14degrees off the beaten track
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December 19th, 2007 | categorizilation: all categories,USA (FLorida)

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Today’s distance / 今日の走行距離: 61mi / 99.2km
Average speed / 平均速度: 9.8mph / 15.7km/h
Time on skateboard / 走行時間: 6h 18m
Total skateboarding distance to date / 今までスケボで走った距離: 1068mi (plus 266mi) / 1719km (plus 430km)
Ascent / 上り: negligible
Descent / 下り: negligible
End-of-day GPS coordinates: N27.52.549, E082.12.954

Look Mum! I’m in the paper again!
Kevin from the Newssun newspaper in Sebring has done an awesome job of summarising the last 1.5 years of my life. Thanks Kevin.

So I picked my copy of the Newssun in the morning, and it was a great start to an amazing day on the board. The longest day of skating in the US so far at 61 miles. Gentle ups and downs in the landscape plus no wind plus smooth roads. Just perfect.

Sweeping bend on the Avon Park Cut-off Road in Polk County, Florida, USA

My route today took me along highway 27 from Sebring to Avon Park, and then along the Avon Park Cut-Off road, along some more back roads, and then followed highway 640 all the way to near Bloomingdale. I passes more citrus groves, phosphorous mines, and was tooted at by the heavy phosphorous laden trucks that careened down the road.

Phosphorous mines near Pinecrest, Florida, USA

On mini-plateaus (if you can call them that), small settlements of houses appeared on each side of the road. Around the houses was…nothing. No fences, trees, driveways. Just grass. The houses looked as though they had just been plonked there in the middle of the section.

Houses out in the open on Lake Hendry Road, near Homeland, Florida, USA

My lovely cousin Rachel (www.callandergirl.co.nz) has asked a valid question. She asked if she could call my US cellphone (+1 305 484 0416) from New Zealand. The answer is YES! You can. I would recommend calling by Skype however. Should be a little cheaper for you. I still have to pay US$0.10 a minute to receive the call though (what’s up with that!?), so it might be a short call.

Also, Marco, a reader from Europe, recently said that he would appreciate my GPS coordinates so that he can follow me more easily. Thank you for the feedback, Marco, and you can see the end-of-day coordinates at the top of each post now. That is, you can see exactly where I was sleeping that night (to the nearest 5 metres or so).

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    Permanent Link     Comments (9)

Comment by Aunty Les — December 21, 2007 @ 1:19 pm | post a comment

Very interesting newspaper article. I see you are well set up for support links on your way across America. How come you have to pay to receive a cellphone call?

Comment by kevin — December 21, 2007 @ 2:39 pm | post a comment

Any chance you'll be able to convert the radio show to MP3 and post it in your vids section?

Comment by Jonny Reveley — December 21, 2007 @ 9:45 pm | post a comment

well done Rob, your determination is awesome. you can do it! Merry Christmas and a happy new year! I liked what you said in your article about the world being extraordinarily safe – nice and pretty true eh! God Bless



did you know matt wait married erin (nee) hall last saturday? it was a cool wedding with few matty touches to it e.g. coaxing me to do a wee (facing away) for one of the bridal party shots!.

Comment by don — December 22, 2007 @ 4:41 am | post a comment

Merry Christmas me old mucka. Hope all is well in the deep south and you have a great Christmas Day.

Comment by Rob Thomson — December 22, 2007 @ 1:35 pm | post a comment

Kevin, unfortunately, cassette tape players are very few and far between these days. I am finding it hard to even find someone who has the necessary stuff to dub the tape into digital!

Comment by kevin — December 22, 2007 @ 2:57 pm | post a comment

That's hilarious. :) I kind of laughed inside when he was talking about recording it!

Comment by dave — December 22, 2007 @ 4:12 pm | post a comment

How do you take the fish eye pictures? I remember I saw it on your website somewhere. Is it a door peephole and then you crop it?

Comment by Rob Thomson — December 22, 2007 @ 5:43 pm | post a comment

Dave, the very wide pictures are all, without exception, panorama pictures. For example the photos in this post are all at least ten portrait photos stitched together to form one photo. I really like these kinds of photos, as they give a great perspective of where I have been. More so than a normal photo.

One other option would be to get a wide angle conversion lens for my camera, but these are very expensive, and would add weight to my pack.

The fish-eye videos were taken with a small fish-eye lens attached to my camera. I lost this in Holland somewhere, so until I can find a similar one, I won't be able to take any more of the cool videos like in Europe.

For example:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyvzYX5Vp-U http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7oWbMELkMY

Comment by Andrew C — December 22, 2007 @ 6:37 pm | post a comment

I put your GPS coordinates into Google Earth and ended up in a valley in Nepal! Should the last one be W rather than E?

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