Day 29: Ft. Pierce — Jupiter

Oct 29, 2014 • 49.3 miles

Hobe Sound trail

I picked my grandpa’s place in Jupiter as a finish point for a couple reasons. I was living here (temporarily as a retiree myself) when I first had the idea for the trip. Also, my family has been coming here (usually for spring break) for longer than I can remember. It’s a special place.

When we would come down as a family, it involved a through-the-night drive from Cleveland. My grandpa’s complex has four tall buildings and one squat one (he’s in the latter). A couple miles out, we can see the tops of the four tall ones, and that’s when everything hits us: the drive is almost over, vacation is about to begin, we’re nearly there. 3–4 miles from finishing my personal journey, and approaching from the north instead of the west, I saw the same four tops today. That moment hit me harder than actually coming to a stop and walking in the door.

Along the way today there were a couple other things, like a nice stretch north of Hobe Sound on white cement over white sand (photo). And after my building-tops moment but still three miles out, I passed a bench between the road and the beach where I skated to three years ago, seeing if my then-new idea had any legs. From that bench to the finish line, I got to retrace those miles exactly (even though the ECG would’ve had me go a more direct way). I could remember how scary the hill was, how nervous I was going on the shoulder of US 1 even for an instant. All that seemed like everyday happenings this time. (To be fair, I was wearing flip flops like an idiot the first time.)

I don’t feel any different, mentally or physically, beyond the obvious aches that come after a day of repetitive motions. This is the ultimate clich√©, but it all went by so fast. For sure, this is one of the coolest things I’ve ever done, and maybe it doesn’t need to be any more than that.