Walked out of Tampa, headed towards Bradenton. The walk was a bit longer than I expected. I managed to make it part of the way (13.7 miles) in five and a half hours, before coming to a collapse behind a Wal-Mart in Gibsonton.
Monday morning, I caught a regional bus that dragged me a bit further down the road. When catching a regional transport, pay close attention to those tiny maps. There was a missing section on mine…which led to a potential walk down US Route 41 of about 26 miles.
After about five of them in the Florida sun, I was spent. Climbed off the road into the puckers and set up the hammock to grab a few hours of sleep. Note: Even when you hang your frame pack in a tree, you still end up with a few thousand extra fiery red hitch-hiking ants.
Another note: There must be something in the New England bloodstream, a collection of the fugitive red dye from the hot dogs and the remnants of B&M baked beans that turns the Florida Mosquito into a blood crazed zombified relentless eating machine. More so than normal, the first one seemed to grab a quick snack, and suddenly holler out a wolf-whistle alert to a few million of his cousins.
Hat tips to my friend Ted for roadside assistance, ditto to Curtis for what he called “Appalachian Trail Rescue Service.”
After that nap, the road seemed endless. A woman saw my sign for Sarasota and road me the entire 20 miles I had left to walk…more road angels coming to the aid of a foolish man.
It’s 12:30 at night, and what am I doing? I’m sitting at an all night coin-op laundry on Route 41 washing out the fetid remnants. I couldn’t resist a jump in the bay, even after dark. It seemed funny looking West at the water instead of East.
Interview in the morning for the new gig. Yes, the world spins quickly, and long walks make it spin faster.
Still can’t get over all the damned lizards. It’s like being stuck in a live action version of “Rango.”