Nov 28, Chipley, FL

Staying at the Methodist Church in Pensacola was really nice. What a great service this organization is offering to bicycle tourists! I stayed an extra day because it was so comfortable there, and I had some work to do anyway. Near the afternoon of the second day, another fellow named Ryan came to stay at the church.

Ryan

Ryan

Ryan was great! We had a lot of fun, going out for beers and pizza. But, to our mutual dismay, we realized that the Pizza place didn’t sell any whiskey. So, it was off to another place that specialized in this particular beverage…

Whiskey bar

Whiskey bar

I sampled a locally produced bourbon, and enjoyed it a lot. We met some other neat people; conversation went from Donald Trump to the existence of life in the galaxy–a very much needed bit of social interactions. And, to top it all off, when we got back to the church–ice cream!

Ice cream--a freezer full

Ice cream–a freezer full

We were out of the church before 8 AM the next morning, and, after a cup of coffee, we said farewell. If this ride were about an experience, instead of a journey, I would have turned around and rode on with Ryan (who was heading west). But my path takes me east, and on I went.

The ride out of Pensacola was a lot more hilly than I expected. It seemed like I went over about 50 100-foot climbs, paralleling the coast. It wasn’t so bad–just unexpected.

Hilly coastline

Hilly coastline

After about 20 miles, I passed what must have been some kind of a museum. It was clearly closed, but I would have loved to stop and take a look. The Rolls Royce parked out front was an especially nice touch!

Rolls-Royce!

Rolls-Royce!

The miles passed by like a blur, broken up only by the small hills. Eventually, I made it to the town of Crestview, about 30 minutes before dark. An earlier Google search netted an “RV-park” and I had hoped to camp there. Google has a hard time, however, distinguishing between RV parks that cater to travelers, and ones that support permanent residents. When I arrived at the RV park, it appeared to be the latter. There was a younger man out front and I asked him if tent camping was allowed… he gave it some consideration, and decided that it probably was not. But–he had just rented a house and was in the process of getting it ready for habitation by his family, and if I wanted to stay there that would be OK with him. This guy was named Billy, and he saved my skin. Billy, if you are reading this–thanks from the bottom of my heart!

I had a really comfortable night in Billy’s house, and slept for about 10 hours. (Anymore, my body will take ten hours if I will let it.) I got on the road close to first light, ready to knock out nearly 70 miles to the next town. What can I say about a ride like today? I had a moderate headwind most of the day and multiple small hills. One dog chased me, but he clearly didn’t have the heart for it. It rained most of the afternoon–but not heavily. I opted to get a hotel because of the rain; also, it was getting dark as I rode into town, and was not able to find anywhere to camp.

I need to decide what I am going to do for the final leg of this ride. My plan had been Australia, but everything I have read lately says that you would have to be insane to ride in Australia in December (hey–maybe I qualify!). But then there’s New Zealand, so inviting and intriguing. Perhaps I should do that and then double back to Australia after things have cooled off a bit. That probably makes the most sense.

But, to be honest, I am having a hard time starting on another leg of this ride. I am weary to the bone, and miss the company of other people. It is so difficult to spend every waking moment of every day inside my own head. I know that I used to have friends, but that seems like a thing of the past–another world. Each day blurs into the next. I don’t know if I can keep doing this; the loneliness and isolation is becoming unbearable.

Scott

17 Responses to “Nov 28, Chipley, FL

  • Paul C.
    1 year ago

    Hang in there! We, the silent many, are watching this blog so you are not alone! Tallahassee should bring some good company. I can’t imagine biking across Oz anytime of the year. Do you go around the coast?

  • Ernest Acton
    1 year ago

    Scott
    What you need to do is take an extended break from your bicycle tour.

    Scott
    What you need to do is take an extended break from your bicycle tour.
    The human body and mind can only take so much.
    We love you and only want the best for you.
    Mom and Dad

  • Praying for you brother. You have had an amazing journey and made enough memories to last a lifetime. Whatever you decide to do…pack it in or keep going…I support you. I’m really proud of you. When you have had enough I know you’re smart enough to admit it and head home. Then you can start writing a book about all these wonderful experiences! I love you!

  • It’s a dream, but not a quest. Just be certain, before you abandon, not to make a long-term decision based on a short-term feeling.

  • Paul C.
    1 year ago

    If you do decide to do the Australia crossing (I’m assuming it’s the Sydney to Perth southern route in their spring or fall) then talk to the folks in Tallahassee about it. We have family connections in Perth.
    Paul C.

  • Dawn Starkey
    1 year ago

    You are doing a great feat! Whatever you choose, I’ve enjoyed reading your adventures.

  • Tim Towell
    1 year ago

    Mind over matter Scott! You have done one hell of a job and I would hate not seeing the pictures and stories of New Zealand. Todd and I have enjoyed your adventure and support your decision either way.

  • Patrick Earhart
    1 year ago

    You don’t want to come back here now….it is too cold! Haha. Seriously, it takes great courage and strength to do what you are doing. I know it doesn’t feel like it, but you are inspiring more people than you know. Whatever you decide, thanks for images and the stories.

  • John Fleming
    1 year ago

    Like Patrick said, there are lots of us following your ride and are both envious and inspired by your ride. Thanks for letting us “ride” a little with you. Your blog has been great!

  • I’m agreeing with nearly everything posted here about your dilemma, Scott. Search your heart, where the Spirit of Christ dwells, then make your decision. You are loved, prayed for, and supported so much more than you could ever know. Like Cindy said, we are so proud of you and will support you no matter what you decide to do. God’s very best to you brother!

  • Paul Kaptchen
    1 year ago

    Hey Buddy,
    I am so happy for you that you get to finally realize your lifelong dream and so proud of you for \”spreading the word\” and being focused and diligent enough to make it happen!! YOU’RE AWSOME!!! In my family heritage is a great visionary and unflappable warrior, his name was Gediminas, and he did what no-one else could at the time and brought folks from all walks of life and from multiple countries together. He is honored by Lithuanian national symbology and in community names, song and story and I bear his image as a tat, I will not be able to look at it without thinking of all that you have done and continue to do. Always follow your heart, be true to yourself. You Go Boy!!!!! All the best! pk

  • Amazing progress, keep it up. You photos and stories give us inspiration back here in Boulder!

  • Renee Gracey
    1 year ago

    I’m amazed by all that you have accomplished – thank you for sharing the experiences through your blog!

  • What you have accomplished is amazing. Keep up the good work. I have enjoyed reading your blog. You have inspired many of us. Keep on pedaling and God bless you.

  • Loren W Acton
    1 year ago

    Your Aunt Evelyn and I just got home from a 5738 mile trip to the tip of Baja. Don’t’ ever ride down there. the old sections of road have narrow lane and no shoulders at all. The trucks are as wide as the lanes. OK by car but deadly by fike. Still, saw plenty of bikers. God bless ’em.
    Good decision to not bike Australia in the middle of their summer. NZ is not so beastly with lovely countryside. Could you put off the southern hemisphere for a couple of months?
    Sure enjoy your posts, which I couldn’t follow until we got home last night.
    No advice from here. Just proud to have you for a crazy nephew!

  • We all support you no matter what you decide to do. But you’d definitely be welcome at home. We miss you.

  • Sandie Collins
    1 year ago

    As one of the silent many I have thoroughly enjoyed reading along with your adventures. And I’ve even added a few trips to my wish list based on your experiences. You are truly inspiring – and that will remain true regardless of your decision at this juncture. Keep on pedaling!

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