Day 4. 218 Miles. Life’s a Beach.

Bumming. Beach bumming. I should have brought one of those goggle-snorkel combination thingamabobs (does goggle even look like goggle now after google?). Fuck Google, at least yesterday. I really wanted to thread this entry with Harmony Korrine references, notably to his last film, Beach Bum. McConaughey and Snoop Dogg? Yes lawd. Yet. I’m not big on beaches, moreso moved by mountains. Or canyon crazed. Though I don’t hate em and admit that when when life’s a bitch and you need life to be a beach, the beach comes through in spades. Shoutout to female dogs in heat. This ocean cooling effect alone is clutch in the playoffs. Straight money – no chaser, my monk. I take a dip and lay all salty in the breeze for a bit, drifting off, wondering quietly how I could ever live this lifestyle.

Bring it back one time selectah, to when it’s 4am on the dot and the robots fire the first shot, enacting their vengeance upon me. There an old saying that is a dish best served dark, wet, and paired with an auto timer on unbeknownst lawn sprinklers kicking in. The first shot wakes me out of a blissful slumber. Two seconds later and I’m suddenly laying in two inches of water, relieved I know how to swim, alarmed at how much water is coming out of the one closest to me. It’s like 5 inches out the screen door from my head. Fuck, it shot me in the eye! We’re under attack, whoever we are. I been a seeing Evacuation route, so I evacuate the pop up penthouse, promptly.

It rains so much here, why are there lawn sprinklers? This ain’t Dakota or Arizona. In a small town park in Montana, a sign informs tent campers that there are sprinklers and where they are. I manage to move everything minus a couple stubborn stakes over to the dry side of the pool. This would be more funny if I wasn’t “cold”. Now what. I’m soaked. My shit is soaked. It’s dark. I hang things as best I can around the patio, towel off and waddle inside on onto the couch for two hours. It takes me until 11am to recover, gratefully it’s viable due to the space Goonie and his crew provided. Thank you all.

Physically recovered yet emotionally scarred, I head back out and hit A1A pavement northbound. I’m still technically off route, as in a don’t have a map. But I do have the ocean on my right to keep me heading north. I’m technically on the Atlantic Coast route, the East Coast Greenway and USBR 1. None of these is signed. It seems much more like and actual trail online. Here in real life, it’s mostly just bike lanes on A1A, Ocean Drive meanders and the occasional off road section. Regardless it is pleasant as fuck today, despite the tumultuous start. It must be a weekend because 1) vehicular traffic is negligible 2) all sorts of other traffic is in effect. The amount of bicycles alone give me flashbacks to Copenhagen, though the humans riding them here are pretty much 95% MAMILs and FAMILs. Some are wearing numbered race bibs? They pass me all nice to start. “On your left” gently. I give ‘em a “g’mornin”. Lots of folks out doing paradise weather shit. Walking. Jogging. Kayaking. Paddleboards. Shit you can’t do for at least half the year in Buffalo. I pedal on, also wondering if the weekend has anything to do with this amazing tailwind directly behind my behind. If not maybe it was The Weeknd? Meh. Whatevs. Hoping for it and got it. I’ll take the power of intentional mental effort for $1000, zombie Alex. 17 mph winds take me north without hardly pedaling.

Holy shit. This is how the other half lives. Or something like that. That beach life. Lots of mammal shit happening on a Saturday afternoon here on the coastal enclaves of affluent south Florida. Real mammals. Bodies and body parts. Anatomy. Biology. Butts. Cleavage. Things humans with nipples enjoy. We’re just babies man and I am the beach baby, just figuring out how everything works. People are attractive and happy and smiling, though sometimes cosmetically. And by that I mean surgery. So it’s not quite Sweden, even with all the bikini teams playing volleyball. It is wild scene. I chill for a bit and then cruise through it at 12-13, letting the breeze do the work. Beach after beach. I take little breaks at some of them. The MS race that’s happening passes me. Then I pass some of them. I dunno. It’s certainly pleasant and relaxing, a short mileage day to boot. Can’t complain at all.

40 miles up, bicycle adventure tourists John and Laura have offered to let me camp on the Oceanside backyard of their beach house. On the Atlantic Ocean. For free. Maybe it’s not theirs but they are there for the weekend. They insist on taking me out for dinner too. All I have to do is show up on bicycle. Unicorns ain’t got shit on me.

Ok. Things done changed. I think I’m where the other other other 1% are at. At least by my rolling equational theory analysis. Like massive estates and houses and money money money that the Ojays couldn’t believe until they must have seen it. Scary shit. I mean for real though — at some points, each address has two separate driveways, two little signs with the number. One has some cute little catch phrase with the number and another has the number and “service”. Yo. Eventually this final boss levels up to like “south” and “north” whimsical things and “service” as the third. A private jet lands on a field next to me. Shit just feels expensive. I’m either losing or gaining money by osmosis right now is the way I’m seeing it. I’m not sure how I feel about all of it, which is probably the root of the problem. I drain my bladder and fill my water bottle and mosey along in the northbound direction.

Eventually, normal houses and a town come into view. At least more normal that yacht and jet club. Ooohhh. A nice non motorized bike trail? Yes. I get that for a few miles and happen upon a much smaller turtle. Teeny tiny. It’s actually a tortoise. Smaller than my hand, I scoop the little dude up and move him safely across the path onto the grass.

A couple bridges later and I’m at the beach house. John and Leah are super cool. Sure hospitable. A lot of hosts just wanna live vicariously through me, others actually tour just as much. I’m busy living vicariously through myself, so the awesome stories from fellow tourists are relatable. And they get the basics. Wait? What? Now there’s even a spare bedroom for me. Indoor sleep?! Ok I’ll do it. Some formalities and one shower later and I’m crushing $1 oysters, Mahi Mahi “fingers” and some wonderful horseradish crusted grouper. Short mileage and a tailwind today was dope, though heavy heat and sun still kicked my ass. Looks like that tailwind is turning to a headwind tomorrow, with many more miles to make. I don’t delay in hitting the hay, especially after the rude awakening this morning. I thank my hosts and crash out hard.

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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