Day 1

Trip Start Mar 23, 2008
Trip End Jul 17, 2008

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Where I stayed
on an island in a park

Flag of United States  , Florida
Sunday, March 23, 2008

Well, my first day on the road. Didn't travel so far, but I am learning I need to reorganize my rig. Too much weight on the back trailer.  High winds today knocked me down a few times. Bad weather was on the way, next town, 40 miles. So I decided to get dry under a pavilion and set up my camp for the night, supplies wet, I'm wet, but I'm good. Leaving was very difficult this morning, because I know I'm not going back to Florida after the trip.

I literally fell at the sign of this park, in the everglades.  For about 2 miles I had been watching lightning off in the distance and winds were high enough to knock me down. I went up to the shop to get water, and the rain poured out of the clouds. Inside the staff spoke about more bad weather on the way. My first time asking for help, "is there a spot I could set up my tent for the night and get fresh on the road first thing in the morning?" they looked at each other, across and back. After a few thoughts they spoke about the possibilities. "Take her back to Johny's old site, off the island" I didn't know what it meant. I felt it was such an emotionally day for me I was ready to dry up a bit. They were kind and helpful, and let me stay for the night. In fact, i was shielded from the rain on concrete slab with a roof, on an island completely to myself. I followed the man while he walked on foot and I pedaled through huge puddles and bumps to the site . He was a large man, with a very scarred face, and intense eyes. He looked back as I approached and notice me drop a can of beer. He picked it up and it was spraying from a small puncture in the side, "guess this won't be no good", I replied, "aw, it's fine" He held his big finger over the hole. And there it was,  an island fit for the concrete slab that was laid upon it and a picnic table. What more could I ever ask for. The man looked at me, and told me if I needed anything he was right in a near by trailer, "nobody should bother you, but if they do I'll shoot 'em" he mumbled a few other words. Wow, did I feel protected or a little scared. I felt natural being here.
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