Trip Log – Day 397 – Ponte Vedra Beach FL to Jacksonville FL

to-jacksonvilleDecember 20, 2016 – Overcast, 50 degrees

Miles Today: 28

Miles to Date: 20,733

States to Date: 48

 img_8950I rode into Jacksonville, the United States’ geographically largest city, on a busy Tuesday morning along miles of commercial strip along US 90 west, across a narrow drawbridge into downtown, and through the downtrodden neighborhood around Edward Waters College. The city is sprawling and nondescript as everyone along my Florida route warned. Poetically, I should have completed my journey in St. Augustine, our nations oldest city. But Jacksonville is more appropriate. It is not a city of the past, it is a city of our present, and as such will have greater bearing on what tomorrow portends.

img_8946I arrived at the Amtrak station mid-morning, anchored my bike, and spent the day strolling the St. Johns River waterfront, eating Tuesday tacos and sharing a beer with old friends Jan and Mike Golan, who happened to be in the area for a warm weather break. After they dropped me off for my train, ruminations about my year plus experience began to fill my head.

I kept coming back to a quote I leaned at the Harn Art Museum in Gainesville a few days ago. Ron Garon, astronaut, travelled 71 million miles in space. When he returned he said, “Earth is a fragile oasis with many neighborhoods in a very big universe. We must see ourselves as fellow co-laborers on this planet in a war against hunger, poverty, and environmental destruction. The key is ‘we.’”

My journey has been a mere 20,000 miles and change, but I’ve also focused on the illusive ‘we’ that is our nation. ‘We the people’ are an incredible bunch, like no nation that’s ever existed. Yet we have so many challenges: among ourselves and amidst our seven billion neighbors. I’ve learned…


Oops, the conductor just called my train. Time to roll north into the deep dark of this longest night of the year until we reach tomorrow. All aboard!

About paulefallon

Greetings reader. I am a writer, architect, cyclist and father from Cambridge, MA. My primary blog, is an archive of all my published writing. The title refers to a sequence of three yoga positions that increase focus and build strength by shifting the body’s center of gravity. The objective is balance without stability. My writing addresses opposing tension in our world, and my attempt to find balance through understanding that opposition. During 2015-2106 I am cycling through all 48 mainland United States and asking the question "How will we live tomorrow?" That journey is chronicled in a dedicated blog,, that includes personal writing related to my adventure as well as others' responses to my question. Thank you for visiting.
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4 Responses to Trip Log – Day 397 – Ponte Vedra Beach FL to Jacksonville FL

  1. Michael Golan says:

    Congratulations Shorty!!! Glad Janet and I could share your last day on the road.


  2. Robert Botterio says:

    Welcome home.

    Sent from my iPhone



  3. Hank Dunn says:

    It has been a privilege to follow you and see the country vicariously through your posts.
    Many Thanks
    Hank Dunn


  4. drdon15 says:

    Congratulations Paul! Your trip has been a great inspiration for me!


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