White Sand, White Teeth

Pensacola, FL to Destin, FL

Some days begin with more of a plan than others. This was not one of those days. While I have a plan for my route to Quest Air, I don’t really have much of a plan as to where my stops will be along the way. My plan for the remaining route through Florida is to essentially follow the coast of the Gulf of Mexico where possible. There are a few Warm Showers hosts along the way so I’m hoping I might be able to connect with one or two. That said, despite sending out a few requests last night, I began the day with no planned accommodation.

Heading east

Heading east

As mentioned, my route for the next week is to follow the coast. I’m still not following the official Southern Tier route but I assume my route will be at least a little bit scenic. Spoiler Alert: It is.

I don’t know what the next few days will bring but today was certainly one of the more scenic days of late with much of the ride leading me beside, through, and around the white beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. There was definitely a steady breeze coming from the Gulf but nothing like the winds that were pelting me during the past several days.

All things considered, it was a beautiful day on the bike. The sun was shining, the temperature was pretty much perfect, plus there was the white, sandy beaches and the waves on the Gulf of Mexico. As an added bonus, I also got to watch (with a little bit of envy) some paragliding training. There were two students working on their ground handling techniques. While I’ve done paragliding before, these lessons were actually for powered paragliding. With no mountains in the area, powered paragliding makes perfect sense here. As far as I know, the glider handling is pretty much the same. The big difference is that you’ll eventually be flying with a large, gas-powered fan attached to you. Noisy, but effective. I would’ve like to see that but they obviously hadn’t gotten that far in their training.

I watched the ground handling for about ten minutes before moving on. If all goes well, I’ll be soaring the Florida skies for myself in about a week at Quest Air.

Power-paragliding training

Power-paragliding training

Tonight I find myself in a motel again. I was offered a place to stay through Warm Showers but by the time I saw the message it was too late. It was an especially generous offer since the host in question (Bethany) had already agreed to host two other people tonight. By coincidence, her two guests for tonight are Francois and Ariane, the couple from Quebec I met a few days ago. Perhaps I’ll see them on the road tomorrow.

Be afraid.  Be very, very afraid.

Be afraid. Be very, very afraid.

For dinner tonight I’ve opted to make what has the potential to be a very bad decision. For whatever reason I think I have a craving for Burger King. It’s a craving that I suspect will end badly. Believe it or not, it’s a craving that I’ve been having (on and off) since about mid-July. Seriously. Fortunately, there have always been other food options around. Tonight, the options are more limited. And Burger King is the closest spot. My plan is to keep my expectations low.

By the way, in terms of an update on my tooth, well … it’s still broken. On the upside, the pain associated with said broken tooth has all but disappeared but I’m being VERY careful when I eat. And chewing is a VERY gentle process these days. Not to mention we’ll see how things feel once my prescription medication runs out.

Somewhat related, I was sort of in touch with my dentist back home regarding my tooth but due to communication issues (which were entirely my fault) I’ve yet to speak with her. I’m hoping to rectify that tomorrow. Although, based on our e-mails it seems highly likely that I’ll be losing the tooth at some point.

Slightly less related, the last time I was at the dentist I filled out an entry for a Zoom Teeth Whitening – apparently it’s worth about $700 (not hard to guess where this is going). Yup, it would seem I won. Apparently everyone at the dentist’s office found it rather amusing when I mentioned that I’ll likely have one less tooth to whiten.

Today’s totals:
Distance travelled: 88.97 km
Ride time: 4:21:38
Average speed: 20.40 km/h
Maximum speed: 46.36 km/h

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