Day Ninety-two, Date Sunday, May 31, 2009
Time in Saddle: 8:04
Distance for the Day: 88.91 miles From Venice To Naples, FL
Accumulated Trip Distance: 4249.27
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 46’/33’, Highest: 87’ Accumulated: 59’
Speeds: Avg: 11.0 mph, Max: 24.8 mph
Weather: 65°, mostly clear, somewhat humid
(Oh, gee - no pictures today, sorry!) Got up at about 6:00am, broke camp, and was ready to go by 6:45am. Continued south on Hwy 41 a bit, and stopped at mini-mart in N. Fort for food and drink, found their library and even though closed, was able to get electricity and wi-fi; 8:14am on Sunday, May 31. Stopped in Punta Gorda at 10am and found local library w/outside outlet and this one allowed me to do bank stuff, so I paid off my credit card, answered comments from the blogsite, and handled email. At about 11:30am continued on to Ft. Meyers and got there at about 1pm. On the way, I ran into regions along the highway where there were thicker concentrations of “love bugs” (black flying bugs that often flew in pairs). At one point, I picked up a branch with an almost broom-like end to take it off the roadway, and used it to “filter” out the bugs coming my way. It worked pretty good; it was lightweight, and big enough to catch and stop the bugs coming right at me. Must have looked pretty odd, me riding down the highway with this big branch held out in front of me, but I’m guessing everyone knew what I was doing; they would have been getting hit by the bugs, too. I spent $3 on a couple of sodas along the way. Saw a big sign for “The Shell Factory,” so I stopped in there to see what that was all about. There happened to also be a motorcycle event happening, too, so I pulled in and took a look at lots of motorcycles, motorcyclists, and the Shell Factory: the world’s biggest chachka shop, chock full of shells, silly shell sculptures, and a bazillion other creations, and had pretty big displays of taxidermic animals, and a Xmas shop. I continued on, and pulled into Ft. Meyers at about 2pm, losing the cooler cloud cover of morning. Continuing, further, I reached Naples at about 5pm and stocked up on drinks for trip across Everglades ($9 + $7 for Subway sandwich meal deal) Left Naples at 7:45pm to look for stealth camp along the road heading into the Everglades, and found a fairly large, empty Catholic church with a huge parking lot (N26 3.228’ W81 41.135’). Signs said the area had hidden security cameras, but I figured nobody would mind if I set up in small corner away from main building, so I did. A couple of ATV riders came through the lot but didn’t bother me. In the safety (from mosquitoes) of my tent, which I still love, by the way, I ate my sandwich, had a soda, and listened to music until hitting the hay at 10:30pm. I had a big day, tomorrow – I had to cross the Everglades, more than 80 miles, and do it all in one shot. I didn’t want to have to stay overnight amidst all those snakes and alligators!