Monday, March 19, 2018

Magical Days Again

We hit the camping a bit earlier in the week this time, due to an accidental booking. It was great though, I came packed prepared for surfing and biking and it was a good thing. It was cold and the waves weren't breaking well enough to endure the temperature the first morning. I did get in a 20 mile bike ride and felt fortunate that I wasn't the casualty of a spring break driver heading down A1A. Lots of motorcycles everywhere because of bike week, and truthfully, if I owned a Harley, I'd have been out riding there as well. I had to laugh a bit. I can easily remember the days when it was commonly said that a woman couldn't be strong enough to handle a Harley. I sure saw plenty of women driving them and not all of them were big and tall. Funny thing about stuff we used to know as facts that turned out to be way off.
This was a trip of cold in the morning and night and warm by lunchtime. The lesson we have learned from backpacking is that it's all about the layers. Zip-off pants, 3 shirts, boots and flipflops. You just have to love this time of year in Florida. For some reason, it was cold with less wind than usual, so we had these great clouds of mist in the morning, and fantastic stars at night. We walked from morning until way past dark and when we weren't walking, we took our bikes and got lost in the Palm Coast area, which was another adventure all by itself. 

We learned a lot from our ranger friend at the campground, finding that it could be a decent place to fly fish. He and a buddy went out from our site the first night, promising us fish for dinner and instead came back covered in mud. Apparently, the flats can be a bit like quicksand and one wrong step and you're up to your waist in it. A vision came to mind of a Redfish laying there in the shallows and telling the rest of his friends "Hold my beer" while he splashed around the soft sand spot. Nobody really knows if fish laugh or have a sense of humor, but if they do, we might have heard something that evening.

Our ranger was unable to provide fish for the dinner table, but the spirits of the fishermen were not dampened a bit. They both swore to come back and get those Redfish and get them good. Unfortunately, that never happened as far as I could tell, and I was left with the strong opinion that the only fish in those waters are much smarter than the folks with the fishing poles. 

We went for a long walk and were surprised to find a big pile of firewood stacked by our campfire. Not only was that a pleasant surprise, but we seem to have been blessed with God's own firewood.
 Those pine logs burned as if gasoline had been poured on them.

When we weren't sitting around the campfire, cooking or eating, we were walking the park. Even the deer in the Preserve were getting used to seeing the Perkins brothers there and hardly paid us any mind at all. They just looked interested for a brief moment as if we might have something good to eat, and then sighed and went back to grazing.
Each trip, it seems as we get a little bit closer to the perfect experience. Steve found what could be the great idea for a tent, as long as you don't sleepwalk at night or don't have to pee in the middle of the night. His new man-powered vehicle, the Catrike turns out to be the right tool. He can keep up with us no problem on our bikes and his back problem that prevented him from biking was not an issue. The only issue I can see is that he is somehow seeing this as his "wounded warrior" chariot, seeking a Don't Tread On Me flag to go with his giant USA flag on the antenna on the back of the bike. We are already hearing tales of "back in WWNam", so I'm not certain where this will take us..

Friday, March 9, 2018

The Letters From The Big Island: Part 1 - The Oldest Lady With The Bestest Location

This trip was to be an adventure, a way of saying that after being married 30 years, we still knew how to have fun. the first thing I wanted to try was a Bed and Breakfast, which I had shunned before. Here, on the Big Island, a B&B seemed much cheaper than a hotel, so we tried out a place that turned out to be most interesting.

Amy, our hostess was 91 years old, and sharper than me. She gave me something to hope for, a chance to believe that growing old doesn't necessarily mean the wheelchair and endless re-runs on TV. We spent the night in her very old sprawling house, mere feet from 100 foot cliffs down to the ocean. It was near one of the two main towns on the island, Hilo (pronounced 'heelo'). She had dogs, a cat, and a lot of personality. 

A major plus for me was she happened to live right next to the only active surf spot I found on the island. In fact, after exploring the island for 10 days, it was the only place I saw any surfers out. I stood at the mouth of a river that the local surfers used to paddle out and shot photos for over an hour. Girls were ripping it up out there. It was head-high and looked easy except for the rocks everywhere. I even saw a guy about my age, looking very out of shape, getting some waves on a longboard. 

I got up early the next day and shot my first Big Island sunrise. I was stoked beyond belief and it was only day two of our journey!