Time in Saddle: 9:02
Distance for the Day: 94.78 miles From Tampa Bay To Venice, FL
Accumulated Trip Distance: 4160.36 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 21’/46’ Highest: 80’ Accumulated: 682’
Speeds: Avg: 10.4 mph, Max: 24.9 mph
Weather: 60° cool, humid, mostly clear, warming during the day
I got up at 5am, and was just putting my shoes on, when people started to pull into the parking lot to set up for an event; so much for my plan to get away unseen. But, no one approached me, so I just broke down and was ready to go at 5:38am. I jumped from one peninsula to another, and would now be going north over the north end of Tampa Bay to head south again. Stopped at 6:45 at mini-mart for Danish and hot cocoa ($2.50), and stopped again at 9:30am for grapefruit drink ($1.50). South of the more citified regions, I found and took a picture of a live, thin green snake who was sunning himself on the side of the road. Odd little fellow – I could even touch him, and he wouldn’t move. I got a little lost in Bradenton; got a sandwich and drink at Subway ($9); found a library to do wi-fi but it wouldn’t let me get into my blog site to make changes or reply to comments. I notice this about some wi-fis: some will block you from going into secure websites – most annoying. HAt 2:37pm; now headed south out of Bradenton on Hwy 41 at 2:37pm and just rolled from one community to another, each one looking very similar the one before. In the town of Venice, I went to the local beach in search of one of those outdoor shower facilities for rinsing off seawater, and found one. I took off my shoes, and showered in my biking clothes to sort of wash them, and then stripped off down to my underwear, wrung out the wet clothes, and went into the bathroom to change into dry clothes. I put my wet clothes into a spare plastic bag and found a Laundromat to dry them ($2). After doing that, I continued south until sunset (~8:15pm), and turned down a side road to the campus of a community college and firehouse. I checked at the firehouse for overnight sanctuary, but they couldn’t help – no surprise. I continued down the side road to a new community construction site, and thought about trying to stay there, but knew there would be security patrols, due to all the heavy equipment still in the area. That’s where I ran into my second and best run-in with a *live* armadillo. He was rooting around for worms or something in the lawn, and I could pretty much walk carefully very close to him. Funny looking little buggers, but harmless and kind of cute, this one came right up to my foot, and still didn’t know what I was – a potential predator. No wonder I see so many flat ones on the road. Is it due to overconfidence in their armor plating? Anyways, no camping in this development, so I went back out to the road, and decided to camp on the side of the road (N27 2.549’ W82 19.236’). I figured the traffic that night to and from the development would be minimal (maybe a couple of shifts of security guards) and that would be it, and I was right. The ubiquitous mosquitoes got me a couple of times, but once in my protective tent, I was able to have a good sleep. Oh, at the entry road to the college, there was a sign warning about snakes and alligators in the waters around the campus. I didn’t see either, though. There was a nice quarter moon up in the southwest sky.