All good trips must come to an end, so I sadly have to pack up and head back to Steve's in Lakeland. This is the home stretch.
I take the backroads way to Lakeland, US 41 north to Moccasin Wallow Rd, and at this intersection I noticed a curious thing with my odometer.
That's right, it turned to 10000 km (that's about 6200 miles)
Where this happened is nothing special, right next to a truck hauling junk.
Soon, I find myself on FL 62 east which takes you into the interior of Florida. One thing to always remember about Florida, once you get to the interior from the west, that would be anything east of I-75) the roads are very straight, open and empty.
As I was saying, doesn't look like anyone lives in this dead forest.
Now throughout the entire trip I saw so many places that "We Buy Gold". It was everywhere on billboards. With gold trading around $1700 an oz, speculation and frenzy is rampant so there's little wonder why. So, I figure I had to stop and get a picture of at least one of these outfits in Bartow.
Finally getting to Lakeland, one of the landmarks is the late 1950s style Southgate Shopping Center. And boy, am I glad my trip is almost over. Look at those clouds!
Lake Hollingworth is the central lake of Lakeland which is circled by Lake Hollingworth Drive with beautiful homes, gardens, and the Florida Southern College. The lake looks bigger than it actually is.
Wow, it looks like I ought to conclude my ride with clouds like those in the sky!
But I still need to circle the Lake, noting Spanish Moss covered trees.
Just a glipse of some of the expensive properties that circle the lake.
Florida Southern College buildings designed or at least inspired by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Having circled the lake (twice, actually in less time than I expected) I'm now ready to head back to Steve's via Ingraham which is a brick lined street passing through FSC.
Back to home base, the trip is basically over and I'm still in one piece! So, I didn't need that chest protector after all.
I follow Steve to his garage where I'll store the bike for another year. But first, we grab a lunch at this retro 50s diner.
Finally at the garage, I'm not too happy to put the bike back in storage for another year.
Did the usual prep. Drained all fuel, removed battery, cleaned chain and lubed entire bike to keep him from rusting. It would be nice to have a stand to keep the tires off the ground but I didn't have any problem with them resting on the ground over the past year.
Epilogue: Florida is a neat place to have a bike, but it's getting to the point where I have seen everything I want, on a bike. The problem with Florida is that it is flat as a pancake so there are few opportunities to lean the bike. Still, it's much better to be riding than encased in a rental car which is the sad alternative.