Very easy morning. We were leaving the campsite by 9 am and headed for our starting point for today’s walk. 14ish miles were on the agenda. Abhay and I took our shirts off so we could start working on our Miami tans. Everyone just strolled right along. Most of the day was on a bike path again so it was smooth sailing. Beautiful ocean views on both sides.
A few miles in, Melanie sent down another smile for us in the form of an Amazon box on the side of the road. We think about you everyday Mel!
We were walking on a pedestrian bridge alongside the main highway and people were fishing off of it. One of the fishermen was pulling a really insensitive move by not throwing the little fish back in the water. Instead he had them laying on the floor next to him gasping for their last breaths. Abhay saw a puffer fish laying there and couldn’t stand to see it suffering. He picked it up and gave it some love and tossed it back in. The fisherman didn’t say anything. So Abhay literally got to save a life today. Great job buddy!
At the end of that bridge we all stopped for a break and shared a bench with a cyclist who was also taking a break. Stick took the lead and was telling him what we were doing and this nice man started crying and said that he had lost his stepdaughter to an overdose. That one hit me by surprise and for some reason I couldn’t find the strength to handle it. I just listened and didn’t say anything. Stick did great with having a healing conversation with him and the nice man was appreciative of our efforts.
We got back rolling and I really feel like we’re all starting to get into a groove. Our pace was decent and we hadn’t fought in 2 days. Life was good. Domino was doing great too. Hanging in there like a trooper.
We got to about the 72 mile marker and I looked at the time and calculated that if I hurried that I could catch the bus that I was planning on taking that would take me back to my car. I jogged ahead of everyone to see if I could make the bus and get back to pick them up in my car so they wouldn’t have to wait longer by having to wait until the next bus which comes only once every hour.
I jogged for 2 miles after having walked for 12 miles. I made it to where the map said the bus stop was but didn’t see any signs or any other indication that a bus stopped there. So I kept running. I ran and ran until I got to the point to where I knew that the bus stop was definitely not ahead of me. So then I had to run back to where I thought it would be and at this point I was past the scheduled time that it was supposed to be there. Was hoping that it was just late. I didn’t see a bus pass by yet so I kept running hoping to beat it.
Then I finally saw bus coming behind me. I waved it down as it passed me. I had no clue where it was supposed to stop but I had been running for over 3 miles at this point and it kept driving right by. I was pissed. Then I saw it pull over wayyyy up ahead. I figured what the hell.. I’m in it deep enough already, might as well keep going. So I sprinted to the stopped bus and made it to the door.
The woman asked where I was going. I said south. She said she was turning around to go north. This was not what the website said. I wasn’t mean to her because it wasn’t her fault but I was devastated and exhausted.
I saw the rest of my team pulling up and I just sat down to catch my breath before telling them that I missed the bus. We waited for the next one for an hour and that bus driver said the same thing. We weren’t getting any help from anyone on information on how to use the public transit down here.
A young man named Sean got off of that last bus to wait for the next bus and he was saying that he’d never seen them do this before but he knew that there was another bus coming later that would take us where we needed to go.
We talked to him and got his life story. Great guy. A real person with an inspiring story. Him and I exachnged contact info and promised to keep in touch.
Finally the damn bus came. It took around 3 hours of waiting. The saving grace was that during all of this my dad was working his butt off for us. He ended up getting us a car to use for the walk. The car was paid for by a generous friend and ally of Freedom to Grow and my dad did the groundwork to pick the right car and tag, title, and insure it. Boom.
We get back to the campsite from the long bus ride and we all were hangry and tired and may have all not been so pleasant with each other but I’m hoping that everything will sooth out later on. I grabbed a shower from a gym nearby and made a meal and devoured it. I’m now looking up at the beautiful stars and am getting ready to go to bed at any second.
Tomorrow I am going to meet my dad halfway between where I am at and Charleston SC as we will switch cars and I’ll head right back to the team to get our new support car locked and loaded. Now we’ll be able to get some real miles in!