I’m sitting in the living room of Ed and Jackie, my friend Wendy’s uncle and aunt. It is raining impossibly hard outside. So I’m pretty fortunate and grateful for both the hospitality and the shelter.
It stopped raining at 9 pm last night. I checked out local eating establishments that the Google showed me. The sports bar next door was filled with cigarette smoke and very noisy. Do I went to a Denny’s which was mediocre even by Denny’s standards. It was food and I was famished. On the way back to the hotel I bought desert: a bag of Doritos and a pint of Labatt Blue.
It didn’t do much to help my sore throat. My mood laid waste by the dismal day of riding in the rain, however, was much improved.
After a hohum HoJo motel breakfast I took off in the rain. I made it to the Castillo de San Marcos, the ancient Spanish fort that guarded St. Augustine from enemies. The Spanish built it, the French tried to attach it, the English took it over. When the English lost the Revolutionary War, it was returned to the Spanish. Then the US bought Florida (and the Castillo) for $5 million. Lots of history.
I toured the Fort, a National Monument, for free on my lifetime National Park pass. I felt like I was back in Helsingnor, Denmark. After about 30 minutes I rode off and took a tour of old St Augustine. A few blocks of very stylish old buildings are intermixed with more modern buildings built to fit in.
After my history fix I rode south on Route A1A. I came to St. Augustine lighthouse. For $12.50 you can climb to the top and get a panoramic view of clouds and rain. I decided to take a pass. This was supposed to be a rest day after all.
For an hour or do the rain stopped as I made my way along the coast. The wind changed directions from time to time. It was howling and the ocean was raging. Siding, shingles, and other building parts had blown off the buildings, many under repair from hurricane Irma. When I went past unprotected dunes, I was blasted by sand. Ouch.
And the rain brought flooding. Roadside drainage channels were overwhelmed but the road was, for the most part, clear. Today’s addition to roadkill was snakes and frogs. Eew.
I turned east to go to Ed and Jackie’s place. The rain kept people inside do I didn’t get a true appreciation for legendarily nasty Florida road riding.
About 1 1/2 miles from my destination the monsoon hit again. I couldn’t see any road signs. Not fun. In ten minutes I pulled into my hosts’ home. It had all but stopped raining.
As I wrote this, another wave of intense rain came through. The house is surrounded my a narrow moat. Unreal!
Another 35.5 miles in the books. 1449 down, about 480 to go.