Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day 17- Gainesville, FL

The Valkyrie (the motorcycle) and I have been spending so much time together we are starting to become alike. I'm turning black and chrome and Val is thinking about writing a blog. Val told me she wants her blog's title and subtitle to be:

A life between two Asses -
His and the 'phalt

When "I said I don't get it" Val started laughing so hard I thought we would have to pull over for a bit.

Today was a good day of riding because I made a good decision. I almost took the freeway on a backtracking path to save time and miles. Glad I didn't. Instead I rode a highway through the Everglades and decided to enjoy the now rather than sacrifice the experience to the part of my brain that focuses on home as the goal. I took a nice two lane road with minimal vehicles and the sky was grey and the smells were good. I loved it. It was the kind of ride that makes me happy to ride and brings me back to motorcycles again and again. It was the kind of ride where I became part of the environment. At one point it started to rain and I was happy. Also, the rain helped me to finally stop sweating for a few minutes.

Along the way I stopped at the Everglades National Park. In one small spot I saw 4 species of fish, 2 large birds, and an alligator, just hanging out next to each other. It was like the postcard version of those unrealistic posters that show every creature of a habitat in one scene. Crazy. The fish were so plentiful it was like looking at a coy pond of a fancy hotel but this was nature. Very cool. And, I got to see an alligator in the wild. I was hoping that would work out. Eventually I had to leave on principal. See, I don't generally believe in free handouts. I made an exception at the park out of guilt. But after just giving away a gallon of my blood to any insect beggar that cared to land on me, I decided that was enough. These insects need to work for their food and not just mooch off the tourists. So back to the road I went.

Then I dried off. Then I started to sweat. Then I got rained on again. It was too hot to put on my rain gear and I figured out that the rain comes and goes fairly quickly so I just kept going. And then I got torrentialy poured down on. Soon I stopped counting how many times I had been rained on. I was soaked. At one point I made a fist to stretch my fingers and water gushed out of my black leather gloves. Maybe that has something to do with my black hands? Naw...

Among other things I saw miles of the Everglades, plenty of wildlife, those boats with a fan at the back and a flat bottom, lots and lots of swamp land, rain, and miles of quiet road before getting back on a freeway. A great day. About a hundred miles before the hotel, I was rained on for the last time today and I noticed that once again, the ground was higher than the water table.

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