April 20-Ready! Aim! FIRE!

Kate Murr

Our tour of St. Augustine, indeed our entire biking trek, began in the parking lot for the Castillo de San Juan National Monument. You’ll appreciate this photograph of Chris as he drove our truck away, after soliciting repeated assurances that we were ready, that we didn’t need the truck any more, that we were going. He helped us on our way and has been sending us encouraging text messages ever since we watched him drive away. We can not thank him enough for his flexibility and hospitality.

Nearly immediately we realized we had too much stuff. The bikes were heavy with our panieer set ups, and the Burleys were bulging. Both Stuart and I had works in progress on our personal computers, and though we had intended to ship them after we finished things up in a few days, it became obvious that they had to be shipped home rightthisinstantnow. We took some heroic photos at the historic fort and biked one block to Christy’s coffee shop where Stuart set up a computer lab. The kids and I stormed the citadel.

Oh the guns. Now. I grew up around guns. I earned my hunter safety education card when I was in the fourth grade. I’ve seen my dad shoot a black snake off a Purple Martin birdhouse pole in a lightening storm from a hundred yards. I know how to handle guns and I’m not afraid of them, necessarily, but it drives me pretty batty that my two-year-old son is completely obsessed with them. The fort had all manners of historic “shooting guns” and swords and probably a hundred cannons, all of which Brady loaded with imaginary “shooting gun balls” and “fire”. He shouted “Mommy, there are the pirates and these are my shooting guns…Two! Three! Four! Ready! Aim! FIRRRE!”

We enjoyed the fort, hooked back up with Stuart, then biked to a park to eat lunch. It frustrates me to no end to report that not a mile into the trip I had my first wreck and wound.  I caught the wheel of the over-heavy Burley on a curb, flipped it, and landed on the ground on my knees. I fixed a pretty good gusher with high-pressure water bottle irrigation, a tampon to clean out the sand, alcohol, Neosporin, butterfly Band-Aids, and a protective bandage. I did all this while Jane held my foot and said comforting words and while a school orchestra played ultimate Frisbee yards away.

I rested my knee and chatted with Chris, Gina’s daddy, while the kids played in the park and I worked up the gumption to get back on the bike. We biked to a shipping store to loose the computers and other weight, then on to the campground where Brady drove a golf cart into a deck railing, obliterating it. I was feet away at the time, so I grabbed him and he wasn’t hurt, but he was pretty shaken up.

The day looked better on the other side of some calories, and I walked to my tent from a big beer and a lovely cheeses pizza along A1A with a fresh baguette under one arm and the other one holding a sandy, stinky, wiggly boy who patted my back and sang a song to the beach.

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