By waking up at 5.45am, I was able to get an early jump on the day. I left the Western a little after 8am. I was headed toward Callahan which is a little over 20 miles from Folkston down US 1/301. However, my bike route had me going 43 miles to get to Callahan. I of course went the long way! Figure it out ladies...I can't. The "long way" took me to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, 8 miles outside of Folkston.
The early morning fog was a set back...and I waited as long as I could; and felt the "long way" would involve less traffic stress- Not! For future reference to other bicyclist- SR 23/121 is a tractor trailer mecca. Most were running north, thankfully, but the fog put me in only 300 or so feet of visibility. I don't know if it was the gov't's plan, but there is a landfill next to 400,000 acres of "refuge". Trucks were running dumps all morning and I could just feel the trash "mist" getting stuck to my skin and clothing as the trucks flew in the opposite direction. It's a calm before the storm, and at approx. 1.23 seconds after a tractor trailer has passed you in the opposite direction, a wall, a wall, of air swirling in all directions beats down on both you and the bike, forcing you to try and control what you can't. Another comical site for the humans, there were just dozens of logging trucks passing by the refuge. We think we can solve problems by saving something in remembrance of something that is much greater.
SR 23/121 did calm down as it grew later in the morning.
I was in Callahan by 11.30am, feeling great. Today didn't seem like the "test" I thought it would be. My speed has picked up, most thankfully to the reduction in wind. I ate lunch in Callahan and on the ride thru Jacksonville debated where to camp tonite. I could not find a camping spot before the St. Johns Ferry, so I decided to cross (It's only 2.30pm). There is supposedly a campground just on the other side of the river.
The campground ended up being Kathryn Abbey Hanna State Park- owned by the city. More gov't spending wasted and what a waste it was. In order to stay at this campground I had to have a manufactured tent. I have never purchased my own tent, I have only bought tarps. The park regulations stated that you must own a tent to stay on the premises. My other option was to rent a cabin... the gov't catch, you had to stay at least two nites. I explained that I just wanted to sleep on the floor with nothing over my head. I don't think for an instance they got it. It is so engraved in us to have walls around us when we sleep. I wonder what FDR would have thought about this? It was his master plan to buy up land to "conserve". I guess conservation means all human accommodations.
So I'm in a hotel now that cost me $86 (Surfside Inn) in Jacksonville Beach.