Day 538 – USA (FLORIDA): From Freeport Public Library to Eglin Air Force Base beach


Today’s distance / ???????: 49.3 miles / 79.4km
Average speed / ????: 8.1mph / 13km/h
Time on skateboard / ????: 5h 42m
Total skateboarding distance to date / ????????????: 1575mi (plus 266mi) / 2534km (plus 430km)
Ascent / ??: n/a
Descent / ??: n/a
End-of-day GPS coordinates: N30.24.31.7, W086.41.59.8

Thank you very much to Mike, Jennifer, and Myranda Broxon of Bruce for putting me up last night. Really apprecaited!

Mike dropped me off back at the Freeport Public Library at just after 6am. It was still dark, so I sat in the light of the library exterior lights and ate breakfast consitsting of peanut butter on bread with bananas, along with some of the sand pear pastries that Jennifer had made last night, and insisted that I take with me. Not that I needed much encouragement – they were delicious.

I was on the road right at daybreak, and after only five minutes on the road I was off it again as a small rain shower passed over. I hid from the drops under the porch of an auto-parts dealer. Judging that I would be OK, I set out again.

It was foggy once again this morning, and as I approached the coast of Choctawachee Bay, mist began rolling in off the cold surface of the water. Even ni the morning this morning it was warm. So warm humid air hit the cooler water and sent great puffs of mist towards land. I stood on a beach looking out to the bay, not knowing whether the opposite shore was 100 meters away or 100km away, the mist was so thick.

It was around 8:30am when I was nearing Niceville. Two separate sets of reporters for local newspapers stopped me to talk for me, in both cases they had driven along highway 20 hoping to see me. I’ll get links to the reports tomorrow when they come out.

Fort Walton Beach development, Florida, USA

Crossing over to Santa Rosa Island, I spent the remainder of the day on gruelling sidewalks along side highway 98, or ‘Bloody’ 98 as it is called, due to the many fatal accidents on the roadway. I have been trying to up my daily mielage, and it is taking a toll on my body. My ankles and calves are sore, as are the balls of my feet.

I stopped just before dusk and rolled into a carpark and ate dinner – sour cream, a mysterious ‘canned meat product’ as described on the can, and some more bananas and peanut butter. Oh for the cheap pasta and pasta sauce of Europe…

As I was finishing my ‘dinner’ a walked up to me and asked what I was doing. “You know this is military property, right?” he asked.

I had an inkling that it might have been, but he didn’t seem all that concerned. Once I had done my spiel about what I was doing, he suggested that I stay with him and his wife that night, rather than camp out. “All around here is military property – you’d have a hard time explaining why you’re camping here” he explained.

Shortly after, his wife arrived. After a quick discussion with his wife, it was clear that his wife wished to have nothing to do with this random stranger that had apparently latched onto her husband. The guy apologised, and explained that it was not going to be possible for me to stay at their place. By this time is was dark, and the mist was once again rolling in from the Gulf of Mexico. He suggested I try at the family camping ground to see if the campground host would let me stay, even though I was not military.

I gave that a shot, and ended up in the campground.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 thoughts on “Day 538 – USA (FLORIDA): From Freeport Public Library to Eglin Air Force Base beach

  • seljuk

    ago hı robert , have are you ı take messages and in sites following. possıply become stamp collection made for you from go country me possıply ı want send stamps from posof again hı…..

  • Aunty Les

    At least you weren't asked to hand over your digital camera to make sure you hadn't taken any 'sensitive' photos (a la incident in Turkey or Albania or wherever last year)

  • Mum

    If the wife was suspicious of such a nice clean looking bloke it's just as well you weren't sporting your Central Asian Beard and looking like a likely terrorist! You might have ended up sleeping in a military cell for the night – or longer