Dec. 11, Cocoa Beach, FL

A week ago, I was faced with a decision about the route I should take through Florida–head south through the center of the state, or go to the east coast first. The center of the state is less inhabited, and with fewer services. Further, there would be about 3 days on unknown roads–unknown, that is, from a cycling perspective. I have been on several roads in the South with killer traffic, and no shoulders. Oh, and the center of the state has quite a few more Trump posters still up.


The coast along A1A offers more services, abundant campgrounds and hotels, but also more traffic–a lot more. My friend Rich Dixon cycled along A1A and says that the traffic was a real safety risk. In the end, I chose the coast for the ease of the ride; traffic I can deal with through ear buds, I guess. So far, there have been a lot of cars, but good shoulders or sidewalks to compensate.

The evening of 12/8, I got a phone call from all the optics folks from Ball, attending their monthly fluid dynamics seminar at the Gravity Brewpub. It was really neat to hear from all of those guys! The ride out the next morning soon took me past the Atlantic Ocean. The wind was strong, but mostly at my back and I hardly had to peddle.

Atlantic on my left as I head South

I had tried to find a Warm Showers host near Daytona Beach, but was not able, so I headed to a campground. I had a bit of sticker shock when I saw the price–private campgrounds are 50 bucks, by the time you pay the taxes and other fees. Government campgrounds are 30–that’s for a tent. Wow.

The next morning (12/10) was another easy day of cycling, with the winds more in my favor than against. I saw a lot of flags at half-mast, I am guessing because of the passing of John Glenn. What a legacy he has left.


The loss of a national hero.

Everything here has a space theme, it seems. Even the campground I am currently in is named Spacecoast, something RV park.

Outside of a museum along the bike route.

This is actually my 3rd time here. I came twice for shuttle launches for Spacelab 2–the mission that my uncle, Loren Acton flew on as a payload specialist. The first launch had to be aborted just after the main engines were turned on (so no launch). The second launch was successful. But a side effect of the first abort was that many VIPs did not return for the second attempt. That meant that, as a nephew, I got moved up in priority, and got to be on the roof of the launch control center to witness the launch. One of the high points of my life, to be sure.

Today should be another easy ride to a government campground at Sabastian Inlet State park. It is supposed to be about 73 all day, but with a chance of rain this afternoon.

Until later…




3 Responses to “Dec. 11, Cocoa Beach, FL

  • Happy to see your progress, Scott!
    We will be back in the States for two months, starting the 30th of December. Will be based in Oregon during those months.
    Blessings to you and hugs from us here in Hungary,
    Larry and Dede

  • Happy you’re enjoying the ride along the coast. It’s beautiful, for sure. Cars are better than Trump signs!

  • Cool space stuff along the way! i have been thinking about you, wondering how your days are going and glad to hear your colleagues contacted you😊. I’m hoping for a holiday connection to come your way–at the very least we need to Skype/FaceTime! Love you, Brother.


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