Friday, March 08, 2013

Friday morning report

campground restaurantWe’re nicely set up at the Holiday Travel Park just off I-95 in Bunnell, Fla.

I just finished breakfast at the campground restaurant and, based on the observed ages of the locals and the bikers, it looks like a senior citizens center in here. I have a good Wifi connection, a good night’s rest and a full stomach, so I’m a happy camper.

Two impressions from yesterday’s ride:

  1. I fucking hate riding through Dothan, Ala. because of the incredible number of non-synchronized stoplights. I think I’ll take the long way home and ride I-10 to Hammond, La., then cut north to Memphis and home.
  2. I love my Garmin Zumo 550 GPS. About 90-some miles west of Jacksonville, I got a traffic alert telling me that I-295 – the route I usually take from I-10 to I-95 was closed. Closed?!?!?! What to do? I fretted and puzzled for awhile, then noticed a button labeled “Avoid.” I pressed it and Garmin quickly rerouted me to the downtown Jacksonville junction of 10 and 95 with no change in my estimated time of arrival at Bunnell. Unfortunately, we hit downtown Jacksonville at evening rush hour which made for a lot of stop-and-crawl riding for about a half-hour. I’ve seen lots of urban traffic like that, but Tom and Charlie – especially Tom – were noticeably less comfortable.

Once we got clear of the heavy traffic, I led us to the last fuel stop of the trip where we topped off and rode another 30 miles to the campground.

We arrived at sunset and, by the time we registered and found a suitable campsite near a port-o-let, it was dark. I figured we’d have to set up our tents by flashlight, so it was no surprise. There was a cloudless sky, so the temperature dropped quickly while we dined on pizza at a little gas station restaurant near the campgrounds.

I could see my breath by the time I crawled into my tent, happy to have a warm sleeping bag.

I awoke about 6:30, just before sunrise, and checked the Weather Channel app on my phone for the local temperature. It was a brisk 37 degrees. My watch has a thermometer function and it showed it was 45 degrees inside the tent.

I was the first of our group up and out of the tent. I told Charlie I was heading for the restaurant and he joined me about an hour later while I loaded up on coffee and recharged my iPhone.

I have no idea what we’re doing today, but I suspect it involves Flagler Beach, Daytona, and/or seafood.

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