© 2016 by Marisol Cruz.

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    4 counties < 3 hours

    June 20, 2016

    The anticipation for today's ride resulted in a restless evening.  

     

    My cell-phone alarm awakened me at exactly 4:15 a.m. 

     

    One would think I would have arrived on time; unfortunately, Charles was in the post office parking lot waiting for me.  

     

    (Look at his handsome ride.) 

    He graciously offered to accompany me a piece of the way to Yeehaw Junction.

     

    Route 60 gleamed with a beautiful moon overhead.  

     

    All was a smooth shot until we passed under Interstate-95.  

     

    Unbelievable.  

     

    The amount of gnats which attacked my face, my eyes, and my mouth was unprecedented.  I used my left hand to wipe the black smears from my face while still trying to maintain a 45-mile-per-hour speed limit.

     

    A full facial helmet -- like the one Charles had -- would have prevented the onslaught, but I like feeling the wind on my face.  

     

    The price.  

     

    We, romantics, pay.  

    Below is what I call a photo disaster.  

     

    Notice the mileage on my bike?  

     

    If you look closely, you can see the mileage.

     

    Promise.    

     

    For the record, I left Vero Beach at 17,300 miles.

    When Charles turned around and hightailed it back to Vero Beach (at a much faster rate), I continued west on Route 60 towards Plant City.  

     

    Just after the Desert Inn, I hit some pretty wet roads.  

     

    The road splash was a much better option rather than having to endure a downpour. Complementary mud facials were offered by area truckers and haulers.

     

    Let's just say I kept my mouth closed as much as possible.  

     

    Further along, I ran into a very short rain shower prior to reaching Lake Wales.

     

    I debated on u-turning it back for shelter at the gas station I had seen a mile or two back; however, I could see from my rear-view mirrors that the dark clouds were behind me.  

     

    This quick decision paid off.    

     

    Within a few minutes, the rain had stopped.  

     

    Rain is a funny thing while on a motorcycle.  It is kind of like playing chicken with mother nature.  

     

    Following the short shower, bursts of warm and cold air blasted me as I rapidly approached Bartow and Mulberry.    

     

    In all, four counties (Indian River, Osceola, Polk and Hillsborough) in less than three hours.  

     

    One minute citrus groves; the next minute Lake Kissimmee; the next minute cow pastures; the next minute phosphate mines; the next minute tomato vines.  

     

    Florida.  

     

    My roots.  

     

    My paradox. 

    Current rest stop: Plant City.  

     

    Weather:  overcast skies.  

     

    Thanks to the Bruton Memorial Library, I am able to submit this blog post.  

     

    All I needed was one piece of identification.  

     

    Ninety-minutes.  No charge.  

     

    Time to explore the area before I meet my couchsurfing host.

    Until we meet again, my friend! 

     

     

     

      

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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