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04 May 2011 @ 06:39 pm
$3 -price of spending all day at Daytona Beach by bus  

On Thursday, April 28th, another hot day, I tried my idea of just parking my boat under the shady roof at the marina, driving my Geo the few miles into downtown Deland, and going to Daytona Beach by VOTRANS, the Volusia County transit system.

The picture above is one I took on that trip and it's one of these:

pictures -day in Daytona Beach

For $3, I get an all-day unlimited pass to ride the entire bus system, which covers both population centers in the county: Deland & "West Volusia", and Daytona-Ormond & New Smyrna Beaches & suburbs on the Atlantic Ocean.

The bus system is as extensive as Dayton's even though this county is smaller. This is because so many of the migrants here are from places like New York and Boston, where bus systems are respected and used by middle class people. In Ohio, the bus is looked upon as a ghetto vehicle.

It's about 25 miles across the sand flats from Deland to Daytona, so just the link across the county is a real bargain. But then I can also travel all over Daytona Beach when I get there.

On Thursday, since it was my first time, I just checked out the main beach itself and got familiar with it. It is exciting to realize I could walk along it for scores of miles in either direction.

I have studied the weather records carefully. -Usually when it gets extremely hot in the afternoon in Deland, right on the Atlantic it will be six or seven degrees cooler. And it sure did feel cooler on Thursday.

If you are considerably younger than me and you live in the US, understanding this could save your life later.

I am talking about the frightening study by NASA from 2007 that predicted average summer highs could be 12 degrees Fahrenheit hotter in 2085 than they were in 1993! Warm blooded animals, including humans, will all die at these afternoon highs, because they exceed what perspiration is able to counteract, even in deep shade. (The only places on earth where it already gets this hot are in deserts, where the humidity is so low that perspiration can still cool the body.)

If this comes true, then humans in Florida and most of the rest of the eastern US will only stay alive outdoors in mid-summer if they stay near the cooler ocean and wade in it constantly. But the shore will be in a much different place, because the ocean will probably be three feet deeper later this century.

Speaking of weather, I'll end this by commenting on what happened in Alabama the afternoon before I went to Daytona Beach. The hundreds of tornados were even worse than the ones in 1974 that hit Xenia, Ohio and many other towns. They were also worse than the outbreaks in 1965 and 1953. The worst one probably had a path length equal to the longest tornado in history, the one that went across Missouri, Illinois and Indiana in 1925. So much for my hopes that one of the silver linings of global warming was fewer monster tornados. Since it was 37 years since we had such an outbreak, but we used to get them about every ten years, I had hoped that was the case, but April 27th seemed to prove it wasn't.