Day 513 – USA (Florida): From South Bay to Palmdale


Today’s distance / 今日の走行距離: 51.5mi / 82.9km
Average speed / 平均速度: 9.3mph / 15km/h
Time on skateboard / 走行時間: 5h 30m
Total skateboarding distance to date / 今までスケボで走った距離: 964mi (plus 266mi) / 1551km
Ascent / 上り: negligible
Descent / 下り: negligible
Tailwinds and smooth roads continued today with the wonderful Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail from South Bay to Moore Haven.

Straiiiiiiiiiight cycle path (Lake Okechobee Scenic Trail, Florida, USA)

It’s days like this that make it all worth while. The last week or so skating into the wind up the Florida Keys was tough, and this was my reward.

Everglades on Lake Okechobee, near Clewiston, Florida, USA

Everglades with Lake Okeechobee in the distance. The dead trees, I learned, are dead for a reason. They are not native to the area, so the conservation officials are trying to get rid of them by ring barking them.

Blisters made their presence known today however so I removed the offending shoe and skated the rest of the day in my rubber sandals. It worked wonders.

Blister remedy on the Okechobee Scenic Trail, Florida, USA

I enjoyed more of the flat smooth skating past Moore Haven along Highway 27, no longer the congested highway I had experienced yesterday. The traffic was lighter, the shoulder wider.

Beef for the masses near Palmdale, Florida, USA

I stopped in at Gatorama just before Palmdale, and opted to take a photo of an alligator for free rather than paying the entry fee into the theme park. Yes, that is dead alligator roadkill on the side of the road.

Alligator roadkill near Gatorama, Palmdale, Florida, USA

Instead of filling my water bottles at Gatorama, I decided that I would carry on to Palmdale, where there was sure to be a petrol station. Or so I thought. Palmdale is no more than a small settlement mostly of trailers on large plots of land. Concerned that I wouldn’t have enough water to make it to Sebring the next day, I decided to try asking at one of the trailers for water.

I picked a driveway t random, and started wandering up towards a large square building. There was movement inside, and when I was half way up the 200 metre driveway, a short man stepped out into the doorway. I waved, and he waved back. Looked a little wary of the guy wielding a very long skateboard.

I introduced myself, and explained why I was on his land. When I got to the building, I saw six other people there, all sitting around a picnic table inside the spacious building. “Well, I’m sure you’re on a schedule, and you’re most welcome to some water, but would you like to join us for dinner?” the short man said. He was about sixty, with a large potbelly.

There was a Christmas tree at one end of the building, and it appeared as though some sort of pre-Christmas party was in progress. I was introduced to Yolan, Nadia, Stephanie, Sabrina, Beverley, and the short man’s name was Jene.

Pre-Christmas dinner at Jene's place, Palmdale, Florida, USA

On the menu for the dinner was potato, sweet potato, salad, and beef steaks. I accepted the invitation, and was treated to a wonderful meal, and homemade maple syrup icecream for desert.

It was a rather international dinner, with Jene and his daughter Beverley from Palmdale, and the others from the French speaking part of Canada. Yolan and co. were visiting from Canada for a few weeks.

Pre-Christmas dinner at Jene's place, Palmdale, Florida, USA

By the time we had finished the feast, it was 10pm, and everyone was ready for bed. The others retired to their trailers, and Beverley got a large inflatable bed for me to sleep on in the building (or barn as Jene called it).


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