Today started off great! We were all up and ready earlier than expected and a friend from TAM (The Addict’s Mom) texted me saying that she wanted to give us a meal as we pass by her home on the way down to Key West. We got on the road and traveled south until we got off the mainland of the U.S. and into the Florida Keys.
We found our TAM mommas home and she was so sweet. Welcoming us and domino in with open arms. She had some amazing sandwiches and key lime muffins waiting for us to devour. We talked a lot about our mission and about her and her lovely family and got back on the road still making great time, but not before she left us with a very generous donation to help with some fun and food in Key West.
We drove about 2 hours down to Sugarloaf Key, which is about 20 miles north of our starting point. This is where I had found what I thought would be the perfect place for us to camp using months of searching on googlemaps.
A little background story to that… We had a very hard time finding places to sleep in the keys due to hurricane damage and it being prime tourist season. Any hotels are either booked, closed for repair, or too expensive. Campgrounds were the same. We tried calling tons of places to ask permission to camp on property but never got any answers. So with my googlemap skills I learned on my last walk, I found a great spot for us where we would be unbothered by anyone.
We get there and it looks amazing. Total seclusion on an island in paradise. We decided to set up our tents to go ahead and get it done. It was very very windy. Constant winds over 20 mph. I knew we had a challenge but was confident that we could handle it together. I was wrong.
The day did a total overturn when we found out that our perfect little spot on the sand was actually just a tiny bit of sand laying over nothing but rocks. We couldn’t get our tent stakes in and the wind was driving us insane. I was the first to lose my temper.
I had so much relying on this, not for only myself, but for 8 people. My attitude started to reflect the other’s attitudes and we all were wondering what we were going to do. Not only did we have all of those frustrations but it was hot and we were hungry and thirsty and we just seemed defeated.
We began brainstorming other options but their just weren’t any. We had to figure it out. We all helped each other set each tent up one by one. It wasn’t pretty and we used rocks to hold down most of the tent corners.
We finally finished our tents and then Shea and Jackie arrived shortly after to set theirs up too. They are the Rage and Crow film crew who are making the documentary series about this walk. There is also Caitlin but she was still in the air on her way down. We set their tents up with the same problems but with slightly better attitudes and just got it done.
I was now way behind on the schedule I wanted to be on. My dad and stepmom were in town and we still hadn’t met up with Stick. I was having a lot of negative thoughts and emotions and I was unfortunately placing blame on others when it wasn’t them, but simply the circumstances. I tried to cool down but I still had so much to get done.
We finally made it to Key West. I stopped at my dad’s hotel room and he wanted to hang out with us and I wanted to also but we still had to pick Stick up and meet back up with the film crew who had errands of their own to run.
We left Domino in my dad’s hotel room to help with our freedom of movement and went to pick up Stick. It was so great when we finally saw him. Lots of big hugs and instant smiles. He really lifted my spirits as I was so excited to finally meet this awesome man in person.
We went down to Duval Street where I was looking forward to being at all day. I just wanted to walk the strip with my new friends for life and have fun. Unfortantely, we were all beat up and tired from a rough afternoon. We hung through it though.
We popped into Willy T’s and grabbed dinner. All 8 of us sitting together at last. We had a good time although I was extremely tired. I was dreaming of laying in my tent that I worked so hard to set up earlier. I definitely enjoyed myself though. A very dear friend of mine from back home helped pay for the meal in support of our team’s efforts.
We all walked back to our cars and attitudes and fatigue kept us fairly silent but again, it was just circumstances and the fact that we had a pretty significant day ahead of us. I was scared that we weren’t ready and it was really getting to me. I had to let it go but it was hard with everything going on.
We finally got back to the campsite and took about 30 minutes or so finishing setting up our homes for the night, then we all retreated into our own 5’x7′ worlds. It was a big relief to just lay down. Back in my comfy little tent with domino and my blog. It feels like I never left.
Just another day on a long trek. Lots of good, lots of bad, but always a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction in the end. Now I am enjoying quiet time in a peaceful secret spot in the Florida Keys with a purpose-filled day about 8 hours away.
Good night. Next is Day 1!!!