Across Continents

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Sunshine State

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Florida had a neatness that’d been mostly lacking in the poorer Southern States of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Home, I’d been told, of Seaside, setting for the flawless world of Jim Carey’s The Truman Show. I’d taken few photos since leaving Texas, simply because there wasn’t much to catch my eye. Or the camera would have drawn unwelcome attention. Wrong part of town.

I’d spent my first night in Florida down in the naval town of Pensacola. Staying with Ray and Donna. Eclectic contents gave their home character. Collectors rather than hoarders, with something of an underlying nautical theme. Small model sail boats in the bathroom.

They’d warned me I’d soon hit hills. Well known simply because they were the only ones in the entire State. Just my luck. But, in practice, they’d not been too bad at all. Kept me warm, for Sunshine State it might be, cold it certainly was. Following Highway 90 north east towards Milton had been tedious, small shoulder and frequently inconsiderate traffic. I’d noticed the town of Bagdad a short distance to the south, on the banks of the Blackwater river. Wondering if this was merely coincidence – the latter being a private military company with a tarnished reputation in Iraq.

The afternoon was warmer, winter gloves returned to the panniers, with quieter roads for much of the way to Crestview and a stop for the night. And the discovery my can of WD40 had discharged much of its contents into one of my bags. Deep joy.

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