Took off from Eaven, Kyle, and Michael’s in Pensacola, FL. Found them on couchsurfing. They made me a terrific breakfast an saw me off. Downtown Pensacola is INCREDIBLY wealthy, but the neighboring areas seem pretty poor. It was not a bad ride into Alabama, and it was a little scary/country, did go into a gas station where most people avoided eye contact, but a few miles in, man… Alabama is GORGEOUS. Green, green grass, lush trees, rolling hills, big beautiful plains and farms… Big lovely homes… Stopped in a beautiful, mid sized town called Daphne and had the best shrimp po’boy I ever had in my life…

Then I got to Mobil. Mobil did not like me.. The roads were insane confusing and busy leading up to it. Tried to meet up two rider friends who were ahead of me in Mobil… to they advised me try to sneak through a tunnel they passed through that only allows vehicle to get to Mobil…. A huge alarm goes off and a booming voice from the PA system shouts “You on the bicycle, away from the tunnel!” So a further down this busy six lane road, there’s a HUGE bridge, high, high up from the water, that thankfully had a shoulder, but I don’t think anything but vehicles are meant to cross that bridge. But I got on it, pedaling all the way up the steep death trap, thinking the entire time, and for the rest of the three hour search in the dark, along a busy high way, across broken, uneven dark sidewalks, through winding, labyrinthine service roads, that I might die. But FINALLY I made it to the hotel to meet Wilson.

Wilson is clever, industrious, opinionated, knowledgeable, and forthright to a fault. But I felt pretty quickly that he could not only be trusted, but be counted on. So he joined me at Waffle House, watchede indulge, we went back to the room, and Wilson was nice enough to give me the bed, and slept on the floor next to his sweet little dog Polo. I slept like a baby that night.

Just wanted to put some thoughts down in writing. It’s my last night in Tallahassee. I was going to leave this morning, but after riding thorugh this hilly ass town yesterday, between three different college campuses and doing one and a half shows, and still having more errands I should run while I’m here in a comfortable place with my sisters, I figured it’d be good to give my self another day, so I could leave with some peace of mind.

I’ve had a lot of supportive friends respond to my blog posts, where I kind of spell out some of the adversities and anxieties I’ve faced, contact me to encourage me… and that really means the world to me. I have been very anxious, and it has been hard for me to sleep on the road, or rather find good places to sleep, but I’m not ready to quit yet. I do think it wasn’t the best idea to launch this journey my own. I never thought it was a good idea, but I didn’t realize just how much of a difference it would make. But living and operating in the willfully naive, and hard-headed way that I do, there’s a lot of things I don’t think I could really understand until I went through them on my own. That said… I’ve had so many people say so many inspiring and encouraging things, that I know I’m meant to keep going. So I’m going to keep going, until I can’t anymore. Not through my strength, but through God’s. This may seem modest, but there’s no way a fuddy-duddy like me could have made it this far on my own. God is carrying me and He’ll carry me as far as he wants me to go. I generally have a really great time doing this, so I’m going to continue to follow this blessing and go on.

That’s all I want to say.

I hope my sisters realize how much of a blessing they have been to me the past few days. I hope everyone who’s donated and/or shared a kind word knows how much of a blessing they are. I literally would still be just loafing around NY if not for them.

K. I leave Tallahassee tomorrow for Panama City, and heading toward Pensacola from there. Looking for shows to do at high schools and college campuses. Anyone have some free time and know how to help me arrange that? I’m a little bit swamped.

Love you all.

I’m going to begin by saying this project so far is one of the most intense, harrowing, beautiful experiences of my life. I’ve ridden about 100 miles in the past two days, which is really not much on a bike, but has been pretty intense for me.

I started in Tampa, Florida. I spent the day before that with my friend Ericka, and she took me out to different parts of Tampa to perform. I tried performing on the streets of Ybor City and was ejected from one area as I started by a security guard, so me and Ericka, and her roommate Andi, and my long-time friends Jamin and Elton walked down the street and I started performing on the street corner. That was mildly successful. Then Ericka and Andi and I took the Tampa ferry to Curtis Hickson Park. There was an amphitheater there that was totally vacant and open for use and a park full of people enjoying the day. I knew what I had to do, I had to figure out a way to herd the people from the park to the amphitheater nearby, and that thought terrified me, so I knew I had to do it. With Ericka’s help we went out to the park, I handed people my card, and told them I’d be doing a free One-Man Shakespeare performance in the amphitheater in 5 minutes. A few people did actually show up, so I did an impromptu full show of all seven of my scenes. The people seemed to enjoy it and I even made some money.

The next morning, my stuff all packed up, Ericka made me some breakfast, and saw me off, and I took off on my fully loaded bike (the first time I had ridden it with ANY weight on it was this day) onto Dale Mabry road. It was touch and go at first, but I took to it pretty quickly, and I just started going. Even with about 60lbs of stuff on my bike, the Surly made the ride pretty smooth. Man… even after a nights sleep I’m still foggy, having trouble remembering… Well basically after a few hours I ended up on Suncoast trail, which was a long, long winding trail going north… I road that for a while then I finally came off of it to get some dinner and find a place to sleep, and I ended up in a town called Shady Hills. I rode for a bit more, finally found a cafe where I could get something to eat, had a huge meal, and about 6pm set out to find a place to sleep.

I tried to go knock on the door of a Baptist church I passed, but they were already locked up… so I tried to stealth camp out in the back. Eventually after about 30 min of setting up my camp a police officer who’d been called by one of the residents nearby asked me to move on and watched as I repacked my entire camp and rode on… I stopped at another house about half a mile away, knocked on the door, no answer… someone was home, but they didn’t answer, I tried one or two more houses. Finally I knocked on Joe’s door, a 30 something guy with a family. I explained to him what I was doing and asked if I could camp on his property. He said it’d be fine with him, but I had to hide by the bushes so I’d be out of sight of his dog, and the dog next door, so that they wouldn’t bark all night because Joe was about to go to sleep to wake up for work. Well…

Because of the ant piles on the ground, and because I was scared of the spiders lurking in the bushes, after some toiling and fiddling in the dark with my 60lbs of bags and my bike, and getting more and more anxious because the dogs were already starting to bark I finally just laid my bike down in front of the bushes, covered it with one of my two huge tarps, and laid the other one down to set my camp up on (They’re a bit heavy, and over-sized, but those tarps came in reeeallll handy). I finally set up camp and slid into my sleeping bag inside of the tarp… that’s when the terror started.

The dogs could smell me I guess and just kept barking and howling all night, as well as all the other dogs in the neighborhood… besides that, I didn’t know if Joe had alerted his next door neighbors if I would be sleeping on the property, so I was always scared they’d discover me, plus I was paranoid that some curious passer by would become curious about what exactly was hiding under those brown tarps (though they would have been hard to see from the road at night), plus the constant sound of passing traffic, and other misc. night sounds made me a nervous wreck. PLUS dew was beginning to form inside the tarp and I was getting a little wet. PLUS worried friends and family were calling and texting all night (well their fears were justified…) All of that added up made it so that in about 5-6 of lying in my sleeping bag I hadn’t really slept at all. So around 4 am, I decided the only option left was just to pack up and keep going….