I started with the hotel breakfast. Now I remember why I have not had a hotel breakfast on this whole trip. Big Red and I headed down US19 and since I have rode and written about this road before I will skip all that.
The first interesting person I met was Bill Wright. Bill had been a commercial fisherman in California. He loved his job, but he sold out and retired. His wife had died two years ago and he was just sitting around the house watching TV. Stories of handicapped people traveling across American on foot or bicycle kept getting his attention. The story that got him off the coach and on the road was a story of a young cancer patient that started riding across America, but sadly died before he complete the ride. If the kid could do it Bill thought he should too. He had left California last January and headed for Key West and was now on his way back. His goal was to be home before Christmas. He camps and stays with friends. Like riding on the scooter, he was seeing stuff he never would have seen in the motor home with his wife. They hit all the famous places, but he was hitting just as wonderful places that you would probably never would see. His example was Fanning Springs State Park were he had stayed last night. It was beautiful, he said, with tarpon jumping out of the water at sunset. He was also seeing the present downside of America. There were 10 homeless families living in tents at the park. Asked if he had met any bad people, he said yes. Some of the habitual homeless said are quick to steal from you, but at the top of the list was the whole state of Louisiana. Louisiana is probably the hardest state to bike across and I agree with him. The roads are horrible and there are no shoulders. He said people seemed to take pleasure in running him off the the road. He had been through 4 sets of tires, three tents and had had the most flats on the trailer.
While talking to Bill, this Harley police officer pulled up to see if we were OK.
Down the road I met Jack. Jack had ridden his bike from Naples to Pensacola for a job. The job did not materialize and he was headed back to Naples.
In Weeke Wachee, Fl. they have built a new school and the entrance road is named VESPA.
The pot of gold at the end of rainbow and a long wet ride today. Thank you Vicki for being a wonderful and understanding wife.
pot gold at the end of the rainbow