Run In The Sun: Day 17
27.4… so far
Chiefland to Williston
I usually write the blog update from the comfort of a hotel bed. Today I write from a McDonald’s in Williston, as I shiver and awkwardly put my feet up on the booth seat. Skin is clammy, with little hope in sight for the night. Williston may have a hospital, a 24-hour McDonald’s, multiple city parks, and an airport, but it has no place for weary travelers to rest their heads… unless you have an RV, then you can camp at the RV park that adamantly says NO tent camping, even if you pay full RV price.
Oh, and you can sleep somewhere if you are homeless (do we qualify? not sure!).
So goes an adventure.
We started this trip on Highway 98, and have been either on or parallel to that road for the duration of our journey. Today was the first day that we deviated, as we begin our crossing of what I call “the saggy part of Florida.” You know what I’m talking about – the part that droops down and leaks into what people call the Florida Keys? Yes, that.
But, today started out with donuts, so it wasn’t all that bad. 🙂 The Dunkin Donuts near last night’s hotel doubled as a Baskin Robbins, so during the 18 hours that we were in town, I admit I patronized the business a whopping 3 times during our stay. The third visit was this morning before leaving town. Our hotel’s internet stopped working last night, still wasn’t working this morning, so we “had to” go to DD for internet in the morning. Then, mailed off a couple of items of business, and finally hit the road at 11:30 AM. Since we are likely camping tonight, we didn’t mind starting late.
More time spent this morning on blister care, getting all prepped for the long miles ahead. My legs felt fine, but my blisters were debilitating. Getting started running this morning was entirely mind over matter. Every cell in me – throughout the day – wanted to just sit and not move, but I moved forward until I found a groove, and the foot pain eventually numbed a bit. Once the foot pain went away, my entire right calf grew a cramp. I continue to marvel at the body’s way of cycling through different pains. Eventually, almost all pains go away, and are often replaced with a different pain. Variety is the spice of life, I guess.
Today’s route shaped into rolling hills, made much more difficult by the steady, stiff headwind all day. We had expected hills in inland Florida, so here goes! Some of the leg pain I experienced today was a direct result from the banked shoulder, but with all the pain that came today, there were beautiful wildflowers and gorgeous ranches the whole way. At one point, I stopped to pet and feed grass to some friendly horses alongside the road. I just love horses!
The yin and the yang, it’s always there when I look for it. We stopped a few times today:
- to modify my first aid care to my blisters to make it more manageable for the day
- body care at a small town about half-way to our destination… rolling muscles, Gold Bond powder on the chafing
- elevating/draining my feet for the final push to Williston
Another brief stop began when we passed a homeless man carrying a heavy bag and making his way the other direction. I asked if he needed anything, if he was doing alright, and he said he really needed water. I can relate, but today I was well stocked. Right as we stopped to get out our water bottles, an ice cream truck came out of NOWHERE on the highway and asked if we needed some refreshments. WHAT?? That is amazing!! So, I bought ice cream (lemon ice, actually), and a water bottle for the man. Totally awesome. I told him to drink up, then I’d refill his bottle.
And onward we went. Funny how a couple of bucks and giving someone the time of day can turn their day around. It’s good for me to remember that when I so easily get sucked into my little vortex world of self-imposed misery.
No buggy issues today, so it looks like the Mosquito Control Department is doing their job! Although I think it’s pretty poor strategy to advertise that department in the same sign as the Visitors Bureau, Parks & Recreation, etc.
Now… to find a place to sleep. I think we might stop by the police station and ask to camp in the city park; hopefully they can’t say no to blonde pigtails!!