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January 4th, 2008 | categorizilation: all categories,USA (FLorida)

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Today’s distance / 今日の走行距離: 46.6 miles / 75km
Average speed / 平均速度: 8.5mph / 13km/h
Time on skateboard / 走行時間: 5h 21m
Total skateboarding distance to date / 今までスケボで走った距離: 1407mi (plus 266mi) / 2264km (plus 430km)
Ascent / 上り: negligible
Descent / 下り: negligible
End-of-day GPS coordinates: N30.27.17.4, W084.28.53.9

Yet another smooth bike trail appeared, allowing me to get off the main road from near St. Marks to Tallahassee – the St. Marks Railtrail. Some signs on the trail didn’t exactly fill me with joy and excitement, but it was a welcome respite from the main road and continuing chilly northerly wind.

Dangerous cycle path near Tallahassee, Florida, USA

I didn’t get mugged, and arrived in Tallahassee late afternoon. I had to make the trek into Tallahassee, despite my dislike of large cities, to pick up a warm down vest that has been the focal point of a wee bit of a saga for the last week. The vest was ordered from Backcountry.com and paid for by Carlos Fernandez, of Key West. My thanks to him again for his support of my journey.

The issue came about just after Christmas, when the vest arrived in Tampa. Backcountry had sent the wrong size. I sent the vest back, and arranged for a replacement to be sent to a contact in Springhill. I would pick the replacement up when I arrived there. When I arrive in Springhill however, a completely different item had been sent to me. To their credit, Backcountry.com arranged for another replacement item to be sent ahead to Tallahasse, shipping of course paid, plus free return of the wrong item.

The saga continued to unfold when a few days later, Patrick, my contact in Springhill, called to tell me that Backcountry had sent the proper item to his place, rather than the Tallahassee UPS Store, where I had instructed them to send it. I had to ask Patrick to send the vest, at his expense, to the UPS Store in Tallahassee.

Now, when I arrived at the UPS Store in Tallahassee, there were two packages awaiting me. One from Patrick, and one from Backcountry.com. They had sent two vests out, one to Patrick’s address, and one to the UPS Store.

This messing up of the order was not the greatest first impression of an online outdoor retailer, I must say.

So, after picking up the vest – thank you to Steve from the UPS Store for his assistance – I headed west again. It was getting dark by the time I spied a sign indicating a rest area near Lake Talquin. I followed the sign to a state camping ground. US$26 a night was the going rate.

“There’s a free camping ground just up the road,” the camp host told me, “about three miles away.” He eyed my mode of transportation.

“But that’s a little far on a skateboard, I guess,” he said.

“Just pick a spot, and don’t bother me. You can move to the other campground tomorrow.” He kindly allowed me to stay the night for free.

Later in the evening, some more campers arrived, four Dutch travelers touring Florida by car. We took a ride back into Tallahassee, sampled the culinary delight that is Taco Bell (fast food at its generic best), and generally enjoyed telling stories of our respective observations of the US American Race.

This date last year: Day 165 – TURKEY: In Posof

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    Permanent Link     Comments (1)

Comment by Aunty Les — January 13, 2008 @ 7:26 pm | post a comment

At least it's not snowing as I recall it was doing in Turkey this time last year. I see you're having your usual luck with generous folk.

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