Monday, January 21, 2013


Out of Mexico to Port St. Joe I stopped often for conversations with many locals, snow birds, retired folks and travelers. Some were like old friends and I couldn't stop talking. Others just had to stop, get a photo and be the one person on their Facebook friends list to get a close up, wish me luck and off they go. It was celebrity day also. I met a president , a cruise captain, grandmothers and media names. Everyone was special and I had a great day walking looking for that thing in everyone that made them King, or Queen. When I had walked past the populated areas I had a few long stretches with miles of walking in the grass and sailing my round plow into the wind. I was brought a meal in the afternoon fit for a king, the king of rock and roll, that was surprisingly tasty. Later I was given a bag of burgers that were almost like White Castle burgers by two women who had just spent several minutes standing safely on the side of the highway but handed them off to me as they were pulling away with traffic bearing down from behind. We had just been talking about my attempts to eat healthy. I guess they took it to heart deciding to give away the temptation of having those square diuretics in the car with them for the rest of the drive home. I was also given a hot meal, a small bag of provisions;road food and a six pack of water. I turned down the two cans of Pepsi. I was escorted over the last narrow bridge into Port St.Joe by the town Sheriff just before dark. With a full day of conversation I was surprised I had made it thirteen miles but one of the celebrity names I had met had reserved a room at the hotel on the far side of St.Joe so I began to walk into the night. A man who had offered me a ride at he end of the day then showed up with his pickup truck. I opted for a ride the last was getting late. When I had returned with the van , tied the world to it, gathered a few things to take into the room and and finally walked into the lobby it was filled with doctors in town for a conference. They had heard about me and were full of questions, wanted a photo, had more questions...I sat down on the lobby couch exhausted, imagined them royalty that may one day save my life with a wave, and told a few tales. When I entered the room I doffed my clothes and fell asleep. I awakened before three and soaked in the bathtub then napped before the the morning coffee was ready in the lobby.
From the hotel it was almost nineteen miles to Apalachacola. After a short patch and glue session with the World, several trips back and forth to the room to get completely ready we pushed off to a head wind that was strong but manageable. There was little traffic but I had to use the grass to keep moving forward. When the wind blows too hard it makes the world slower on pavement. After a few hours the wind died down a bit and I could get up on the road more. There was an oyster festival in town so the road was busy all day And at about the halfway point the grass was taller. A few inches of grass was easier on the dogs feet, no sand spurs, but twice the effort. With the long distance I knew it would be after dark when I got to town. I couldn't rush, I had to keep a good pace. Unlike the day before, the cars stopped in waves. One person would stop and then before they were finished another would pull over, then another . I would walk a few miles the. Have a twenty minute stop with a dozen or more before walking on. I was well fed with six oranges, dog treats for Nice(the dog), a whopper with fries and a diet soda, some burgers from McDonald's... And a bag off road food. As I walked into the night I was offered a place to stay when I arrived in town and a ride there if I wanted. Since I had taken a ride the night before I wanted to finish the day myself. Traffic had lessened the road was open, I could see the cars coming for over a mile away and could stay up on the road until the last moment. I had wanted to stop all day with low energy but taking a ride two days on a road without a bridge or narrow guardrails didn't seem right. When I made it to town I was thoroughly tired and sore. The man who offered a place let me stay at a spot a few feet from the water and said I could stay a long as I needed. He gave me his card, Play-N-Hooky. I spent Sunday repainting the World, watching the sun go up and set . A person could get lost down here at "the Forgotten Coast". I received a message. Someone thanking me after taking my lead with an adventurous walk everyday. That makes it worth all the miles.
After a day of rest I am ready to walk a few miles. I will even take a ride over a bridge.
Have a great day!

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