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Sunday, July 10, 2011

DAY 174: PALATKA - BUNNELL; - TITUSVILLE, FLORIDA

Would be nice if I had more knowledge about plants.

This gorgeous Lilly-type bloom was growing from a plant in the roadside ditch in the town of PALATKA, FLORIDA.

This is the "parent" plant of the above Lilly. It grew only in the bottom of the ditch and for about 200 feet. Have not seen it before or since.


SR 100 entering PALATKA, FLORIDA from the West.

Spent a comfy night in our roadside spot last night. Many cars stopped to look us over, but no one disturbed us. At daybreak, drove the two miles into PALATKA and parked in a business parking area.

It was 7 am local, so left a note on SPIA, and walked back West on SR 100 for 45 minutes and returned to SPIA. The business owner had arrived, and was VERY gracious with us, allowing us to stay parked for my walk East into and through PALATKA.

PALATKA, FLORIDA has sidewalks the entire length of the town. Nearing this Work Zone, the City Policeman approached as I walked by...you should walk on the sidewalk...the road is meant for cars...having you hurt in my town would just not do.

Is it REQUIRED that I walk on the sidewalk?...Well, I really don't know if it is or not....well, then, Sir, I would rather walk on the roadway as I have just done for 6,000 miles...sidewalks are dangerous to walk on because of constant cracks, uplifts, uneven surfaces...

No problem...have a good day. And, I did, still walking the roadway.

Crossed this bridge over the St. Johns River. There was no sign, so I asked. Looking at the map, it is easy to understand why Northern Florida is called the Lake District...lakes and rivers cover much of the land. The land is nearly always SAND. I did see two "gravel" pits a couple days back.

The St Johns River had a pedestrian walkway reaching far out into the river, turns under the bridge and returns to the shore on the other side of the bridge. Gives pedestrians an unblocked view of the river on both sides of the bridge.

Up river from the bridge about 5 miles are these Nuclear Power Plants...

Walking back into town, came upon this original and - for these days - unique
Diner". Ate a good breakfast inside, at the cost of $4.50.

A bit further on, came across a seafood place - not a restaurant. The owner is retired, but he told me he would rather spend his time with his small business selling seafood than sitting at home wondering what to do next.

He placed this very alive Blue Crab on the counter. The Crab body is about 4 inches wide. The entire animal reached out about 1 foot. As I lifted a claw...careful, he just came out of the cooler, but can still take a bite out of you with those pinchers - pinchers were about 2 inches long.

In midtown PALATKA sits this magnificent Methodist Church. I thought it must be City Hall until I read the inscription on the wall (lower right).

I wondered at the read-a-board schedule. Services on Sunday and Wednesday. Wondered what function this beautiful building played the rest of the time.

The first furrowed field I have come across since entering Florida. Could be in West Texas, getting ready for Cotton planting. Earlier on, did walk by a couple Sugar Cane fields, with the plants already 4 feet or so high.

Vegetation along SR 100. Most of the smaller plants are Tropical - broad leaf. The taller trees are often Pine - producing pine cones about 5 inches long.

One of very FEW streams along this section of SR 100. Most waterways are dried up.

We did receive 2.5 inches two days ago, but it disappeared quickly from the roadside ditches.

Many miles along SR 100 are being developed into "for sale" plots of 3 - 15 acres. Prices vary as to location and topography; I saw one plot of 2.2 acres for $399,000.00.

This is an Estate Home close to the town of BUNNELL, FLORIDA, which is about 10 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.

I paused when reaching BUNNELL, as I could have continued walking to the Sea, or turn South on US 1. I telephoned my Niece, Karen, living 75 miles South in TITUSVILLE, FLORIDA. She and her "other half" Bob, had been expecting me any day. ...Sure, come on down, we are expecting you.

So, I walked back to SPIA, cranked her up and drove down I-95 to TITUSVILLE, arriving about 6 pm. Must drive back to BUNNELL later to walk those 75 miles, but for the moment, a real bed to sleep in...real people to visit...a moment to rest.

Another of the beautiful Southern blooms to be found along most roadways.

Please say HELLO to Bob. Bob met Karen via the Internet some years ago. I arrived in late evening, so have much to learn from Bob. He did serve up two huge pizza of which I consumed more than my share.

Please say HELLO to Niece, Karen. I have not seen Karen - except at my Mother's funeral some years ago - for many years. Karen is the Daughter of my Brother, Jay, who was my guardian all those years back on the Stump Ranch in DES MOINES, WASHINGTON (near SEATTLE).

Will spend a couple days with Karen and Bob - they have a swimming pool ! ! ! -walking the local area from BUNNELL to CAPE CANAVERAL. Then, it is back on the road to complete the 400 miles still to walk to KEY WEST.

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