Vero to Gainesville
Total trip miles to date: 14,600
A mixture of weather hit me on the ride from Vero to Gainesville. Everything from hot sun to hard rain along the way. Fortunately, it was clear for the last 60 miles, allowing me to nearly dry off. I got in by near dark, with the Cotton’s still out to a banquet dinner. I found the key and unpacked the Spirit and cleaned up while I waited. Forty-five minutes later they arrived and we had a great evening after.
I’m amazed at the amount of rain I have experienced since Virginia, pretty much every day. I’m used to it now, a daily thing. I remember that it was like that much of the year when I was at UF. It would shower almost every day in the spring and summer, usually at about the same time in the afternoon. It would get so humid in the late spring that, on days I would vault, I would go early in the day to try to escape the humidity. Even with spray adhesive, I couldn’t hold onto the pole when humid. Pretty crazy.
Today, I will visit the campus, the track, and the town that was such an influential part of my development. I imagine it has changed, but then so have I. Mike and I reminisced last night about how long ago it was that we were pole vaulters, and how important it was to us at that time. Our whole life centered around jumping over a stick with another stick. It drove our lives at that time, yet, today, it is only a blip on our timelines.
Mike pulled out a picture from the past. The week after he and I had both won national championships, and both were headed to Europe on the U.S. track teams, the local Chevrolet dealer offered to give us each the use of brand new Corvettes for a week. Are you kidding? Coach Carnes thought it would be illegal (it was), so, instead they gave us each a large travel bag for the trip to Europe. Probably a good thing. My daily transportation was a Honda 50cc scooter. My guess is I would have wrapped that Corvette around a tree.