My tired had deflated overnight. I carried the cart to a Tom Thumb a few hundred yards away. It was heavy. I tried pumping up the tire with air. No luck, just slime!
It was early in the morning, storms were forcasted for the afternoon. Pensacola Beach was around 16 miles west. There was a bike shop in Navarre that could probably fix it up nice, but it didnt open until later that morning and was a few miles back over the bridge. I decided to abandon the cart. Go figure.
I unpacked everything and sorted through everything I had acquired on the road. Weight would be key. I filled up a box with things I considered to be junk: open food I couldn’t take along, clothes that were in poor condition, pamphlets and documents I had picked up. I trashed them.
I created another box with good things I could not carry with me: an unopen gallon of water, a loaf of bread, a pair of hiking boots, a pair of jeans, a sweatshirt and sweat pants, a couple books, some bars of soap, a bicycle lock, straps and bungees, and other assorted things. I left this box at the Tom Thumb assuming someone might toss them, but hoping someone might need some of the things inside.
I looked at the buggy, the bars had slighlty warped from weight and the stress of the road. I folded it up and left it by the dumpster. I acquired it on my very first day for $6, it had gotten me all the way across the Florida Pan Handle. I felt thankful, it was a luxury. Part of me regretted parting with it. I hoped to aquire another westward.
I filled up my backpack: a bottle of water, two pairs of running apparel, one pair of sweatpants, and a few shirts. I kept toiletries and a flashlight. I rolled up the sleeping bag and poncho inside the tarp and bungeed it to my pack. I ate a few peppers and oranges for breakfast while contemplating my decision. I headed west.
I met Bob. He was jogging along the bike path. We talked about the Florida Trail and where I was headed. He offered to take a picture of me by a neat sign.
Then it was 2 or so miles of residential through to Pensacola Beach, where kids were on spring break. Fort Pickens Road would take me to my destination: the site of the First Mass, all under the weight of my pack. He wished me luck.
It was funny and I laughed. I felt like Bob was a race director giving me a good pre-race briefing. I don’t think he knew I have been used to covering large distances. Bob was a really nice guy.
The day played out just as Bob said it would in his play by play! The pack was heavy, but I was happy to not have the buggy. Without it I could walk along the beach!