2004-01-22

South - Day 16


At 4:15 a.m. I departed for the Florida border. Safety grooves all the way, and no breakdown lanes afterwards. Second breakfast in the pleasant urban town of Hilliard. Further on, US-1 took a long, wide arc to the right through vast, open, flat farmland, where I had a close call involving a tire blow-out (see page 6w25). After an early lunch in Callahan, I went through a long, hot, tedious stretch into the outlying districts of Jacksonville. The backfire of a passing wrecker truck, making me jump in the air, renewed the warning to be careful. An hour later, a car with boat trailer in tow barreled down the highway at me, overlapping the breakdown lane. The volume of traffic forced me to adopt the policy of walking facing the traffic unless there was a curbed sidewalk. The landscape reflected changing commercial patterns. Old 1950s motels had disintegrated, leaving only their signs. New motels had been built on nearby highways. Fortunately the Shakir Motel, inside the 295 beltway, had a super-clean room for me.

With itchy, sweaty, hot feet, a tightening right calf, and sunburned face, I gratefully showered.
Hammock Hanger (AT day 33) visited me with chicken and pizza. Departing, she said, "Oh, I brought a quart of ice cream, but it's probably too soupy now." I decided to have a taste. Twenty minutes later, it was all gone. Welcome to Florida!


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