Day 11 - Nahunta! Nahunta! Nahunta!
Updated: Apr 30, 2019
So the past couple of days (today and yesterday) were very interesting! First I rode 70.1 miles yesterday from Amelia Island to Nahunta, GA. Getting off Amelia to US Rt 17 north was like taking my life in my hands. Florida is doing major construction on Rt 200. Not only do they have much of the road closed, they also have the sidewalk closed. And there is NO OTHER WAY to get to Rt 17. So what did I do? I owned the lane. At first I tried to stay on the side, but after a couple of 18 Wheelers almost pushed me into the 12 inch curb on the side of the road I decided enough was enough. They had 2 lanes going. Everyone had to go around me. For the most part everyone was courteous and indulged me as I was pedaling my ass off to get to the end of the construction (after 5 miles or so). Fortunately I had the wind behind me and it went pretty quickly. But I wasn't matching the 45 mph speed limit! I was doing 18 at my best. I'm certain I caused a bit of backup while I was pushing everyone into the other lane.
Then everything was good going north! I got across the St. Mary's river into GA and followed the trek I laid out - until I didn't. For some reason I was following the East Coast Greenway which is supposedly a bike route from Maine to Key West. I'm not taking it, however. Anyway, it took me a little off course so I made corrections and made it to Atkinson, GA. The ride was really very nice. There was very little traffic. A couple of things, however. GA is owning the paper and tree industry because they allow block cuts everywhere! I was amazed at the number of cuts I saw. Then I must have come across a game trail as there was a deer hanging out on the side of the road. She bounded back into the woods as I went by or was it because of the 6 ft cottonmouth snake slithering across the road about 100 ft beyond that. I actually turned around to help it get across and the strangest thing was a GA DOT truck and lady that was stopping every so often for I don't know what. I don't think she saw the snake but she looked at me like I was out of my mind - I believe I did a bit of the same to her.
So why Nahunta you say? Well, it is a little out of my path, but it wasn't backtracking. I was hoping to find a motel in Atkinson, but to my dismay, there was none. When asking at a gas station, the only options they had were 20 miles backwards. Thinking there would surely be a motel at the intersections of US Rt 82 and US Rt 301, I headed to Nahunta about 8 miles to the west. Well there was, but it was recently closed. Closest option was Jesup, about 30 miles away - fortunately on my path north, however, that was too far and there was a line of thunderstorms headed in my direction. With no other option I pitched my tent on the lawn behind the closed motel and went to sleep for the night hoping no one would bother me - or my bike. And so on to Day 12.