Naples, FL

I slept awful, but I was expecting to for the first few nights, so that’s okay. The rain wasn’t terribly intense but there was a lot of very close thunder. During a pause of the rain I left everything behind and rode the bike to a convenience store and scored myself a gallon of cold water. It made all the difference in the world. The humidity made it very difficult to feel comfortable, and I simply laid out the yoga mat and the sleeping bag and slept on top of it. Around 4 am it started to get cool enough that I was actually able to climb into the sleeping bag. I did manage to sleep for a few hours, but I had nightmares again, and woke up often.

At about 8am I climbed out of the tent. It was still covered in gleaming droplets. I decided to throw everything out of the tent and cast it aside, open, until I was ready to leave. I wanted to let it dry as much as possible. I explored the skatespot a bit, and even skated it for a few minutes. As great of a street spot as it was, it was difficult to get the old knees to want to cooperate much first thing in the morning, particularly on very little sleep and food.

My brother in law had made some hard boiled eggs for me to pack in my gear, I had one as breakfast. I slowly packed everything up as I decided my next moves.

The naples skatepark won’t be open until noon. So I had some time. I wanted to get an entry in. I stopped at a McDonalds for the wifi but couldn’t find any outlets. As of right now I’m using a dinky awful dell laptop (model latitude d810) that is slow as balls. It also has no battery.

I stopped at a publix to grab some oj, and eventually made my way to the skatepark despite it being closed still. It is now 10:56 am. I found an outlet in the park the skatepark is in and sat down to write this entry. I won’t be able to upload it until I find wifi sometime down the road.

Hopefully the weather cooperates and allows me to skate awhile. After skating here I’d like to make it up to Stirling skatepark in Dunedin, FL. Ideally I’d like to skate there tomorrow and make it to Gainesville, FL sometime tomorrow night, but I’m in no rush to get to Gainesville just to sit on a couch and wait for packages to arrive.

I should really start posting on my support networks sometime soon, craigslist and advrider. Once I’m out of Gainesville I won’t be able to rely on friends and family for a long while.

I haven’t planned my route much since about a month ago when I laid a few out on google maps. Probably something to do while I’m sitting around waiting in Gainesville.

Spirits were fairly high this morning. It’s interesting living a life as structureless as mine is at the moment. It was really fascinating to me having the “hunting for a spot” mode kick in. It’s something that every real skateboarder has done: drive around the city looking for a place to skate. Well, I was doing the same thing last night except to find a good spot to hide my tent instead. The “I’ll just head to naples and I’ll find a random spot somewhere to sleep” attitude. It’s liberating, in a way. Being okay with sleeping somewhere a little sketchy. It lets you do things most of society would be too afraid to do. Whenever I tell strangers about my trip they always say “oh I would love to do that but ….” And the excuse is usually work getting in the way, or kids, or not having the money. I’m doing this trip on chump change. If I had to get a motel every night, or even pay KOA $30 every night to pitch a tent, I’d never have been able to afford it.

Kids and work… Well that’s just having decided the standard life model instead of thinking outside the box. I will probably have several rants against the american dream model life throughout this journal. That is, the big house with a white picket fence, 2.5 kids, a dog and two cars on the driveway mentality. I’d rather make it to 40 with these stories to tell, having experienced this life, than to have slaved away at work to pay for some kid’s soccer practice. If everyone I’ve ever told that rant to is to be believed, then because I’m only 25 I will change my mind someday. I sincerely hope they’re wrong.

But I digress.

I’m going to pack everything back up and throw it on the bike so I can skate right when this place opens. Hopefully I can get a couple hours in before the rain starts.

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