December 28

Today was all about Ohio. One part of being glad I’m down south away from the single digit weather. And the second part almost every person I met happened to be from Ohio. I paddled across the bay to Ft Myers Beach and tucked behind the island. The personal boat traffic was crazy. It was everything from kayaks to pirate ships. That’s right, literally pirate ships. Allegedly it’s the #1 tourist attraction in the area and judging by the good time the crew was having I couldn’t argue with that. I started talking with 2 kayakers and they were from Cleveland. I pulled into a marina to head to the grocery store and when I was parking my boat the dock attendant said he was from Ohio. Then he told me I couldn’t park there and had to move to the other side of the marina. I paddled around to where he told me to park and as I was pulling up a lady came up and asked me if it was true?  I politely replied “why yes, I am the best looking person out here”. She didn’t deny it but asked if I really paddled from Ohio. Then asked if she could take my picture.  I was an instant celebrity. I busted through the crowd and hit the store. I ran into at least 4 people with Ohio shirts on. On my way back I got talking to some of the people working at the marina store with accents from down under. Super nice people. I could have chatted with them all day but had to get going to meet some more friends from Ohio for dinner. When I got to the last restaurant before a long stretch of wilderness I pulled up at sunset. I was meeting one of my oldest college friends and her parents but was early. The place was nicer than it looked online and I felt really out of place. But once they arrived none of that mattered. They are probably one of the nicest and funniest families I know. I’m sure the entire restaurant was trying to figure us out but we didn’t care. My sides hurt from laughing so hard. We said our goodbyes and I paddled off into the night. I only had 2 miles to go to the campsite. My mind is still blown at how many Ohio people I ran into today.