I awoke before most of the mosquitos and made a hasty exit from the campground. I was tired, smelled of bug spray, sweat, and sunscreen and just not really feeling very spunky.
It was a lovely morning despite my disagreeable nature. And so I rode. Much more of the same. Tunnels of trees. Farms. The blight of rural poverty sprinkled around truly lovely estates.
About 7 miles into the ride I passed the Horseshoe Lake Farm which according to my maps has a free bunkhouse for bike tourists. I couldn’t get ahold of the people by phone so I decided on Mosquito State Park instead. Maybe for free you get more mosquitos. I am not sure that is physically possible though.
The only difference between today and the last five days was the fact that the roads, at least for the first three hours, had very little traffic. Everyone was either at church or, from the looks of all the beer cans on the side of the road, home sleeping off a night of partying. The only thing more depressing than the trash was the sight of so many road kill armadillos. One of them was fresh and being enjoyed by a vulture when I rolled by. Nature is icky.
Riding through a long stretch of woods I was surprised when four steer (steers?) emerged from the trees as if preparing to cross the road in front of me. Maybe they were sprung from captivity by vigilante vegans. In any case, when the spotted me, the three smaller ones turned and fled into the woods. The biggest one, closest to the road, just looked at me with ennui.
The road I was on ran through some pretty impressive swamps. Still no sight of a gator though. After the swamps came some gently rolling hills. For the first time in hundreds of miles.
I ate convenience store food. A day old tuna salad sandwich, a banana, an ice cream cooking sandwich. I was riding with shade and a tailwind. I was bonking nonetheless, probably because of lack of sleep.
I came to Points South, an actual town, with an actual Waffle House (with two “f”s). I ate all the things. The food did nothing for my energy level. I was faced with a choice of five hotels (since the road I was on intersected with I-95) and a KOA campground. I decided to treat myself and stay at the best of the lot, a Hampton Inn.
As I was riding the 200 yards to the hotel I met two Dutch cyclists who were rolling into town on a trip from New York City to Key West. They didn’t seem the least bit chatty but I could see they were using the same maps as I. Like me, they are bound for Statesboro, Georgia tomorrow.
I rode 48 miles so my total is 917.5, still a tad over 70 miles per day. Also, it’s the farthest I’ve ever ridden on a bike tour.