Today I got an early start and began working my way to Homosassa Springs.
It looked like it was going to be a decent hike (about 10 miles), but with my early start, I would have been there at noon.
However, as I walked I saw this red pickup truck way a head pull off the side of the road. I thought they must have had a flat or something until the began backing up.
I began laughing because they were so far ahead as I realized they were backing up to pick me up.
I shut off my music as we approached each other. There were two good ol’ boys in the front.
“Where ya headed?” the driver asked.
I smiled climbing into the bed of the truck.
I hopped in and figured their profession was in the auto industry, likely mechanics from all the empty oil bottles and various tools.
They took me for a ride and a half.
The people in the cars behind us were laughing almost as much as I was as we flew down the highway.
When we hit a stoplight a couple in the car behind us yelled out the window:
“Where you headed?” she asked seeing that my backpack is about as big as me.
“All 50 states,” I yelled back.
“Right on! That’s awesome!”
“You can watch me at liveontheoutside.com,” I yelled as the light turned green.
“Nice, we’ll check it out,” I heard her yell as we pulled away fast.
The guys (brothers Ron and Jeff) dropped me off at the local Publix (Florida Grocery Store).
“Thanks again guys, I appreciate it. Also you should know I’m a writer and you’ll be in my book when it comes out,” I said handing them my business cards.
They looked particularly excited when I told them that.
“Good luck and be safe,” they said.
I went and grabbed a coke then headed over to the local library do the usual: charging my phone, battery pack, and additionally my headlamp, which ran out of juice the previous night. Also to refill my water which I was going through rather quickly, hiking in 80 degree weather on an open road with no shade.
I checked and lucked out. They had a copy of Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep.
I continued where I left off and read while my things charged.
A few hours later, I headed out and kept working my way to Crystal River for certain reasons you’ll see in some upcoming stories.
I spied some golden arches and my stomach gurgled. One thing about this trip is I had a necessary goal of eating healthier. However, sometimes cravings win out.
I passed a farmers market and the smell of the fresh fruit shamed me as I walked by toward McDonald’s. Briefly, I considered getting some of the fruit instead, but the food supply I already had discouraged additional weight…and shamed me further…
I ordered two McDoubles with Big Mac sauce, a McChicken, a small fries and a large drink (which for some reason I filled with fruit punch…a deadly combo with the food and heat).
Once I began walking again the lead brick in my stomach quickly became apparent. I sweat through my shirt and had to take a break after only a few miles.
It took me a good 30 minutes to get going even after drinking copious amounts of water.
I stumbled upon this little off shoot dirt road and explored till I decided to set up camp.
My pee told me I was still dehydrated and I remembered from college fatty foods take a lot of water to digest. Combined with the heat and lugging 60+lbs with me it was a wonder I hadn’t passed out.
Next time, I’ll listen to the fruit.
Forever your friend,