Day 44. 2,749 Miles. A Wheel Inside a Wheel.

We’re gonna move right now
Turn like a wheel inside a wheel

I am in top gear. Maximum effort, peak operational output. The tire issues have vanished. The wind, while still not a tailwind, has subsided. I’m experiencing that natural buzz only brought on by pushing myself harder and harder day after day. Outside the box. Infinite boundaries. It feels good. Physical exhaustion is my friend. Clarity and lack of distraction are my lovers. I also really love this oat milk latte. And this pecan zucchini muffin from the local food co-op.

What about the time?
You were rollin’ over
Fall on your face
You must be having fun
Walk lightly
Think of a time
You’d best believe
This think is real

I am having fun on the road. Slaloming a push the little caterpillars crawling across the shoulder. Why did the caterpillar cross the road? They’ve got such a long way to go and such a low statistical chance of making it. So really, I wanna know… why would it do that. I’m doing m my best not to kill any of them. Eventually there are so many of these little fuckers that I can’t help crushing them under my 700×32 tires. I spot one or two heading toward my right — these ones have made it al the way across the road? So far along their journey, I take special care to make sure they complete the cross road trek.

Put away that gun
This part is simple
Try to recognize
What is in you mind
God help us
Help us loose our minds
These slippery people
Help us understand

I feel like I could ride for another month. I’ve considered turning left at the ocean and heading north toward home. I could probably make it home before I have to be back to work; I’m not sure I want to add another 1,200 miles to the trip; I’m also not sure I want to stop riding. Butt. I’m still 180 miles from St Augustine and it is still dumb hot out here in Floriduh. Like 90° Fahrenheit. Or 305° Kelvin.

After almost 80 miles in the heat, we come up on the Suwannee River State Park. The gate attendant informs us there’s only one campground left. I happily fork over $22 and we now call site 6 our home for the night. Literally 2 minutes after we arrive and sit on the picnic table a woman comes toward us with the old “can I help you?”. Like we’re not supposed to be here. This bitch.

She’s one of those campground narcs. The first one not in a golf cart. Not even a park employee. I respond, “excuse me?” She repeats: “Can I help you?” Damon and I look at each other. “No, we’re good, thanks.” Then she tells us how this campground is full and that this site is unavailable. I imagine this is what it feels like to be African-American sitting down in the first class section of an airplane. Mos Def expressed it quite poetically on his first album. This woman assumes we shouldn’t be here. Damon explains we’ve paid for it and give her shit stink eye. She legit asks to see our proof of payment. A few minutes later and she’s eating her words. A few minutes after that and I’m eating a bowl of ramen.

It’s still hot. Enough for the penthouse no fly zone. The mosquitos are wilding out. It’s their park and we’re occupying. Shower doesn’t help. Big spray doesn’t help. It’s too hot for a full jacket and pants. I retire to the sanctuary of my screened castle early as fuck and pass out.

About tonycaferro

Entrepreneur, Citizen, Marketeer, Fire Fighter / EMT, Bicycle-Tourist, Booking Agent, Youth Mentor, Activist, Agitator, Coffee Addict, Foodie, Social Media Nerd, Amateur Film Critic, Son, Brother, Uncle & Rust Belt Representative. Follow me on Twitter @dtr45
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