Saturday, June 7, 2008

Day Thirty Five.......

I shoulda known that there'd be days like this......part Trois.....

I think I can now wonder why I have failed to properly utilise my formal education in Geography......

Left Dauphin Island around noon Wednesday the 4th, headed toward Tallahassee. Called my friend Bill and he advised me that Pensacola, Florada was maybe an hour-and-a-half from Tallahassee, and, from what I could judge, Dauphin Island did NOT APPEAR to be a vast distance from Pensacola.

“Cool, Bill.......look for me around 6pm-ish.....maybe even 5pm-ish.....”

I didn't Mapquest it because there was no Internet on Dauphin Island and I just took Bill's word for the distances and also figured that the scale on my shitty little road atlas was absolutely accurate in showing that Dauphin Island was a very short distance from Pensacola. Putting these two things together, I had ballparked the total distance between Dauphin Island and Tallahassee at around 180 miles.......

......riiiight.........try more like an actual distance (which I would find out after the fact) of 300 miles!!!

Remember the old General Motors concave side view mirrors that they popped into the cars during the 1980's?? “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear”??

Shit.....not in this case. Places in real life were further than they appeared in my very limited Geographic resources (which consist of a back-country/hiking GPS unit that shows major roads and tells NOTHING about them.....and a micro/pocket-sized road atlas of the USA, 'bout the size of one of those cheezy-ass horoscope books that you see at the checkouts at supermarkets), thass for sure!

OK, so, first off, to head East, I hafta take a ferry!! Way cool boat ride.....but I didn't factor that it'd hit me up for 45 minutes of my time..... take a state highway running along the coast, then I figure that, once I get past Fort Walton Beach and take something called Highway 20, that runs East-West, but is located a good deal inland off of The Gulf.....then I'll be on open, scenic back-country roads and life will be good......

Saw thee same exact shit over and over for more than one hundred miles – Walgreen's, followed by a CVS, followed by a massive condo development, followed by some restaurant, then another Walgreen's and then another condo development...... also factor in that the speed limits on these roads (which, again, according to my very limited geographic resources, looked fairly remote) was, like, 35 M.P.H. to 45 M.P.H.

Ooooh.....yeah.....forgot: Also add traffic lights every fucking ONE-FIFTH OF A MILE!!!!

This DID have “suck” written all over it.

Now, I keep saying “....according to my very limited Geographic resources....” simply because if I had a full-blown big-ass NORMAL-SIZED Rand McNally Road Atlas (thass, like, 24 inches high by 18 inches wide)......THAT would have shown these roads SHADED IN YELLOW.....which indicates a built-up/over-developed area..... thus, I'd have then avoided them. Problem being, WHERE THE HELL in my skooter and backpack was I going to store such a huge road atlas???

My micro/pocket-sized road atlas and my back-country GPS do not tell me this information.....and the best I could go on was by judging where the location of the road is in relation to the location of towns and cities, so doing that, I could calculate a rough idea of just how built-up and over-developed these roads would be......

....well, that really worked well, then, didn't it?

Finally, I had figured that if I kept on these roads, following a looping cartoon background of Walgreen's, CVS Pharmacy, massive condo development, generic restaurant, Walgreen's, CVS....etc. etc., AND FACTORING IN 35 M.P.H. to 45 M.P.H. speed limits with red lights every one-fifth of a mile...... woulda been about 2AM by the time I got to Tallahassee.....

Naw.....I don't think so.

Time to cheat again......

So, I hop on Interstate 10 again, then I see a sign halfway thru Florida on I-10 stating “Now entering Eastern Time Zone”

SHIT!!! Forgot about that!! I just lost another hour!!!!

So look at another sign that states the distance to Tallahassee (109 miles from where I had decided to jump on the interstate) and looked at my petrol. Well, screw it.....this thing at DEAD MINIMUM will go one hundred and fifty-five miles on a tank of petrol (USUALLY squeezing out around 175 to 180 miles on a full tank of petrol before shit starts getting scary). My trip odometer says I've done 47 miles since fill-up.....that makes a total to Tallahassee of 156 miles on this tank of worries......

On I-10, the gaz tank gauge starts flashing at Exit 179.

Thee main exit into Tallahassee is Exit 199.

When the last red brick on the fuel gauge starts flashing (seven green bricks means a full tank [as shown below], and the last brick will first turn solid red, indicating less than one gallon of petrol in the tank), it means ½ a gallon and at least 25 miles of road left in your tank.

Good. I'll hop off at thee main Tallahassee exit (Exit 199) twenty miles from here and get some petrol!! Should have a MINIMUM of ten miles to spare.....

Apparently not.......

....The Helix died on the fucking OFF-RAMP of exit 199! Just guzzled the gaz!!! Died at 151 miles on that tank of petrol.

I could NOT believe this.......I went from doing 175....180 miles traveled on a full tank when I left Portlandia to 151 miles now on a full tank!!! STILL can't figure why The Helix is pulling this shit......maybe it just doesn't like Interstates??

So, I call my friend Bill, leave a message advising him that it's 7:25pm right now, and I really misjudged the distance of this leg, totally forgot about entering the Eastern Time Zone and losing an hour, and NOW, i just ran outta fucking gaz!!!! Called expect to see me at your pad at 8:45pm!

The AAA dispatch said that someone would be responding around 8:10pm to 8:20pm.....

.....Bill calls back, offers to come fetch me. Not at all wishing to put him through the aggravation, I tell him that AAA is on the way!!!

Then, the tow-truck driver phones me at 8:40pm (whilst I am literally getting my ass GNAWED UP ALIVE by mosquitoes) and says he's on his way to the petrol station and will see me in 20 minutes or so!

He calls me back ten minutes later -

“Uhhh....the jerk who used this truck before me apparently forgot to put the petrol can back in it. Uhhh.....I have no petrol can!!”

So, I hafta sit there and wait until ANOTHER truck comes by and gets me my petrol.....

Now, I woulda walked up the off-ramp up to the main street, but there were trees blocking my view, thus I had zero idea WHAT (if anything) was up there, and the off-ramp was at least a mile-and-a-half long!

.....didn't get to Bill's house until 9:45pm!

Still, Bill's a professional chef.....and, upon arrival, freshly grilled barbecue chicken and some Coronas made the hell fade away.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Tallahassee was kinda a huge blur.....every time I come here, I intend on staying for one, maybe two days.........and somehow end up leaving after almost a week..... drinking more pints than necessary with all these weird twenty-something kids......

Few pics of Tallahassee and the ride to Tallahassee -

One of the smartest birds I know.......hopped on the boat ramp at Dauphin Island, and never left until the boat docked at Fort Morgan....never paid a cent, either, for the ride!

Up close view of those lovely oil platforms from the ferry boat.

Short video from the ferry....

In Bill's backyard, my friend Drew blathering about some sort of philosophical point or another.....

THIS is kinda a nasty pic of Bill and his paramour, Georgia (they both are a LOT more attractive than this in real life)....but still, it gives you an idea just HOW bad the humidity here in Tallahassee actually is! It's not measured in percentage of relative's measured in FOOT-POUNDS!!! Makes Vietnam and Thailand seem like a Goddamm DESERT by comparison!!!!

Me and Bill at St. Michael's Pub in Tallahassee

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

OK....have a better idea of arrival dates for the the next few upcoming cities -

TAMPA / OLDSMAR – Sunday 08 June 2008

FT. LAUDERDALE / HOLLYWOOD – Tuesday 10 June 2008

TALLAHASSEE (redux - ONE NIGHT ONLY) - Friday 13 June 2008

ATLANTA – Saturday 14 June 2008

VIRGINIA BEACH – Wednesday 18 June 2008

D.C. / ALEXANDRIA – Thursday 19 June 2008

NEW YORK CITY – Friday 20 June 2008

MONTREAL – Sunday 22 June 2008

WILSON – Wednesday 25 June 2008

BUFFALO – Thursday 26 June 2008

BRUCE BEACH – Thursday July 3rd, 2008


Exact Buffalo to Portland dates (Wasaga Beach, Seattle, Rapid City, Reno, et. al.) will be posted July 7th.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Levellers released a new single and video the day before my birthday called "Burn, America, Burn"

The title is a serious misnomer, as the song actually has to do with violence in society than any real or perceived hatred towards Americans.......and was rumoured to have been written shortly after the Virginia Tech Massacre.....

Still though....the lads have really outdone themselves this time. Probably their best stuff since Levelling The Land.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Off towards Tampa in about an hour.......


No comments: