4.30.14 Oh the rain!!!

OK, I am hanging out at the 4H camp at Cherry Lake until the storm passes (hopefully by tomorrow).  Not much to say about today except that it is R.A.I.N.I.N.G!  Change of plans a little, raining sooo hard we were all offered cabins at the 4 H Camp. Not much in comfort but DRY and thankful for it!  The Florida FourWheelers bicycling group has been very nice.  Tonight they offered dinner – Brisket, pulled pork, ribs, corn on the cob, coleslaw, beans, rice, sweat tea and ice cream.  To all my Nothern friends, there is nothing like food and friendliness of the South!  Rain is expected tomorrow but not terrible so I will head westward asnd hope to get through Tallahassee at least.

Cabin at 4 H Camp

Cabin at 4 H Camp. Hey, it’s DRY!

Rain map. Yup, under the red all day long!

Rain map. Yup, under the red all day long!

 

 

 

4.29.14 (stats)

From To (Arrival) ~ Miles Elevation Hours Weather Total Mi Total Hrs Riding day #
Lake Park, GA Madison, FL 18 89-205 2 rain, mid 80 drop to mid 60’s 1304 128 18

Again, not a lot of forward progress today but for a very good reason.   I had biked a couple hours and just stopped for a rest. The skies approaching were BLACK.  I have never seen anything like it!   A van pulled up beside and said I need to take shelter real quick. He said just up ahead there was a 4H camp at Cherry Lake (the lake is crystal clear!)   where there are cyclists camping and I was welcome to join them.  Sometimes I am not so stubborn. We went to the campground and he did not say there were like hundreds of cyclists!  The cycling group is called Free Wheelers.  As soon as we pulled in they welcomed me and were just so nice.  Some were in the dining hall doing minor repairs on their bikes and just hanging out. It was raining by then but not really bad. I set up the hammock and fly, got the sleeping bag in there to try to keep it as dry as possible.  I went to the laundry and dried what had gotten wet (looking back I probably should have waited to “dry” things.)  They invited me to eat dinner with them – YUM – Jumbo, coleslaw, catfish and cookies with sweet tea.  I LOVE the south!!!  Really LOVE it here!!!!  Over night it rained and rained and rained.  Kinda like Pooh’s Bluster Day story.   I heard Pensacola got like 25 inches of rain in 24 hours!  It only takes 2-3 inches of rain for the stream at home to flood. That is a crazy amount of rain! Mom heard on the local news in Baltimore that the panhandle had 6000+ lightening strikes in like 30 minutes!  Pensacola is only about 250 miles from here and the storms are heading this way (from west to east).  The other cyclists (ages maybe 30-60) (Oh I was corrected, most are in their 60-70’s and some even in their 80’s!  Yes in their 80’s!!) said I CANNOT travel tomorrow.  They live in FL and know how crazy the weather can be.  OK, I am staying put until Thursday (plus the food is sooo good)!  I am sooo glad right now I have a hammock and not a tent. Most of their tents are in water!  Maybe I will want a tent when I hit areas where there are no trees, but for now I am a happy camper.  Thanks for everyone’s concerns, I am good and with good people.

Cherry Lake, FL (4H camp)

Cherry Lake, FL (4H camp)

4.29.14 Dedication – Ashley

I had the awesome opportunity to meet Ashley in Fredericksburg.  She is very sweet! Do well in school Ashley & have a great summer!

Ashley

“Ashley is our second child, with her pregnancy everything was wrong, she is a miracle child really, she came to this world on March 30th 2005 weighting 5 pounds 6 ounces, and been 17 inches long. As soon as I saw her I was in love, she came home and nothing seemed wrong, she cried all the time for hours and hours, just as if she was in pain, all the doctors could tell me was, all babies cry and there is nothing wrong with her… With a heart murmur as the only explanation why… Time passed and I noticed that her eye lashes were inside her eyes, she had to deal with that for a year, she was late in every milestone, she stated crawling after been a year old, walking after 18 months and no talking… Again no explanation of why, when she was 3 I stated to look for help and finally got the school system to do an evaluation to her, she was diagnosed with speech delay and  developmental delay, at age 4 she started pre school, and speech therapies, she started talking, the Williams syndrome diagnosing didn’t came for another 2 years, I took her to an ophthalmologist for a check up and he told me that with his experience he could tell she had Ws, I went home and started the research about it, asked my doctor for a genetic test and waited… After some weeks the results came back, she had Williams syndrome, she was 6 years old at the time, after that she started special education and we now see 14 different specialists including a speech therapist, occupational therapist and physical therapist, she is now 9 years old, the light in our house and the blessing we needed, she was meant to be with us, and she is our joy. She is a very smart little girl, filled with love to give and always making people smile and laugh. Nothing stops her from getting what she wants and fighting like a trooper, I learned so much with her, people tells me that she is so blessed to have me, but I think it’s the other way around, I am the blessed one for having her.”

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4.28.14 (stats)

 

From To (Arrival) ~ Miles Elevation Hours Weather Total Mi Total Hrs Riding day #
                 
Live Oak, FL Lake Park, GA 52 65-158 5 sun, mid 80’s 1286 126 17

As far as making forward progress, not as much today as other days. A total of 52 miles (should have been about 16 miles less but I missed the passed the campground by about 8 miles and had to retrace, the next one “ahead” of me was too far.) I hit FL yesterday and came back up into GA to go around the National Forest. Local people said that is a much better route than going through it or going south to get around it.  They know better than me and google! It was pretty hot today and my shoulder is a little sore from yesterday, no big deal though.  Those NASTY storm in the Midwest are heading close to Tallahhassee.  Mom said to hunker down in a hotel until it passes. I probably will once I get closer to Tallahassee, hopefully by around noon..

4.28.14 Dedication – Arabella

 I have had the priviledge of meeting this beautiful little girl and her parents in Fredericksburg VA when the journey began.  Love ya Bella!

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“Arabella Galyen is our daughter that will be 2 years old this July. She was diagnosed with Williams Syndrome at 9 days old due to many medical problems at birth. Aside from having Williams Syndrome she was born deaf bilaterally, had a cornea transplant when she was 3 months old and is now almost completely blind in that eye. She has some of the atypical medical issues that arise with WS including kidney disease, hypercalcimia, high blood pressure and pulmonary stenosis. She is always smiling and brings laughter to our home. She has 4 older siblings, 21 year old and 18 year old sisters, 15 year old brother (mom’s children) another 15 year old brother (dad’s son) and the boys have the same first name and middle initial. She was a real blessing to our family and we’ve always felt a true gift from God not only to us but to many others as well”

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4.27.14 (stats)

 

 

From To (Arrival) ~ Miles Elevation Hours Weather Total Mi Total Hrs Riding day #
Folkton, GA 31537 Live Oak, FL 86 19-152 11 sun, high 80’s 1234 121 16

Left Folkston today and started heading toward Panama City.   It was a hot one today.  Google maps lead me down a donkey path again. It made a pretty picture, that’s the only thing good I can say about that!  After getting out of that area a trucker passed that obviously has never heard the phrase “Share the road”.  Nerves were shaken to say the least.  I did get a lift for about 10 miles or so (miles above is what I actually rode).  After that I hopped back on the bike and made it to Suwannee Music Camp in Lake City, FL.  I need a thesaurus! It is really cool! They have a beautiful chlorinated lake and kiddy “pool”. It is dusk so the picture really does not do it justice.  It is a lake-pool, hard to describe, maybe a pool with a sand bottom is the best way to say? Is this what Bill Murray was talking about in Caddyshack? Prob not!

 

Google says this is a road!  Southern GA,  April 27

Google says this is a road! Southern GA, April 27

Suwannee Music Camp Pool Pond, Live Oak FL 4/27

Suwannee Music Camp Pool Pond, Live Oak FL 4/27

 

 

Maybe shouldda sprayed sunblock

Maybe shouldda sprayed sunblock

 

4.26.14 Awarness Day in Folkston

An AMAZING day!!!  I think people in Folkston are the nicest people on earth!  Melissa did sooo much to make the Awareness event really great.  Her mom and Buddy are 2 of the nicest people I have ever met, no wonder Melissa is so great! Her Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, people at her church, really everyone.  Also a big thank you to the lady that gave me a haircut Thursday and the lady that made gift bags to put in our cottage.  So many people volunteered and donated things.

I think 11 families with WS came.  Several from the Tampa area, Orlando, Jacksonville, Atlanta and MD. There were maybe 100+ people that attended.  Mayor Lee attended after he coached his son’s little league baseball game (congrats on the win) and gave a speech and introduced Melissa.  Melissa then gave a very heartwarming speech.

Please check back here to see more pictures as they are loaded over the next few days.  For pictures of beautiful Folkston please see the Trip Pics page (link at top of page) One little guy was sooo excited to have his face painted like an owl (11th picture), at the end of the day he did not want to leave (bottom picture from daytime activities) hahahahahahaha
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Saying “see ya later” is not so easy…  Here is Jake and I and then the last picture of the day is Jared and I looking for a Shark-Snake-Elephant on google, never found one so if any of you are good with photoshop there’s your challenge : )
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4.25.14 Funny Story / Rest Day in Folkston

I met  Melissa and my main man Jared  yesterday. She is super nice and Jared could not be more fun!! Thank you thank you.  Today we all went to the Jacksonville Zoo and had a blast!  So we went to dinner at a chicken place in Folkston and Debbie and Mikey from Treasure Island FL met us there. A little while later, you won’t believe this… Jake & my mother surprised me!  I knew about an hour before my grandparents were coming from MD but had no idea about Jake and Mom!  Dinner was really good!  After that we went the Newell Lodge just north of Folkston.  REALLY cool place!  65 acres with cabins (REALLY nice little houses) and horses were just walking all around.  Harvin, the owner, had started a camp fire for us while we were at dinner and brought over a golf cart we could cruise around on.  Mikey, Jake, Jared and I had a great time driving around the property at night (some trees were lit with Christmas tree white lights).  Saturday morning we cruised around again and after the horses were let out I just walked up to one and hopped on.  Link to video at bottom.

Please pray with us that M’s surgery today is successful and she has a quick recovery!!!  Update on Sunday – M is still in the hospital and is doing much better!

Now for your story…

Cobe was in high school and on the Allied bowling team. Most kids were nice to him except Patrick… “Mom, Pat called me a nerd on the bus…..so I THREW my bowling bag down and said “ya wanna say that again and I’ll have my brother get on this bus and kick your @$$” I told him didn’t I?”

 

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Newell Lodge

Newell Lodge

Jared, Newell Lodge at night

Jared, Newell Lodge at night

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At Jacksonville Zoo

At Jacksonville Zoo, early on Friday

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4.24.14 Funny Stories

  A pic of the bike as I rolled into town and with Jared at dinner.  It was sooo good!

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“This was a conversation.. between my daughter Donna (age 22) and my son Robyn (11 WS): DONNA: What did you learn about in school today? ROBYN: Solids, liquids and gases.

DONNA: Can you give me an example of a solid? ROBYN: Glass and lawnmowers.

DONNA: Good. Can you give me an example of a liquid? ROBYN: Water and blood.

DONNA: Ummm, good. Can you give me an example of a gas? ROBYN: No…ummmm,wait………..FARTS!

DONNA: *facepalm* ……Yes, Robyn, good.”

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Emma (sibling, ~2nd grade)

“Mom, can we go see the Liberty Bell over Thanksgiving?”

“Sure, it is only an hour or 2 away, we can go”

“Are you SURE?  We REALLY need to go”

“Yeah Em, not a big deal, we will do a day trip”

“We REALLY REALLY need to go THIS THANKSGIVING”

“OK Em, got it, what’s the deal?”

“I want to see it before they fix the crack”

 

4.23.14 (stats)

From To (Arrival) ~ Miles Elevation Hours Weather Total Mi Total Hrs Riding day #
Blyth Reg Park, GA Folkston, GA 31537 45 1-25 5 sun, low 80’s 1148 110 15

For whatever reason today seemed like a long one.  Maybe because I got a later start riding or because of the logging truck that did not like sharing the road. Yeah, a couple scrapes, a tire change and I was rolling again.  Thank you Ms. Melissa everything you offered today.  I look forward to meeting  you, Jared and your parents tomorrow.  Can’t wait for Saturday!

Squirrel near Folkston, GA

Squirrel near Folkston, GA