Friday, December 20th, 2019 continued…
Frisbee was in bad shape. His leg was bothering him and he had really bad heartburn, no thanks to the meatball sub we just shared. He was also very tired. Me on the other hand, had caught a second wind and was feeling energized. I was ready to walk all the way to Homestead overnight! Frisbee was not. He stopped occasionally to take a power nap. I suck at napping, so I just sat there until he was ready to move again.
We walked passed a lot of agricultural land, tree farms, nurseries, produce stands, “pick your own” farmers markets, statuary shops, orchid shops, Latin cuisine cafes, and a whole lot of construction. The bike path had taken a turn across the street and turned into a sidewalk. A sidewalk that was segmented by remodeling. We took several breaks as we got closer and closer to Homestead. We had to maneuver around the construction work frequently. We both debated crossing over into private property, hoping to get some sleep in the shadows on a tree farm. A lot of the properties had guard dogs, so we pressed on.
We decided to take a break at a Tom Thumb. We ate, drank more Gatorade, and popped some ibuprofen after chatting with the overnight clerk. He was a young, early 20-something kid who had just had a child of his own. He told us his woes. About the girlfriend who mothered his daughter, and how he wanted to propose to her. She apparently was cheating on him. He wanted to make it work, but from the sound of it, she wasn’t interested. I felt bad for him.
We would take another break at a different gas station. There was lawn furniture sitting outside of it. Frisbee fell asleep. I was stressed. I wanted to keep moving. Frisbee kept taking breaks, which was cramping up my legs more and more each time. I was tired, but not tired enough to sleep in a chair.
We took a break at the end of the road which was a mountain of rubble. Frisbee took yet another nap. We were next to a nursery. Apparently, this road was all about gardening! Our bike path was gone, our sidewalk was demolished, and there was no shoulder to walk on anymore. Dodging drunk drivers was our new normal. Our new mission was Waffle House. There was one in Homestead, and they’re always open.
Many miles later, we found ourselves entering Homestead city limits. There was a drizzle, but we were already soaking wet, so what difference did it make? Downtown was lit up with Christmas lights, and there were several awnings to take cover under as we got our bearings. As we were navigating our way through town, we passed a girl sleeping under one of the awnings and a cop parked nearby. I’m guessing he was keeping an eye on her. There were several seedy motels, and a few homeless people wandering around.
We made it to Waffle House, where we got lousy food and bad service. However, it was just nice to sit down for a minute, knowing that we had practically made it where we needed to go. Our plan was to stay at the Hoosville Hostel. There was a hot tub there, and it was known to be ‘a must’ for ECT hikers who were passing through. I saw a zero day in our near future! We had covered a lot of ground in one shot, over 60 miles, so we earned it!
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