight as to where there could be a restaurant.  AND I pedaled off and found nothing, eventually backtracking to a Hungry Howies.

MINI CHALLENGE number 130 was to not eat any grains on this ride and not eat any fast food.  SO, I ate a salad and 20 naked wings at this stop and rolled on south. This particular Hungry Howies was quite unique and had a very one of a kind old 50's style appearance.

thats the parking lot down there
I had a long day ahead so I kept going.  Taking advantage of the pavement sections.  Eventually I came up on Private Property so I had to figure out a re route and used Google maps to take a short cut along a prison.  I kept the speeds high and reached the Santa Fe River.  I took a moment to explore the river side.  Took pictures of the flooding. And then kept going.  After riding a bunch of sweet dirt, I eventually rolled into San Felasco and the fun singletrack traverse began.

Made it!
I saw several people at the lot.  Almost half expecting them to come up and ask me why I had all the luggage.  When I got to the park I paid the pedestrian entry fee and simultaneously watched two people drive right by it.  Shame shame, such a cool trail you should pay the fee????

I took a minute to eat, and reconfigure my packs.  At this point I had some stuff strapped to my rear bag, and decided to alternate and carry stuff on my back so I could really Gnar Gnar the singletrack.
safety break in San Felasco, Never have I seen the brook so swollen

 And that's pretty much what went down.  Probably the most fun I have ever had in Felasco.  I hammered the crap out of that place and took times to stop and smell the roses.  Enjoy the swollen brooks, drop the roots, rail the corners....etc....etc....

Took the 'dog leg' out and when I got to pavement I let Peter Kraft know I was heading to his place.

the man, the myth, the dork
He found me on the road and then we got food and hung out, and ate, and watched movies, and talked... and man... It was a great way to end my second day on the road.


No comments: