Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day One Hundred-nine, 090617 - Callahan, GA

Day One Hundred Nine, Date Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Time in Saddle: 7:40
Distance for the Day: 78.92 miles From Crescent Beach, FL To Callahan, GA
Accumulated Trip Distance: 5079.94 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 5’/0’?, Highest: 78’ Accumulated: 328’
Speeds: Avg: 10.2 mph, Max: 58.8 (wrong) mph
Weather: 74° humid turning hot, into the mid-90s
Expenditures: $15

When I woke up in the morning at 5:20, it was still dark with a waning crescent moon and two bright planets on either side (though not quite a conjunction). I heard a splash in the water near the house’s pier, and saw my first manatee! I could see the length of his body, just below the surface of the mostly calm water, right near the shore. He was probably eating the grasses that grew, there – cool! I then went out onto the pier and waited until 6pm – no shuttle that I could see. I figured they must have scrubbed this attempt, too. I went back to break down my stealth camp and was ready to roll by 6:30am. I stopped in at the first mini mart I found at about 6:45am, got food and drink ($6), and went across the street to watch the early morning sun over the Atlantic while I had breakfast. Continuing north, I hit St. Augustine at 8am and spent about 45 minutes wandering around the town, looking at the quaint buildings and shops of the touristy section; nothing was open yet as it was still too early. I went to the historic fort and took some pictures there. I got more drinks along the way to Jacksonville ($3), and contacted Dr. Mike Reynolds (the former Director of Chabot Space & Science Center) at 12:35pm to set up a lunch meeting. I said I’d get to his location by 1:30pm, had to call him back to move that back to 2pm, and got to his office (finally) by 2:30pm. We were casual friends when he was at Chabot, so I wanted to see him and have a chat, since I was in the neighborhood. He drove us to a salad and sandwich place near his office, and we talked about his work at the college (he started a TMW class for 22 students per semester and always fills-up right away, and that gives actual college credits; he’s going to get a 60’ dome planetarium with a real star projector – no video, and is also going to get an observatory; his home took a hit from a tree, and is tussling with the insurance company to get them to cover all the damage; he said the heat at this time of the year was unusually high and not usually seen until August [lucky me]; he missed Chabot and asked about updates on Carter’s house, Conrad, Dave R, Terry G, and Debbie). I told him that Bill helped me attend a few days at the TSP and that it was great; we went back to his office, and he showed me the TMW with its mirror grinding stations, bunches of dobs for viewing, etc. I took lots of pictures of his office and the TMW, and then we said our farewells, and he went back to work (very busy!) and I continued north towards the Florida/Georgia state line; spent another $6 on drinks along the way (hot!). I found a good stealth camp at a Catholic church at 7:51pm (N30 32.9’ W81 49.028’), and set up my hammock under small roof next to service building. It was in narrow view of the street, but it was far enough away to be unnoticeable. There were some mosquitoes, but they weren’t very aggressive, so I was able to avoid getting et. I had to reposition the hammock (when will I ever learn?) to be more directly under the port at about 9:30pm as the lightning flashes started up, again, and there was a light rain happening; I moved my trike under the port as well. Other than that, I had a very nice sleep.

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