I just ended one of my Juancho trademark wanderings. This one began at Hanna Park in Jacksonville, FL which I found with little trouble.
The subsequent rudderless effort to find my hotel took me to: the back entry gate of a military base, a substantial sample of Duval County subsidized housing, north then south on I-95, a return to the gates of the military base to start over and some good solid assistance from Eli and Jerome who were holding it down at the CVS Pharmacy. No matter. I needed toothpaste anyway.
I assume I need these moments off the mental grid. I watch myself make turn after turn with no idea where I might be going as if I am watching a rerun of Law and Order. I know the plot, but I still find the characters compelling.
I brought this same level of intensity and focus to my ride at Hanna Park. The rain was steady- like it aimed to stick around a couple days- so I put on the iron mask and sloshed out into unknown terrain. Slick and rooty, the trails here are lush with prehistoric palm fronds which doused me with their blessings every two or three feet. Situated right on the Atlantic Ocean, the coastal breeze and the rain brought goosebumps to the skin- in July!
No complaints about that.
2 hours of slogging and I declared every nook and cranny ridden. The afterwork crowd was filling the parking lot when I returned. Lots of dudes sitting in their cars wondering if it was going to let up. As I stripped my sloppy gear off and flung it on my red rental Dodge Charger, riders broke the seal and exited into the rain, insistent ding dinging of keys still in ignitions signifying doubt.
A rinse in the ocean with a view of belching smokestacks and murky roller waves under a grey sunset- talk about atmosphere.
I wouldn’t go out of my way, but I would never pass it up.