Day 10 [Jacksonville – Saint Augustine]

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2011

I got up at 4:45am, and went to the outhouse…not really outhouses per se, but you did have to go “outside” to get to them. And they did not have hot water. I decided, however, that I HAD to wash my hair, so there I am, 5:00 in the morning, sticking my head in the sink and running cold water over it to get clean.

Hot water is a LUXURY! May we never forget to be grateful for the little pleasures that God allows us to have!

Got all packed up and ready to leave as it was getting light. [You can see the “outhouses” in the background.]

Ready to leave Jax

We had some prayer time before heading out….Pastor Kenneth was there, but where was Pastor Pat?! [smile] [She actually did wake up soon enough to text us and tease us as we were leaving!]

Prayer time before leaving

We got over to Highway 1, and proceeded to head south to St. Augustine….in this part of Florida, the only choices are A1A on the coast, Interstate 95 [which bikes and trikes can’t use], or Highway 1….4 lanes and VERY busy. But it DID have a shoulder the whole way.

Still cloudy and very cool

Yes, it was busy, but that also meant that there were more convenience stores along the way that we took full advantage of, and we were grateful for that.

Busy Hwy 1

Once we got south of 295/9A, we did get a freshly black-topped road with bicycle signage that lasted for several miles, so that was nice.

Bike lane signage

It was pretty much a straight shot the whole way….just mile after mile after mile, heading south/southeast. It is kind of hard to get a photograph to show this, but maybe this one with a train going by gives you some idea….we could sometimes literally see, I would guess, 5 to 7 miles of road and electrical line poles.

LOOOOOONG road and train

We stopped for lunch in the sunshine, beside an overpass that looked like it went to some new golf resort, or retirement community. [Yes, I had my graham cracker, peanut butter, and Spam sandwich….mmm, mmm, mmm.]

Lunch time

FINALLY made it to St. Augustine. [Actually, we made good time, in about 7 hours….I think all the semis and dump trucks whizzing by us gave us a little boost of air every time they went by!]

St Augustine sign

Does Earline look tired? She said she was. We need to find you a DQ!!

Earline tired at sign

We stopped in at FSDB and talked with Ron Stafford at the security gate. He said that they indeed had received the e-mail that we would be coming on campus the next evening at 6:00pm for a presentation with Young Life at the Music Building.

A quick stop at the DQ [ah, yes]….

DQ in SA

We continued on to the Lion’s Bridge drawbridge, and Earline didn’t seem TOO concerned….NOT a big bridge, and a separated walkway [with LOTS of joggers and cyclists].

Little did we know the adventure ahead of us!

[See, I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be kinda neat if Earline got to see the drawbridge work…..oh,oh.]

Ready to cross Lions bridge

The walkway climb to the drawbridge was more than wide enough for us to maneuver comfortably.

Separated bike path

HOWEVER…..

….the walkway over the drawbridge itself was not. I would guess probably 36 inches.

Well, my trike is 33 inches wide [Earline’s, 31], and when I tried to go thru the drawbridge walkway, I got STUCK! My side bags stick out a few inches on each side, and I couldn’t get through.

THEN, the bells starting dinging, lights started flashing….what??!!

Apparently the drawbridge was about to be raised!

NOW what do we do??!!

Well, this older gentlemen stepped out of the gatehouse with a reflective vest on, briskly walked towards us, seemingly asking “what in the world were we doing??!!”

So the man is talking fast, Earline is talking behind me, the bells are still ringing, the lights are still flashing, cars are backing up at the red and white striped guard bar BEHIND us, and I didn’t understand the man’s question, so he asked [rather sternly], “Don’t you speak English?!”

So I just said, yes, but I didn’t quite catch his question.

He then asked, will it fit? And I said, with the side bags off, that I thought that, yes, it would. [Even though my custom handlebars stick out an inch or so on each side!] I also said that Earline’s trike was more narrow, so she shouldn’t have any problem.

So he waved us on through, and I proceeded across the drawbridge, with about a half inch to spare on each side!

Then once we got across the drawbridge, the black gate closed behind us, but the red and white guard bar AHEAD of us was down, and we couldn’t get through.

We were stuck!

However, I guess that was okay, because our walkie-talkies were apparently on the same channel as the bridge staff, and we could hear them talking about the bikers that were caught between the gate and the guard bar, and that apparently it was going to be alright for them to raise the drawbridge.

So there we sat, all by ourselves, while the drawbridge was slowly raised. I DID get a picture of that!

Stuck on drawbridge

Talk about drama!…..HA!

We WILL have to go back across the bridge to go to the school for our presentation, but at least now we have a little better understanding of what we need to do to get across.

We continued on a few more blocks to the home of Sam and Ann Thompson, that everyone at Neighborhood Alliance Church in Longwood asked about, and had a delightful time of fellowship [and teasing] with Sam and his family.

Sam and Ann EEB and Grace Ann

Thank you again, Lord, for your blessing and your provision in times of boredom [the long ride on Highway 1], AND excitement [Lion’s Bridge].

TGG,

jon

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