Day 529 – USA (Florida): From Gulf Hammock to Chiefland


Today’s distance / 今日の走行距離: 34.3 miles
Average speed / 平均速度: 10.2mph
Time on skateboard / 走行時間: 3h 21m
Total skateboarding distance to date / 今までスケボで走った距離: 1235mi (plus 266mi)
Ascent / 上り: negligible
Descent / 下り: negligible
End-of-day GPS coordinates: oops, forgot

Had I just been able to skate along US19, it would only have taken about one hour to get to Chiefland from Gulf Hammock. As it was, not being able to travel along US19 because of here being no shoulder, I had to take a 30 mile detour. It was well worth it however, with state park and beautiful forest.

Cypress trees near Gulf Hammock on highway 326, Florida, USA

Quiet spring-fed streams flowed beneath the road.

Clear spring-fed stream near Gulf Hammock, Florida, USA

A ribbon of smooth black-top stretched out infront of me. Jolly nice indeed.

Smooth black top on highway 337 near Bronson, Florida, USA

I arrived in Chiefland at around 1pm, and gave the two bikers I met yesterday a call on my cellphone. Not sure if they were actually serious about having me over (New Years eve – supposed to be a family time!), I hoped they would take the call.

To my delight, Skip had already left two voicemail messages on my phone, and when I called Bob, it seemed that they were very happy to have me over. 15 minutes later they were in town in Bob’s big pickup to pick me up. Skip and Bob the bikers – great guys.

Legendary hosts, I was treated to a great New Years feast with their families at Bob’s 5 acre property on the outskirts of Chiefland, and an awesome fireworks party afterwards.

New Years fireworks in Chiefland, Florida, USA

Once again I am amazed at the hospitality complete strangers have shown me so far in the US. Bob and Skip have the adventurer’s spirit, and what a great night it was.

New Years fireworks in Chiefland, Florida, USA New Years fireworks in Chiefland, Florida, USA

Factoid: Did you know that in the Levy County in Florida, in order to be able to purchase fireworks, a form must be signed stating that the intended use of the fireworks is to scare pests away from your property. I can tell you, we did some serious scaring of the pests! All in a very responsible manner of course…

New Years fireworks in Chiefland, Florida, USA

Thank you so much to Skip, Bob, and their families for a wonderful start to 2008.

By the way, here’s how I spent last year’s Christmas and New Years:

Christmas:  Day 156 –  GEORGIA: T’blisi  to M1 Highway 50km mark
New Years: Day 160 to 163 – GEORGIA: From Atsukuri Village to Georgian New Years Madness

It was a tad bit cooler last year in freezing Georgia!


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19 thoughts on “Day 529 – USA (Florida): From Gulf Hammock to Chiefland

  • Emily

    Rob, it was a pleasure meeting you and spending New Year's with you! You certainly are welcomed back to our homes anytime. My family prays for you during your journey, and hopes that the weather is good and the roads are smooth. It was an inspiration, meeting you. One day, I plan on hiking the entire Appalachian trail, and then moving onwards toward Colorado, where a trail called "Phantom Canyon Road" awaits me and my hiking boots. If an email from your little brother can get you to this amazing act, I'm sure I can make my dream come true.

  • Wendell

    Rob, been following your blog, I feel proud of your quick progress, keep it up, and keep the pictures going their great, just rote this lines to wish you the best for this 2008.

  • Patrick

    Hey Rob,

    Glad you are meeting some of the great people of North Central Florida, Levy County is a nice area. Best wishes from Nick, Hannah, Colleen, Connor and myself for the rest of your journey in 2008. Keep up the great posts.

    Patrick

  • Chris J

    Hi Rob,

    Happy New Year from Nagoya!

    Once again it is great to hear that you are meeting so many nice people and were able to enjoy the holidays.

    In many states in the US "powerful" fireworks are illegal, and that was the first thing I thought upon seeing your amazing pictures. That sure looked like a fun time, and now you really don't have to worry about pests either!

  • Mum

    Certainly a better New Year than than the last one! Amazing that you can get round the fireworks laws so easily. I wonder exactly what pests fireworks scare away?

  • Skip

    Rob,

    It was a pleasure bringing in the New Year with you over at Bob and Judy's house!!!We certainly scared those pesky varmints away…..

    So just a couple of things to help ya along your way. Getcha some chrome on that board, cuz like I told ya….chrome won't getcha home but it will getcha…….

    Keep the rubber side of the board down while you are riding it. I try really hard to follow this rule with my Harley.

    Wear your sunscreen!!!

    Go Placidly amid the noise and haste…

    Peace on Ya,

    Skip

  • Aunty Les

    Good to catch up in all your doings, Rob. Nana and I went down to Alexandra for New year so have been away for 5 days. It was a nice restful time.

    I was thinking of your problem with there being no shoulders to the roads making skateboarding difficult. Most of the roads we were on over the past 5 days did have shoulders, maybe because so many cyclists use these road or maybe because none of them are flat!

  • Aunty Les

    By the way – your parcel from you to you arrived while we were away. We'll pass it on to your parents. Your Dad will be over sometime to day to finish tightening all the nuts on the swing seat Nana and I bought before Christmas as a kit-set. Your Dad kindly helped me put it together last week – or rather, I helped him put it together.

  • Judy

    Hey Rob! Just recovering from New Years. Finally got started cleaning up. Hope you found a warm place to sleep last night. It was great having you here to celebrate with us. We will be following up with your journey. Best wishes to you. Judy, Bob and April.

  • Faizi

    Happy New Year Rob!

    Phenomenal progress. Your achievements are laying a foundation for future growth and development in many areas of your life and your journey inspires and motivates those you meet.

    I've passed your contact details to Kayano-san at FM Oita. At some point I think he wants to get in touch with you.

    Best wishes,

    Faizi

  • maki

    Happy New Year from Takamatsu!Rob!!It was cold Oshougatsu in Japan.

    You could have really good starting of 2008!It is wonderful thing on your journey.

    Kotoshimo Yoroshiku ne!

  • Markus

    Hi Rob. Very interesting to read about your exiting adventures.

    Hope all goes well as you travel accross the US.

    I also went for a bike ride at Christmas time. Not shure if i will

    qualify for a world record attempt, probably not, but have a quick look

    anyway. http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=GQlBul1Xwkc

    Take care, praying for you

    Markus

  • Aunty Jenny

    Hey Rob

    Nigel and I have been staying in Barhill over New Years, so I have just caught up on your blog. Sounds like you are having a great time and meeting some really lovely people. Pity about the roads though. We were at Nana's when you were texting Aunty Les about your new niece! It's amazing how far communication has come in the last few years!!!!

  • Rach Callander

    Oh there is so much love in the world!! I get many happy feelings reading your blogs Rob and reading what the people that you have met from all over the world have to say… so encouraging… makes the world seem a little more united me thinks.. or smaller. It is very nice.

  • Lee

    Yay Rach, I love reading your comments!

    Good on you for keepin' it gleeful.

    Thanks to both of you for a very memorable week back in '03 at Curtis Island & Gladstone. Rach, I still dabble in IDT with crayons/pencils when the need arises! You shared a neat gift.

    (just checked out your site too – love the portraits and the fine arts grasses shots. Glorious!)

  • brad

    I'm also having 14degree withdrawal.

    I'm hoping that your safe and in good health. Please drop us a line, even if it's just to let us all know that you are still alive.

    Brad (in seattle, WA)