Jumping onto US 1 was a breeze from Jim and Andrea's home.
From here, it was pretty much a straight shot to Sebastian and Vero Beach.
It was hot and muggy; fortunately, I had remembered to slather sunscreen all over my face.
The stretch out of St. Augustine was rural and undeveloped for several miles.
However, I started to see more traffic and motorcycles as I got closer to a town called Bunnell.
Then, the cycles doubled and tripled as I approached Daytona.
Most of cyclists were traveling in the opposite direction; they were going into Daytona (for Biketoberfest) not away of it.
I was surrounded by chain restaurants, traffic lights, and inn after inn after inn.
Stop and go.
Stop and go.
Just before Titusville, dark clouds approached.
Only, I know the drill.
I stopped at a tiny gas station, filled up, kept my motorcycle under shelter, and waited for the rain to come and for the rain to pass.
Sure enough, it did.
Then, it cooled off as I got back on my bike.
US 1 offers scenic views of the Indian River from Titusville all the way into Micco; later, those aquatic images taper off as commercial development creeps into sight.
Once I reached Melbourne, I realized I was "home."
"Home" because I do not have to ask for directions.
"Home" because here people know me.
When I arrived to my best friend's home, Jennifer was not there; she was still at work.
Her two daughters greeted me with smiles and when my bike cooled off, Kayla and Ella helped me wash it.
The girls and I played a prank on Jenn by calling her and having me pretend to be Kayla. She and I interspersed comments, so that her mom would be confused. After a few moments, Jenn was able to distinguish my voice from Kayla's; meanwhile, Ella was giggling up a storm in the background because she was in on the prank, too.
Later, the girls and I ventured off to the ubiquitous Publix to pick up food for dinner that evening while Jenn was finishing up -- soon, she would officially start her vacation week. Her husband, Greg, was enjoying a Friday night out with one of his close friends; soon, she and I would be celebrating ours.
While I waited for Jenn to arrive, I prepped and cooked.
Despite the long day, she was excited to see me, and we stayed up quite late.
She had me open up a card (the one you see on the right) she had purchased for me, and it definitely sums up our girl's night out experiences.
The only thing missing was the ocean in the background.
Lapping up the sun came a few days later when she and I and the girls (and Mariana her Spanish foreign exchange student) visited the beach.
During a beach stroll with Kayla and Mariana, the three of us ran into this little one.
Mariana was the first to spot the baby sea turtle; I picked it up; then, put it down and left it alone.
It appeared lifeless, but a few moments later, it gasped for air
The poor thing may have been washed up on shore after Hurricane Matthew, or it may have grown tired from swimming in rough waters.
With this struggling baby sea turtle, my 2016 motorcycle journey closes.
I hope this little one made it just as I did.
Until we meet again, my friend.
(Blog posts regarding logistics and my youtube video will be forthcoming.)