Cedar Key

It’s been about a week since I’ve been on a computer. I think it’s time I post something. Readers be warned: the author is tired and will fail to stimulate your mind with descriptive images and clever phrasing.

Steve and I are in Perdido Bay, just a few miles from the Alabama border. Can’t ya just hear them banjos?

This past week has been an interesting one. let’s step back about 5 days ago.

Steve and I were exhausted. The sun had retired and the moon came out. The both of us were in need of a water refill and some fuel to consume. Eventually, we came upon two country stores 50 feet apart from each other. As we wheeled up, I looked at Steve and said, “Which one do ya want to go to? Whichever one we choose will have a major impact on our future in some way…no pressure”.

Steve said, “Let’s do both”.

Well, we never ended up going to the second one, because life had different plans for us. As I slunched my exhausted body over a wooden chair, and devoured a hot pepperoni and jalapeño pizza, a woman walks in. She appeared middle aged, had long brown hair, and wore old blue jeans. “So, I put two and two together. Where are you from, where you going, and will you beat me there?”

After explaining our story, she offered to set us up for the night. We pedaled about 16 miles down the road when a big pick up truck met us at Dollar General. We loaded our bikes and headed for Cedar Key. Carol, the easy going middle aged hippy informed us that she had 11 children all above the age of ten. I think she deserves an award.

Carol, her husband Rick, and her kids (well, some of them) were in the process of moving. We drove to the “new” house and Carol dumped us off. The house was ours for the remainder of the stay. The floors were in the process of being laid down and the wooden walls and overall feel reminded Steve of Maine. The house was pretty much empty except for a few lamps, a mattress, and a fridge.

The following day, Steve and I awoke to carol inviting us to go clamming with her husband, Rick. We, always looking for a new adventure, agreed.

From sun up to sun down, we worked with clams. Hauling, washing, and filtering. It’s a messy and stinky job, but a great deal of enjoyment was had. Beer and pizza all around.

The following morning Steve and I decided to separate ways. I wanted to see what else Cedar Key had to offer. I visited a state park museum just a mile from the house. Turns out this key played a major role as a port in the Civil War. I also enjoyed some clam chowder that won 3 years in a row as the “best in the world”.

I couldn’t stand sleeping alone in a house like that, so I set up my tent outside. I built a fire, cooked some hot dogs, and went for a walk. I walked for miles until I came upon a park bench right up against the ocean. I laid on it and put my eyes to the stars. The sounds of the waves crashing onto the beach lulled me to sleep. I awoke a short time later. I walked back to my tent and fell asleep.

Now, I was lucky enough to meet some of Carol’s children. They all had big hearts and I enjoyed their company very much. Phoebe, the 14 year old could have passed as 18. She was both mature in appearance and in personality. While riding around and taking pictures, I bumped into Jamima. She is going to be 17 soon. She saw that I was bored and brought me to a family friends house. From about 5 to midnight, I enjoyed chicken wings, ice cream, and the company of people my own age.

Sleeping was rough that night. The wind and rain kept me up.

The following morning, Rick came by to pick me up. We packed up my gear and picked up Carol and headed for Pensacola! The 5 hour drive was a lot of fun. We stopped to eat breakfast at Huddle House. I paid…it was the least I could do. Rick and Carol talked to me about how they met 3 years earlier and how 2 weeks later, they were married. They are good people.

Now, what if we went to the other country store?

P.s. We entered a new time zone…one hour earlier!

Taylor

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Trailing The Sun as we Ride

Substituting my forearm for a pillow, I gaze at the blanket of stars above. With wind flowing through my hair, I feel the gentle spitting of salty ocean on my face. The night is calm and the air is warm. I have the upper deck all to myself on the Key West Express. Apparently, the wind blows too hard for the other patrons. I breathe in slowly and exhale deeply. “I could get used to this” I think to myself. I don’t know where Steve and I will be sleeping tonight once the ferry docks into Fort Myers, and that’s  the greatest feeling. We choose. Freedom. I tell myself this is only the first of many adventures. This is the life I want to live.

The boat halts at 9:30. Steve and I collect our bikes and begin our hunt for a campsite. First, we need to fill our bodies with some nourishment…even if it is Mcdonalds.

We find a gap between some houses. The tents are set up slanted down a slight hill. Moments later, all I see are the insides of my eye lids.

“Taylor, we are pretty visible”, I hear Steve say as he pulls me from my slumber. “We should get moving before someone sees us”.

The rubber hits the road at quarter past 7. My stomach alerts me that he needs to be filled pronto. We come across a small breakfast and lunch place. Gwendolyn’s Cafe. As I peek inside it seems to have a really nice set up. To our dismay it appears to be closed. As we pedal away, a woman hustles over from inside the cafe. She is chef Gwen. After chatting briefly with her, she invites us into the place early and set us up with some bacon&egg sandwiches and fruit salad. Both of which are on the house! She is a kind soul.

The cool water fills the grimy and blistered palms of my hands. I slowly bring the clean water to my face. As it rolls down my cheeks, it collects filth and falls back to the sink in a blackened stream disappearing into the drain. I attempt to run my hands through my damp hair, but my fingers get caught at each snarl and knot. I suddenly become aware of how long my hair is growing. The man I see in the mirror is a stranger. I am changed by the  lessons the road has taught me. The best teacher is life experience. I’ve lived so much life in such a short time.

For a moment I lose myself. My bike and I become one. I pedal faster. With my lips curled back, my teeth appear as fangs. I bite my tongue. The shorts that once hung loose around my legs now struggle to contain my thighs. I look up at the speedometer 25…26…27…I hunch my back and lower my head for a moment and grip harder. 28…29…30…Steve gives a thumbs up. “We hit 31!”, he shouts. We both smile with pride. I reflect back on the second week of our journey. Steve broke away from me for a moment pedaling faster and harder. I was left in the dust in awe at his speed. He topped out at 18 mph. I later asked him, “How did you do that? How did you go so fast with all the weight you carry?”

Well, now 18 mph is our comfortable average pace. Today we hit 31 mph on a straight away. With all the gear we are toting, you could say we are pleased with these results. We’ve adapted to the road and fused with our bikes. We work as a single unit.

I encourage anyone to get up and find something radical to do with yourself. Do something new. Do something different. I dare you to move.

Love,

Taylor

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All Is Well With My Soul

The last few days have been radical. I got my tattoo at Miami Ink, climbed a coconut tree,  recorded a theme song for Trailing The Sun with some friends, & I edited 3 videos!

Steve and I are relaxing at Everglades Hostel right now. It’s a super cool place. Ropes hanging from palm trees, a waterfall pool, Tents everywhere, slack lines, and chill people all over.

I’m real hungry and have been editing all day, so I am going to get off the computer!

I want to thank everyone who reads this blog and leaves comments. I am going to do a better job of replying!

Just 28 mile from Key Largo!

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Trailing The Sun Interview Video #1

God be with you,

Taylor

A Tattoo 65 Million Years In The Making

The decision to get a tattoo took place 2 years prior to now. This was not an abrupt decision. My friends are a testament to this fact. This tattoo is more than just skin deep.

I had an idea for a tattoo. “That’s going to be a b***”, they said. I adjusted my idea. My tattoo was born.

2 fold meaning:

1- I am a huge fan of film. Anyone that knows me should know that. I’ve made countless mini films and sketches from an early age. With that being said, my favorite film of all time since the age of 4 has been Jurassic Park. You will notice that the head of the tattoo is an exact replica of the Jurassic Park t-rex.

2- I am a person that likes to reminisce about the past. If you are a friend of mine, you have definitely heard me say “remember when?”. No matter where I go with my adventures, I never want to lose site of who I am. I think dinosaurs capture that exceptionally well.

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New Pictures!

Hi there!

We are in Dunkin’ Donuts just long enough to post some pictures and aggravate myself! The darn video had copyright tunes to it, so the audio was removed. I am currently working on this issue. The video was my favorite one so far!

At least I hope you enjoy these photos!

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God bless,

Taylor

No Internet!

Hello all! I’m on my phone because Steve and I have no Internet! We are leaving Venice tomorrow morning and heading to the keys. I’ll post the new music video when we get Internet! Thanks for your patience 🙂