Day 30: Jupiter — Delray Beach (37 miles)

Let’s call this day 30, a continuation of the trip I took two years ago, instead of starting over. Because shortly after setting out this morning, so much felt familiar: focusing intently on the topography twenty feet in front of me and anything making noise behind me, the weight of the pack, the relief of smooth pavement and the agony when it turns coarse. The clickity clack of each sidewalk crack that permeates to my joints. How my right hand fidgets with the closed loop at the end of the waist strap, turning it into a heart and unwinding it again.

Just like the first day of the last trip, the last piece of music I heard looped relentlessly for an hour or so. Unfortunately, this time it was Ants Marching, from a Vine I watched at breakfast. Completely unlike the first day of the last trip, I didn’t fall once, and certainly did not end the day in the hospital.

It took a little under an hour to get to PGA Boulevard, which is what we use for the on ramp to 95 South, proving the theory of relativity once more. I started in the shoulder of A1A going with traffic, and quickly discovered that’s where cleanup crews are pushing all the debris from Hurricane Matthew. So I switched back and forth between that, the shoulder against traffic, and the sidewalk. For the whole day, really!

After crossing the intracoastal a little south of Palm Beach (all three of the city’s bridges for this were under construction, by the way), A1A became millionaires’ row, one sprawling waterfront mansion estate after another. I ran out of water around mile 25, something to keep in mind for these next few days! Good thing this is civilization, with places to fill up or buy a Gatorade not too far apart. But I definitely took extended breaks at each of those stops, and am feeling it now! I’m going to sleep well tonight. It’s kinda bizarre (and I’m very fortunate) that only two nights ago, I was trying to fall asleep while a hurricane blew by. It sounded like a freight train was idling outside, more like powerful machinery humming than a whoosh.

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