Life On A B-I7

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Southern Tier - Sun Nov 10, 2019

Day 57

Perdido Key to Pensacola

What exactly are we seeking in life? For most I think the answer to that is happiness. I don’t think happiness can be obtained. It certainly can’t be bought. The accumulation of wealth has never bought happiness. Exactly how are you going about being “happy”? Be honest. Don’t read the next sentence yet, think about it for a moment. For me it’s not about being happy. It’s about finding joy. There is joy to be found in a lot of ways. Take for example my morning. I set up my camp at the ocean last night. I woke up to a cold, wet morning. I crawled out of the tent to sort out my gear and start my day. The act of making coffee on my stove and then sitting down to drink it gave me joy. I mean, enough joy make me sit down and write this paragraph… Drinking my coffee (I will be making another cup) is all the joy I need for the moment, that and the sun starting to warm me up. I know that I will find more today. Getting on the bike always brings me joy. I’m looking forward to getting packed up and back on the road. Am I crazy? Possibly, but it’s a good crazy.

All of that does not suggest that having a little money is not important. It is. Let’s just say, enough to live on, and enough to finance a cycling trip across the United States. Maybe even enough to buy a custom built bike to take on that trip should suffice, as long as there is joy in the mix.

As an aside, I offer this (somewhat related) observation from the Sunday “New York Times”: “Some 49 percent of all journeys to school and work now transpire by bicycle. For Danes, the bicycle acts as a liberator. Weather isn’t an issue: When it snows in Copenhagen, bike lanes are typically plowed first.”

After my two cups of coffee, I rode out of the campground at 10:30am. You can be lazy when you only plan to cover 20 miles that day. My first objective was to find a breakfast spot. I was 10 miles down the road (no breakfast spot encountered) when I stumbled on a brewery tap room and Biergarten. Seemed like the appropriate place for breakfast so I pulled in. The “Blonde Bomber” ale was very tasty. A fellow at the bar asked me about my bike and we chatted for a minute, then he asked me if he could join me for a beer. Of course I agreed and we sat down and chatted for a good bit. He is a Marine F-18 pilot in training. We talked about careers, computers, and adventure cycling. He paid me the ultimate complement (in my book) saying he would be happy to accompany me on an adventure some time if he was able to take a leave. I put that right up there with “Coach” telling me he would have had me play center on his team.

I wonder how Coach is doing now. I ran into one of the other crew members on my way to Dauphin Island. We had a nice chat alongside the road. The group was going to stay on the island the same night I was. I did not see them on the Ferry yesterday, so they must have decided to ride off the island back the way we came and go around Mobile Bay rather than wait a day for the Ferry to start running again. Too bad. I was hoping to see all of them on the crossing. I have a feeling I will run into them in St. Augustine if not sooner.

I’m staying at a boutique motel, the Sole Inn and Suites. Reminds me of the East Austin motel. I love seeing old properties refurbished and put back into good use. Tomorrow morning I’ll be knocking on the bicycle shop door bright and early, then it will be get-out-of-town day.

Miles: 20

Found a good food truck for lunch.