Cycling to Florida - Gratitudes

It’s been over a week since I came back to King of Prussia, PA. I’ve been planning to write a gratitude post, but time seems to pass me by and my laziness seems to reach infinity. This is what happens when I’m at home. There’s no obligation to do anything, unlike traveling. However, today is the day that I want to thank everyone who has helped me in the past two months or so. Each person has made my journey to Florida a memorable experience.

I want to start off by thanking my friends, whom I cherish dearly. They include Brooks Gathagan, a coworker and a friend who allowed me to stay at his house in Philadelphia, PA. Brandi and Judy Panbach, who took time from their busy schedule to fit me in for a day at their house in Silver Spring, MD. I’m also grateful for Nick Eng for taking a PTO day so we can spend more time together in DC. Liz Scherrer, for a last minute overnight stay at her house in Alexandria, VA. In Doswell, VA, I reunited with Kathleen Kenney and her husband, Dave. Both of them were a delight to talk to and I’m glad they are back on Warmshowers. A special shout out to Crispin Schamp and his wife, Margery. Crispin drove two hours from Greensboro, NC, to pick me up at Clarksville, VA, so I won’t have to ride in the rain. I ended up spending four days at his place. I hope I didn’t stink like a staled fish. He also drove me to Durham, NC, to drop me off. Thank you so much, Crispin! Lastly, to Ed and Hannah, whose wedding I went to in Gainesville, FL. Thank you to both of you for allowing me to stay for three nights. It was a great wedding and I had a lot of fun! Thank you Ed for helping me box up my bike and ship it via UPS. Also for the ride to the bus station while both you and Hannah had many things to do. Grateful to have both of you as my friends. Lastly, thank you Merritt for the conversations. It was great to step back momentarily from all the traveling to reconnect with home life.

I’m also thankful for all the Warmshowers hosts. Some of them even allowed me to stay an extra night so I can rest more and do some exploring. They include Rodolfo Gomes de Oliveira and Hali of Newark, DE, Sarah Krantz and Jackie of Richmond, VA, Akshay Raghavendra Bharati of Raleigh, NC, Brett Hack, Janice, and Alan of Jacksonville Beach, FL. Jon Blumhagen and Earline of Orlando, FL, allowed me to stay with them for another night when I was trying a catch a flight from Orlando to Philadelphia. Jon even drove me to the airport in the morning. Thank you, Jon!

I want to give a special thanks to James at the Beacon Rescue Mission in Dunn, NC. Thank you for your kindness and generosity to house me for two nights. It was a great experience that I’ll never forget!

To better visualize my Warmshowers hosts, and others who have hosted me, here’s the complete list of my stays.

Dates StayedNights (3/20 - 5/13)LocationNameRelation
3/20 - 3/211Philadelphia, PABrooks GathaganFriend
3/21 - 3/232Newark, DERodolfo Gomes de Oliveira and HaliWarmshowers
3/23 - 3/241Joppatowne, MDStephen FranzoniWarmshowers
3/24 - 3/251Middle River, MDMarshall A. Schmidt and ConnieWarmshowers
3/25 - 3/261Linthicum Heights, MDDave and Susan EvansWarmshowers
3/26 - 3/271Silver Spring, MDBrandi and Judy PanbachFriend
3/27 - 3/292Crystal City, VANick EngFriend
3/29 - 3/301Alexandria, VALiz ScherrerFriend
3/30 - 3/311Prince William Forest Park, VAN/ACamping
3/31 - 4/11Fredericksburg, VAGigiAirbnb
4/1 - 4/21Doswell, VAKathleen Kenney and DaveFriend
4/2 - 4/42Richmond, VASarah Krantz and JackieWarmshowers
4/4 - 4/51Dinwiddie, VASmryna Baptist ChurchChurch
4/5 - 4/61South Hill, VAGreenwood InnHotel
4/6 - 4/104Greensboro, NCCrispin Schamp and MargeryFriend
4/10 - 4/111Durham, NCKade SchemahornWarmshowers
4/11 - 4/132Raleigh, NCAkshay Raghavendra BharatiWarmshowers
4/13 - 4/152Dunn, NCJamesRescue Mission
4/15 - 4/161Elizabethtown, NCKnights InnHotel
4/16 - 4/171Reigelwood, NCLee Luzader and TamaraWarmshowers
4/17 - 4/181Wilmington, NCSteve HamalainenWarmshowers
4/18 - 4/191Shallotte, NCFire StationCamping
4/19 - 4/201Murrells Inlet, SCDavid WehrleWarmshowers
4/20 - 4/211McClellanville, SCHoney Hill Recreation AreaCamping
4/21 - 4/232Charleston, SCNotso HostelHostel
4/23 - 4/241Beaufort, SCBob and KathyAirbnb
4/24 - 4/262Savannah, GAMisty and JoeAirbnb
4/26 - 4/271Brunswick, GARed Roof InnHotel
4/27 - 4/281St. Marys, GANiki RellonWarmshowers
4/28 - 4/291Fernandina Beach, FLRobert Reily and KarenWarmshowers
4/29 - 5/12Jacksonville Beach, FLBrett Hack, Janice, and AlanWarmshowers
5/1 - 5/21St. Augustine, FLEllen LucasWarmshowers
5/2 - 5/31Daytona Beach, FLAna TencheWarmshowers
5/3 - 5/41Lake Helen, FLGary KatuinWarmshowers
5/4 - 5/5, 5/16 - 5/171Orlando, FLJon Blumhagen and EarlineWarmshowers
5/5 - 5/61Withla, FLHenry MeekerWarmshowers
5/6 - 5/71Tampa, FLCathi GilmanWarmshowers
5/7 - 5/81St. Petersburg, FLRenda and Bill LedererWarmshowers
5/8 - 5/91Port Richey, FLGrantAirbnb
5/9 - 5/101Brooksville, FLThomas GrayWarmshowers
5/10 - 5/111The Villages, FLKeith DennisWarmshowers
5/11 - 5/121Ocala, FLRahul RazdanWarmshowers
5/12 - 5/131Gainesville, FLJuliane Struve and KaiWarmshowers

Rescue Mission123.70%

Last but not least, I want to thank my road angels. Dean and Felicia provided me water while I was on my way to Joppatowne, MD. Inti of Alexandria, VA, paid for my breakfast burrito. Jeremiah of Dinwiddie, VA, bought my dinner and informed me of camping at his church. Lee Luzader, my Warmshowers host who picked me up in Elizabethtown, NC, since I had a broken spoke. Brady, a waiter who paid for half of my lunch at Southport, NC. Brett Hack, my Warmshowers host who adjusted the tension on my spokes. Cathi Gilman, my Warmshowers host who rescued me from the Gandy Bridge due to me having a flat tire. Real, a guy I’ve never met, paid for my breakfast at the diner in Ocala, FL.

I also want to thank my friend and fellow cyclist, Joan O’Connor, for supporting me with $100. And Josh, a stranger from Reddit, who supported me with $50. Thank you so much to both of you!

This trip has been a great success due to people like my friends, Warmshowers hosts, road angels, and even strangers on the internet. I’m so grateful to have encountered so many kind people. It just goes to show that the world is really a better place than what’s shown on the media.

Thank you, all! Here’s to the next great adventure! Cheers.


  1. Hi Hiatt!
    It’s awesome that you completed your journey and made so much friends and good memories. Your words made me travel with you in each post. Thanks for sharing all these adventures with us!
    Rodolfo and Hali

    1. Thank you Rodolfo and Hali! It was a great trip indeed. My stay with you was the most crucial one since it was right in the beginning where my physical strength was not there yet. Thank you for allowing to stay for two nights in Newark! Hope all the best in your adventures in life and travel!


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