Following the roughest night of attempted sleep in Ft. Payne, AL, I departed the area to the southeast, making my way toward Florida over a hot, humid, rain-soaked, and T-storm ripe landscape:
I landed at Williston Airport (X60) for fuel after 2 hours in the air. There were a bunch of RV pilots enjoying a Saturday morning breakfast at the local diner there, but I didn't have an opportunity to speak with any of them. They all took off as I was getting caffeinated and checking weather.
The heat was rising quickly that morning, and with it, the cumulonimbus. With time a-wasting, I took off with tanks full for a 1.5 hr. flight to Everglades Airport, (X01). The lone bird on the field once again, I was greeted warmly over the radio by Nancy, the weekend attendant on the field that day:
I tied the Dove down and had a wonderful conversation with Nancy who, out of the sincere kindness of her heart, gave me a tour of Everglades City, including Chokoloskee, an adjoining crabbing village south of the field:
Flags were at half staff out of reverence for the officers killed in Dallas days earlier. The half-staff nature of Old Glory would remain as such for nearly the remainder of the trip nationwide. The Baton Rouge tragedy followed soon after:
Nancy was very sympathetic to my cause. In my Californian ignorance, I told her I wanted to sling my hammock between a couple of palm trees and sleep under the stars for the night. Nancy chuckled. She said I was more than welcome to do so if I didn't mind the occasional alligator, panther, copperhead snake, or the mosquitos which, according to her, were like something out of the Old Testament once the sun went down.
Silly me. Instead, she let me sleep in the rear access area of the tower. I put my bike together and spent the rest of Saturday exploring Everglades City by pedal power.