I felt like I was behind schedule so I needed to ride from Gainesville to Sanford Florida. I was pretty determined to make that happen.
Peter took me to waffle house and was kind enough to treat me to breakfast and great conversation. What a guy, salt of the earth.
|Cabe Crisler Hammering me on the Hawthorne bike path, thanks CABE~!!!|
I chatted momentarily with the employees of the shop and then we got underway. Having fun, shredding trail. We passed the HOBO habitat, and man was it creepy to see a hillside covered in tarps and shacks and garbage. It looked like something you would see in a third world impoverished country and only a stones throw away from the University of Florida.
|MOPEDS EVERYWHERE WTF|
Before Long we got to Hawthorne trail. It was literally a blink and we cleared town. Cabe was riding way fast on the bike path and he was wearing my ass out. Of course I kept quiet and just hung on for dear life, but I was happy when we got to Hawthorne and he turned around and went back home, geezus, I hadn't hit diesel mode yet and that speed was KILLING ME, LMFAO. I guess a more modest person would of piped up, but me, I am the Singletrack Samurai, aka the Naked Indian, I kept my mouth shut and HTFUd thru it.
|Hawthorne bike path|
At the Trail head I took a break. That morning before I left, Peter had a surprise for me. A counter full of food for me to take with me. When I left his house, I had 20 wings in a big zip lock bag. A bag of trail mix. A bag of pistachios. That combined with my can of stew and a big bag of kettle cooked chips, meant I had enough food to get beyond Sanford and didn't need to really bother with any stores the rest of the day.
It all seems like a blur, pedaling the pavement and dirt roads between Hawthorne and Rodman damn. I ate lunch at the Damn, my wings, made tea from powder and water, something new I was doing this trip. And then pedaled on.
|Lake Oklawaha the view south from the Northern end|
|The View from the Bridge towards Lake Oklawaha going over the man made barge canal.|
|Old Forest Road 88, cyclocross friendly,and half dirt, half bad pavement.|
|The 88 store|
And I did.
Down Paisley road I went. Cars were going by. It was a busy traffic dirt road in the middle of the night. Traveling alone, you cant help sometimes but to get a little paranoid. A little Anxious.
It was almost 11. I was time trialing to town. I wanted to make a store for some hot food. From Far away I could see a car was sitting sideways across the road. I had no Idea why, but my knife was at the ready. Speed is always my first line of defense and If I ever decide to escape , I assure you, I will.
I passed the car without incident. It was odd to see a middle aged man dressed like GI Joe that late at night, but hell its the Ocala National Forest, not that weird. Further down the road, I could see what looked like 4 floating glowing X's.
I use my lights at night for self defense. Most of the time I run them on low. I want them to last since they are the rechargeable kind. I put my lights on SUPER BRIGHT. And passed by 4 teenagers, 2 girls 2 guys, dressed like GI Joe, holding maps and compasses. Some sort of R.O.T.C. training exercise I supposed and quickened my tempo. I had literally 10 minutes before everything would shut down in town.
I went as fast as I could, and made it before 11pm, but everything was closed. I stopped briefly at the Pirate Pub, but the noise and the energy in the air, didn't jive with my energy, and I pushed on. It was cold, I really wanted to be warm.
I went to the post office and hung out in the lobby for a minute thinking about my options. I decided to ride down to Clear Water Lake Campground and cook dinner and eat in the bathroom. From there I would make my next choice.
The bathroom was Warm and I cooked my food and then decided that I would just go up a ways out of the area and camp among the Oaks. And that's what I did. Set up fast, got in my tent, and played with my droid for a bit, before falling dead asleep.