My face hurts from smiling so much. I’m completely ecstatic. Definitively leaving with higher spirits on this second start. Stoked that I finally got to leave. Two weeks late or something. It turned out that I don’t start classes until later than I thought though, so I still have about the same amount of time I had originally thought I was going to have.
Lurking google maps helped me find a beach on the gulf coast to tent out on. The unfortunate part is that I got there way after dark, so I didn’t really get to see the place with daylight. I rode onto the beach away from the road about 40-60yds or so. It was a really scary balancing game of not getting the motorcycle stuck in some of the loosest sand ever and not dropping the bike with all my gear on it on the beach. The first mandate dictates that I avoid stopping at all costs, the second mandates that I go really slow and have my feet on the ground as the bike moves. After much peeling out, almost getting stuck, and some near-drops, I managed to get the bike to a slightly grassy spot where the ground was firmer. All in the pitch-black of course. I stuck some cans under the kickstand so it wouldn’t sink into the sand and got to work setting up the tent. Super glad I took a forehead flashlight for that.
I didn’t sleep so well. If at all. I didn’t want to unload all my gear and put it in the tent because I was nervous of dropping something on the sand at night and losing something. On the flip side, having my gear out on my bike meant I was scared of someone coming by and getting into my gear bag. I didn’t know how noticeable I was/wasn’t from the road. Between that and the loud car passing by every once in a while, I didn’t really get much sleep. I’m going to make an honest effort to always have my tent set up before sundown from now on.
I woke up and felt rather silly for being so scared. The beach I stayed at actually seemed like a pretty safe spot in the daylight. I took some pictures and packed up.
It’s worth saying that everything is covered in sand. I was a little upset that my nice new tent got so much sand on and in it. Then I thought about it and figured that: A; I paid $25 for it. B; A dirty tent that is getting used is way better than a clean tent sitting in a garage.
My boots and pants are covered in sand too. I reckon its nothing that a couple hours on the road won’t take off though.
Found a wifi spot, and set up to write for awhile and charge my phone. If there’s one thing I really wish I had was a way to charge my phone off the motorcycle. Things were getting awful sketchy during the night when I was getting lost and my phone was dying. Turning on the GPS on it really drains the battery quick.
I’m about four hours out from Gainesville. (Starting point.) I’m still about 8 hrs from New Orleans because I’m taking the scenic route all along the coast instead of the interstate. A straight go on the interstate would’ve taken me to NO from Gville in 8 hours flat. Totally worth the extra time though. I’m looking forward to the ferry across mobile bay in Alabama. Anyway, I’m going to chill here for a couple hours more and let the phone charge up and then I’ll hit the road again.
TLDR: I’m doing great.