It was with mixed emotions that the Astrals said good-bye to New Smyrna Beach and our good friends Clark and Stacy in Eustis. We could have stayed forever but, being the Astral Nomads, the road was calling and, despite the temptation to linger, we could not forsake our namesake. So it was Nomads Ho! and up the coast to St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States and a place where both Wendy and I have never been.
Nothing says Florida quite as much as a manatee mailbox.
I'd like to see the aftermath of a vandal trying to smash
this with a baseball bat. Manatee 1, Vandal 0 is the line
I would bet.
Gotta say I really dug the beach cycling. Here I am powering
to the horizon. We rode from our beach house down to the beginning
of the Canaveral National Seashore where the sand, for either tidal or
geological reasons that I can not explain, gets coarser and softer. You're
riding along on a smooth hard surface and suddenly you're pedaling in
molasses. A good a reason as any to turn around.
No photograph can really capture the colors as they appear
on the beach, nor the constant changes in light, although Astral
Wendy always gets some great shots.
Here's Maddy post-match with one of her teammates.
Clark and Stacy at home in Eustis with their son Dylan. Dylan has
the most incredible sense of humor and Wendy and I both think
his golden voice and charisma would be well suited for sports announcing.
The dachshund is Gigi, so sweet we were thinking of dognapping her.
The Astrals with our fun and generous friends. We felt so
at home there, it was really hard to leave. But we invoked the fish
and company rule to force ourselves to go.
We took the scenic route north through the Ocala National Forest.
Exiting the Ocala National Forest, we passed this pantheon of
lawn ornaments. If you need a six-foot purple rooster, this
is where you go. And this is only a small slice of the available menagerie.
We took A1A (the coastal highway) north from Ormond to
St. Augustine. It runs right along the ocean so the views were
Entering St. Augustine. More exploring and reporting to follow.
-The usual suspects.