Day 18 [North Palm Beach – Stuart, FL]

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2014

[Distance traveled: 32 miles]

As bad as Saturday was, it was beautiful today. Temperatures in the high 70s, leisurely winds from the SOUTH [YES, it was BEHIND us, pushing us….unusual AND appreciated!], and mostly blue skies.

The wind being behind us most of the day, almost made it feel like we were going downhill much of the day. Here is proof that the wind was behind us….notice the way that the flag is turned:

Flag turned to the north

Instead of mostly under 4 mph on Saturday, today we actually averaged 6 mph.

We left the Super8 around 11am.

[Yes, Earline often works while she rides…how do I tell her that texting and triking don’t mix??!!]

Any advice?

Ha!

Earline rolling out from Super8

Much of our travels today involved crossing over drawbridges, and cruising through beautiful residential areas. Within one mile, we encountered our first drawbridge:

First drawbridge

There was a separate sidewalk along the side of this bridge, so we felt safe crossing this one.

Separate sidealk on first bridge

Here was our view going over the North Palm Beach Waterway.

North Palm Beach waterway

Success getting over the bridge!

Success over first bridge

From there we went through the pretty business area of Palm Beach Gardens, and….

WAIT!

Where’d she go??!!

Oh…..

Stein Mart!

PBG Stein Mart

When the wife says, Stein Mart, the good husband says “yes!”

After Earline comes out, she says it might be worth a trip from Orlando to PBG for THIS Stein Mart! Whoa!

Ha!

From there we went over to the Juno Beach area, and we really liked the feel of this town.

Entering Juno Beach

There were some beautiful access points to the beach:

Inside canopied beach entrance

Here is the view of the canopy from the beach:

View fom beach

And the little views we got of the ocean every once in a while were spectacular:

[Higher-rez photo of a paddle-surfer]

Paddle-surfer

Then we came to ANOTHER draw bridge, that goes over the Jupiter Inlet, the Loxahatchee River, and past the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum….the bridge was being lowered as we approached it, with a long line of cars. Here is the view of the Lighthouse from the bridge:

Lighthouse from bridge

And Earline is getting so brave over the bridges, that she actually took a VIDEO as she went over this bridge [some of you may have already seen it on her Facebook page]. Here is it:

After successfully getting over THAT drawbridge, around the corner to the right we had ANOTHER drawbridge, this one going over the Indian River:

Bridge over Indian River

Bridge lowered, and ready to head across.

Walk bike across span

The sign on the left says: CAUTION, Walk Bike Across Span.

Well, that is NOT going to work for us.

But the BIG problem with THIS one, is that there was a small, raised sidewalk on the side of the bridge, raised up about 8 to 10 inches. Okay….

But as we got to the grated portion of the bridge, the sidewalk narrowed to MAYBE 36 inches, maybe 34!

I really did not want to have to lift the trikes down the curb into the line of traffic, but we have 32 inch trikes, so that did NOT leave much margin for error.

It also meant that we had to stop and take off the right side bag, which sticks out a couple inches beyond the wheels. I also had to fold my right mirror in.

But that seemed to be enough to CAREFULLY proceed the, oh, maybe 100 feet across the grated portion of the bridge, with about an inch or tow to spare!

OOOO, thats a tight one

[This definitely brought back memories of going over the drawbridge in St. Augustine back in 2011!]

Earline’s trike is about an inch narrower than mine, so she did have to take her right side bag off, but she also got across with no problem, then.

We then headed up Jupiter Island, and went past almost 10 miles of gorgeous homes and residences, with a couple parks, and a couple churches [yes, we only saw 2].

Jupiter Island, Earline

One of 2 churches we saw, Christ Memorial Chapel:

Christ Memorial Chapel

We saw a lot of guys out landscaping today:

Trimming bushes

And yes, we saw 2 or 3 guys power blowing the bushes:

Blowing the bushes

WHAT??!!

And we noticed that several of the residences not only had a main entrance or lane, but they ALSO had a service entrance!

Service entrance

My, my, my…..

We then turned to go into Hobe Sound, and that was a pretty, kind of mysterious road. They had all these, obviously planted, knarly trees on each side of the road….it was actually rather beautiful:

Gnarly trees

Gnarly tres

We then headed north on SE Dixie Highway….a fairly new road, and SMOOTH, and the shadows from the sun were getting a little longer, so it was warm, but cool….just a real pleasant ride.

Well, EXCEPT for all the traffic. Whew! Where did they all come from!

After 2 or 3 miles, a Martin County Deputy Sheriff stopped us.

Oh, oh…..EARLINE! Were you speeding?!

He was real polite, almost apologetic. He let us know that Dixie Highway was a VERY busy road [which we had kinda figured out], but that he knew that we had every right to be on the road. [I noticed also that he had a bicycle racked on the back of HIS car.]

Officer Fritchie talking to Jon

He said one person had called in to complain about us being on the road.

[Bigger-picture-challenged….heh!]

We talked about our Mission Tour a little bit, and then he mentioned a trail up ahead, and a possible place to tent for the night. He also mentioned that the State Park that we were headed to did NOT actually officially have any tenting or camping facilities.

God used him to bring us information! And then after we gave him our FACING YOUR FEARS card, he went to his car and gave us his business card. His name was Matt Fritchie, and he told us “God bless you!” as we left him.

Join us in thanking God for him, and for his efforts to help make OUR mission a success!

Earline and I decided to head over to Highway 1 for more service [to pick up some FOOD!], and we soon entered the big little city of Stuart. We stopped at a Publix to pick up a few things, but Earline still had a craving for a slurpee.

And no sooner had we gone maybe half a mile, when….TA-DAH!…..there was a 7-11!

Earline headed in for her slurpee, and I noticed that the door was pried open. I asked the cashier, and she said that the AC was not working. Then we learned that the guy fixing the AC was Deaf, but had just left to get a part that he needed to fix the AC.

Then, I see Earline talking with a big guy outside about our trikes, and he SIGNS to Earline. This is ANOTHER guy, and this guy’s name is Robin, and both of his parents were Deaf!

We had a wonderful time listening to some of Robin’s stories, and he posed with me to spell “HI” for a photo.

Robin

As we reflect on the timing….it is interesting how Earline’s craving for a slurpee coincided with us getting a chance to meet Robin. We DID wait around a while for the AC guy, but it was getting dark, so Earline left him a note and a WiFI Pedaler card.

We finally did reach a hotel near where we have to turn in the morning, and this Best Western with AAA discount was almost cheaper than a campground we stayed at last week. How about that!

Thanks God.

And checking the map, it looks like we are down to only 4 or 5 more days of traveling. We are hoping to be able to share some of our testimony in Melbourne this weekend. Pray for God’s guidance, please, and that He protect us under the shadow of HIS wings! [See Psalm 57:1]

Only Through God’s grace,

jon

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