With 60 miles to our destination, we set out early heading towards Gary and Carol's house in Sebring, FL. We figured we'd get there decently early and be able to relax for the remainder of the day.
Again our path was pretty sparsely populated… with humans at least, but boy there were lots of orange groves. For miles on end and as far as they eye could see, there were trees upon trees filled with oranges. Paul and I wanted to cross the fence and pick a few (which we found out would have been punishable up to $1000), but we didn't.
Every so often a giant truck would pass through filled with oranges carrying behind it the sweet smell of fresh Florida oranges. EMMMMM EMMMMMMM (Chappelle). Unfortunately, as Paul and I have found, most any oranges we have been able to get in Florida were not Florida oranges oddly enough, but are shipped in from California So should we have risked the fine? Our bank accounts made the final decision.
Paul and I made the usual gas station refilling stops, and were making great time. We were really starting to get good at this biking thing, and we were able to get to Sebring by mid afternoon.
Gary met us outside of his development and rode us in to where they lived. Thank god, Paul and I would have never navigated the labyrinth they called their neighborhood. We got to their house a few minutes later, and met his wife.
Gary and Carol were a bit odd to say the least. JUST KIDDING!!!!!, I know they're reading so I wanted to scare them. I cannot begin to describe how inviting, and hospitable they were, and how enjoyable our stay was at their lovely home They fed us a delicious feast, helped us fix up our bikes which actually already needed a lot of work, and gave us pointers about things to look for in terms of bike maintenance along the tour.
We also learned a lot from them. They had become avid cyclists in the past years and had gone on a path into Colorado, like we were planning, from their house. They compiled a massive color-coded list of all the amenities we might need along our trip, and the path to get us there, that they gave to us I don't know what we would have done without them.
What did they ask in return for the multitude of services they provided for us? Pass along the good deed they did for us at a time when someone else is in need. There are people who think this way in our country? How refreshing! Maybe Haley Joel Osment had something there.
In hindsight, Gary and Carol were as excited to host us as we were to stay with them. An enjoyable time was had by all, and we all learned from one another. Paul and I can only hope to be half as fortunate at the next house we stay at.
Gary and Carol would be going on their Saturday morning bicycle route and would return around 10 the following morning. They wanted to see us off, so we were able to sleep in. Life was good.