My first couple of days here in Maine. It’s been a surreal experience to see this many mountains.
Took a detour and landed somewhere in Canada. Ending up spending the night in Quebec City.
My first taste of Alabama was by far a better experience than Florida. Plus, all the literary goals.
Had one of the best times in Montgomery. Met some wild people and saw some great sites. Alabama, I definitely appreciate ya’.
My first day in Maine was me sleeping. The drive was brutal and if it weren’t for Binge Mode: Harry Potter, I probably would have crashed at hour 17. Instead, I made the trip in 26 hours and slept away on Friday.
A cool thing that happened to me on my trip was stopping at a Bojangles in Tennessee. Nothing special about that restaurant. I wanted to see a Tennessee classic in action. It was the manager who changed the restaurant chain.
We went through the normal polite banter while he was helping me and I told him a little about what I was doing. Next thing I know, I was about to start eating and he joins me.
He begins to tell me about his life. 72 years old, in and around Air Force bases throughout America. He then told me to visit with an artist in Knoxville. Tell Rochelle that you know Paul, she will know what to do.
Five minutes later into the conversation, he tells me that she is his wife. He waits and explains. Her art is currently in the Vatican, she was the first solo female artist for the Olympics in the 80’s, and has done multiple sets of Olympics both winter and summer.
My jaw slowly dropped as he continued giving me her past art history.
“Well, heck, when you go see her, give her a call. I will let her know to set something aside for you. You just remind me of her and she would go bonkers just meeting you. A young lady traveling like you, it’s something she would do.”
The drive after that, was pretty standard. Drove through mountains then cities then mountains again.
On Friday, getting closer to the Rangeley Inn, the streets turned to 35 mph and winded in around each other. It took a couple hours in the foothills and mountains of Northern Maine before I arrived. But not before seeing a “Moose Crossing” sign. An icon to me now.
Welcome to Rangeley, a town of 2 stop lights and known for the the landscape. Later I would find out that Stephen King has a house somewhere near here (*insert hyperventilation*).
The second I arrived, my head hit the pillow and took a nap. Woke up to talk to Travis, the owner of Rangeley Inn.
I have never met an owner of an inn but I did not expect someone who looks like he just stepped off a trail somewhere in California. Complete with the easy going nature, my temporary boss gave me my schedule. A quick tour and I ran back to bed.
*Let me start off by giving this disclosure: I went to Florida 2 days before a tropical storm came through. I had also just finished a week in a house with one of my friends. My expectations were high, I guess. *
I truly hate Florida. It was a swamp. Literally.
I heard people say expect that from Louisiana or Mississippi but not Florida. It literally was a wet, humid, insect-driven place.
The place I first went to was this tiny towns. I love tiny towns. I live for tiny towns on this trip. This scenery on the way out was pretty. Full of lush greenery and white people.
Pulling in, it wasn’t bad and the dude let me use one of his fancy tents. (Oh yeah, went back to camping, probably another personal reason of me hating Florida).
When the night came, apparently so did a thousand insects. I was huddled in the corner of my tent like in a scary movie with my shoe in my hand. I was a killer on a rampage and my target mosquitoes, weird bugs, and spiders.
I finally passed out from exhaustion for 2 hours and opened my tent. Again, I was not prepared for the amount of spider webs in this place.
I grabbed all my stuff and left for Destin.
Destin, is another word for beach in Floridanese. Honestly, I was picturing those white beaches and blue sea. I got Galveston.
Pensacola was next on the list for the day. I figure why not check mark all of them off before heading out of this humid hell.
The one good thing I can say about this place is the food. I tried Donut Hole and Shark Bite Tacos, both hella recommend. Donut Hole is something of a classic in Florida, I had no idea and was just looking for something that was opened early so I wouldn’t have to be in my tent.
I cancelled my night at the camping spot and went to this cute little camper on the border of Alabama and Florida.
Leaps and bounds my friends, leaps and bounds. It was even called Biscuit, and just like it’s name, it was overly cutsy but homey. The owner and I ended up talking about politics. (Political talk with people over 50= 2). She was a Bernie fan, so it went well.
Overall, Florida is a useless state and the beaches in photos are lies.