Fort Walton Beach Florida to DeFuniak Sprints Florida
The best laid plans aren’t always the ones that get executed. I was going to get an early start this morning, 6am or shortly after. It’s now almost 7am and that plan is history. It’s raining and 55 degrees. The Weather App (I don’t know why I trust it) says the rain will have stopped by 9am. So now I’m just hanging out, watching the fish in the hotel lobby fish tank. I’m being kind referring to my lodging as a hotel. It’s really not. It’s more like a 2 star motel with chickens walking around the second story balcony, only without the chickens. I will say though, if I’m wet and cold at the end of the day, and a 2 star motel is my only option, I’ll take that, chickens or no. Hopefully it will have a hot shower, that’s never guaranteed. This one did.
It is also windy this morning. According to the Weather App, my trusty friend, it will be windy all day. When I look out the window, it reminds me of the morning that I woke up in Marfa Texas. A “Blue Norther” came in overnight. That morning the wind was blowing so hard it was difficult to keep the bike on the road. It’s not blowing quite that hard now, but it feels like a “Marfa sort of day” anyway. Is there anything else I can say about the weather before I slog out into it? Probably not. I just hope my trusty friend is not lying to me (ands it’s worse than stated).
I turned around 3 miles outside Fort Walton Beach. The road was too narrow, the wind too strong, and the drivers way too unconscious. When the little voice in your head says “turn around,” that’s what you do. I’m back in Fort Walton Beach, having coffee and plotting my next move. It looks like I’m giving up the coast and heading inland. My goal for today is now DeFuniak Springs, FL. It’s about 46 miles from here (plus the 7 I have already done) and a good bit inland as well. Everything is up in the air at the moment. I will definitely be dipping my front wheel in the Atlantic, just not sure at the moment if that will be St. Augustine or a different location. I’ll work that out over the next day or two.
End of the day
My strategy to alter course and avoid the coast winds and dangerous highway was a good one. The only problem is the wind out of the North today was scouring the entire region. My altered course took me North. You can see where this is going, right? About half my ride today was battling head winds. Head winds take flat 12mph terrain and turn it into 3% grade, 9mph terrain. That’s what happened today. I pulled in to my hotel (no chickens in sight) at 4:59pm, just as darkness was falling. There have only been one or two times I’ve been happier to see a hotel. We need not go into those particulars here, but that is saying something, trust me.
Tomorrow I’m looking at 56 miles, if the weather is better. If the weather is the same, I’m going to cut it off at 37. Prudence is the better part of valor, or so I’ve heard.
Cold and windy, definitely a “Marfa sort of day.”