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.
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.
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.
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.
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!