Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tallahassee Hike

After a week at home working every night I found myself back in the Fusion with Cheyenne and the wife and the three of us set off for California, part two of the vacation chronicles of this endless time away from the keys in the summer of 2010. However before we set off I helped this poor dude get a signature for his epic ride to Prudhoe Bay from Key West.He was riding lucky devil; I was driving, happy family man. I came off shift at 6am and immediately recognized a fellow Iron Butt victim in the Police Station lobby,trying to get a witness for his ride. I asked Officer Barrios for help and he was surprised but happy to oblige.He is an experienced Iron Butt rider judging by his gongs and labels and stickers but I was happy to take his picture with his witness in this critical spot. he expected to be on the Arctic Sea in a week. All I have is a Saddle Sore under my certificated Butt. That was good deed, what I hoped was an auspicious start to our three week journey. My wife meanwhile had been emptying the piggy bank, a replica Triumph Bonneville tank and was busy sorting our change into little plastic bags. She found more than sixty reserve currency dollars in the ceramic fuel tank.
The weather promised rain much of the way north but in the event we left home at 6:45 in the morning and we didn't get deluged till Orlando seven hours later. The rest of the drive was uneventful, the Fusion purred along and returned 27mpg at a steady 80 miles per hour. We arrived at the Tallahassee La Quinta Inn at 6pm and immediately Cheyenne tucked in.
Then my wife went to the pool and Cheyenne and I went for an explore. Usually these motels are stuck in unpromising suburbs but we make do. In this case we kept going and ended up we knew not where.The strange thing about having a dog on a road trip is you end walking in horrendous places, corners of the world, you would never bother to look for if you travel without an animal that needs exercise. It is also true that walking your Labrador you get to see just how grotesque modern urban planning is. The La Quinta dog friendly motel is on the other side of I-10 under the semi circular sign on the left, in front of the truck.I am proud of Cheyenne's nature, that of a true explorer.
Pushing the envelope is her motto. And of the envelope is under a freeway overpass she doesn't mind dragging me there.I want to be back in the room is my thought.
We stumped past rows of identical suburban homes. There was nothing to attract the eye or engage the mind of a human around here.
there's a pretty lake over yonder behind the trees, this helpful pedestrian pointed. I wondered why he was walking, though my dog gave me instantly identifiable respectability. I was a dog walker in pink Crocs.A lake? Really?
We took the sidewalk along the main road back to the hotel for the final stretch of our hour long excursion. Look how they've mucked up this lovely pine tree.
For this?I fear I must seem naive but I forget how ugly they manage to make the mainland. If I peeked through the stumpy little trees on Big Pine Key and saw this I wouldn't be happy. Nor would my neighbors.This guy was headed to load up on carbs and calories and could barely make the six inch step. I watched him ponder his move before painfully raising a leg. Had I been closer I'd have stepped down to help. I wonder if he would have been grateful.
What a muck we have made of paradise.
650 miles down, 2600 left before we get to the Pacific Ocean.