Day 43 – Hello Goodbye Hello Goodbye (December 14, 2020)

Night 43- Crestview, FL

What’s the best way to start a chilly day? A long chill start in a cheap hotel with doughnuts just behind the building?

Yeah, that’ll do.

Stephanie is the one on the doughnut tour, but we were glad to stop. Just this small bakery with fresh dough. A nice way to start the day, but we might have stayed a bit too long. We wouldn’t really know that until later, but the time change and the weather was going to make this day seem much shorter.

After sitting outside the doughnut shop and feeling the cooler wind building up, we knew it was going to be a bit of a grind, but we took off. As a trio Russell and I swapped out in the lead after a while. Partly due to the hills. Sometimes you get moving down the other side and you want to push a bit faster than the guy in the lead. Use the momentum to get you further up the next hill. When climbing, having a person in front to take the wind isn’t as important, but we were all on the same page.

Stephanie had her own destination today a bit further down the road. We welcomed her to stick around as long as she wanted, but with further to go and a time limit to reach NO, we knew we were probably going a bit too slow for her. Though for the morning she stuck close. It was fun having someone to talk with while riding. At some point the topic of music came up and I played a bit on my phone speaker. Then we went on a musical tour of musicals, foreign artists, and classics. Still pushing over rolling hills, it acted as a good distraction and metronome for pedaling.

As a late lunch, we stopped in a park to cook around 2pm CST (we are gonna be in this for a few weeks, so assume that’s our time now)and cooked while being harassed by some funny looking ducks and geese. The air was getting colder and I had made the mistake of using my rain jacket as a wind breaker. So now my jersey was pretty soaked in sweat. Russell and I were not in too big of a hurry, so we said goodbye to Stephanie as she took off. With only 30 miles left, we hung out for another 45 minutes to warm up and relax.

Now back to just the two of us it was back to audiobooks/podcasts/and music. Oh, and I found my earbuds in my toiletry bag. This made me a happy boy because the long days with low traffic can help save your psyche. Talking while riding is only so comfortable and pretty exhausting if you are yelling over the wind while climbing hills. Gotta breath sometime. So having your best friend or just another riding partner just helps you feel not so alone in the suffering. Though, why waste the quiet time when you can learn a few things or get a few laughs in. I’ve been listening to the Pendragon series on audible, a few podcasts, and Qi. Still have to break up the monotony of the voice in your ear too.

So we are riding along for about 30 minutes when we pass another cyclist who is packed to the gills. He waves from the other side of the road and just yells “Stephanie says hi!”…. this is so weird. We pass by other nut jobs like us who are using the same road and we are all just meeting each other. Just with a wave or a nod, we are friends. We know what we’re are going through. Just like I have Russell next to me, they have peace knowing that we are out there with them.

We also found Stephanie again. She stopped and met that guy, “you probably met Carson”… she had to think because there is another person she met going the same way who had stopped to patch a tube. So we caught up to her. Sure enough we would resume as a trio. I’m glad to do so because we were late into sunset now and she admitted her rear light was low on charge. So with Russ in front and me in the rear we pushed on to Crestview. Our stop for the night just a mile off of 90, we pulled off at a gas station to see off Stephanie yet again. She had another 10 miles or so to make her goal. I wouldn’t mind if she had joined us again, but she had to get moving with a flight in a few days. Funny enough, she will probably be home and fly back by the time we get to New Orleans. See you soon girl.

We part ways and roll into our hosts home just minutes later. Thank you Eric Walkerr for helping us out. His parents opened their home to us and offered to feed us to death. A welcomed challenge that reminds me of my family back home. I know this holiday is going to be different, but know that you are thought of, missed, and loved. I’m sorry the year I have the biggest appetite is when I am the furthest away.

On another note, our path changed again and we found another friend. Another parent of a friend had to retract her off to house us to be safe, but offered to put us up in a hotel to help. So now we are continuing inland and will be cruising straight towards new Orleans.

Because of this and not having to worry about housing for a few days has us planning our first big day. In a couple of days we will push for our first 100 miles day into New Orleans. Then a full day to enjoy the area and probably catch up with Stephanie again.

Here we are enjoying a warm home and waiting for the day to warm up. It was in the 30s last night. So sorry for the late post but the sun was taking its time. Have a great morning everyone and thank you for the help so far.

Time to ride.

As usual-

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@rlmichaud

And for those who want to help but can’t host us, we take donations through PayPal at the moment, but are looking for suggestions for other funding channels.

Buy us dinner, help us find a host, or help pass along our story. Everything and anything is appreciated.

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