The time has come for us to leave the Suwannee River, and truly start on our epic journey. That’s what I’m calling this year’s adventure to Alaska. It has a total of five parts and I’ll give you a preview, and then keep you up to date along the way. That sounded boring, but I promise it will be exciting!
One More Spring Visit
Before we jump into Part 1, I have some highlights from our outing to Lafayette Blue Springs State Park. This is not to be confused with the “other” Blue Spring in Orange City, but glad they set them apart in name. This Spring is in Mayo and really close to our campground. We grabbed some Subway sandwiches and made a picnic of it before our hike.
Pat is waving from the restrooms. So, do you think it floods around here or what?! That next shot is the swimming area and was closed due to the high water.
Pretty tiny flowers on the trail. Pat scoffs when I take these “weed” pictures. These could even be stinging nettle for all I know, but still pretty.
I’m also loving all the flowering trees. We’re definitely in a different “zone” as far as plants go. There are redbud, dogwood and a host of others like this one I can’t identify. There was a brilliant red one, but I didn’t get a shot on the hike.
The craggy trees were pretty interesting. They grow every which way around the water.
Jackson poses, sort of, for the obligatory picture by the water. Really he hates my photography since it slows down the walking.
Last shot from Lafayette Blue Springs. I first thought something got eaten on the trail when I found so many feathers, and big ones, too. Turns out the turkey buzzards had a perch above and were doing a little preening. Collectively those feathers aren’t very attractive, but loved them “off the bird”.
Convict Spring – The Reprise
I told you in the last post that Convict Spring wasn’t very photogenic. When we got here it wasn’t with the water so high making it just a big brown soggy hole. Well, the water level has gone down in the river some and is no longer filling up the spring area. Didn’t want to short change that Spring, so here are the recent shots.
Jackson took a dip up to his belly and the chilly water sent him on what we call the wacky wilds. He tucks tail and runs like a crazy dog. In this case with Pat in tow.
Another dip in the Suwannee River for good measure from the Rendezvous boat launch.
Other Things We Did That You Probably Don’t Care About
Yes, we have our fair share of mundane stuff going on just like everyone else. This full-time travel thing still involves laundry, grocery shopping and cleaning. We did all that and also managed to complete our taxes. Pat did his mom’s as well. Pat changed the batteries in our tire monitoring sensors (whoa big fun), and I did yet more weeding out in the kitchen and reorganizing. It did rain one day and we had to have something to do after all.
We both polished off books and mine was over 700 pages. I borrowed it from the campground library with only a week left here. What WAS I thinking?
We also went off to the BIG city of Gainesville last Sunday seeking retail civilization and to attend Mass. We were having serious Publix withdrawal. For those of you from the Southeast, you know this is the very, very best supermarket chain ever! And we’ve only found one other store that thrilled us the same so far in our travels.
Anyway, a word about Mass. St. Augustine Catholic Church is right across the street from the University of Florida. It made for an interesting parking situation, but was a lovely church. My mom heart was so happy to see the hoard of college coeds jammimg the crosswalk heading back to campus after the service. I just wanted to shout that their mommas would be so pleased. And after? Yes, I had my favorite Tijuana Flats which was also just a block from church. We always went there after Mass in DeLand, so a smidge of our old routine emerged.
I see why old people love college towns. You just feel younger with all the scooter zipping and dashing about. So much energy, and fast food.
Part 1 – Finally!
You’ve been so patient dear readers and I owe you details. Many of you have mentioned that you’d like to know where we are as we go rather than just after the fact with my blogging. That does tend to lag a bit, so here goes – our schedule for Part 1 of the Epic Journey….
- 2/27 – 3/5: St. Marks, FL (Judy’s sister & hubby, childhood friend Lisa & hubby)
- 3/6 – 8: Falling Waters State Park, Chipley, FL
- 3/9 – 11: Pensacola, FL
- 3/12 – 14: Frank Jackson SP, Opp, AL (Yes Florida, we have finally left the building!)
- 3/15 – 20: Montgomery, AL (Hyundai Motors Tour)
- 3/21 – 25: Oak Mountain SP, Birmingham, AL (Revisiting my grad school haunts)
- 3/26 – 27: Wall Doxy SP, Holly Springs, MS
- 3/28 – 29: Lake Charles SP, Powhatan, AR
- 3/30 – 4/4: Springfield, MO (Pat’s sister and hubby)
- 4/5 – 6: Knob Noster SP, Knob Noster, MO (Clydesdales!)
- 4/7 – 12: We are working on this part. Looks like Wakeenay and Goodland, KS
- 4/13 – 18: Denver for Easter (Pat’s brother & fam)
- 4/19 – 24: Cheyenne, WY (Pat’s mom, brother & nephew)
- 4/25 – 4/26: Rock Springs, WY
- 4/27 – 4/28: Salt Lake City, UT
- 4/29: Malad City, ID
- 4/30: Idaho City, ID
- 5/1 – 2: Salmon, ID
- 5/3: Missoula, MT
- 5/4 -5: Spokane, WA
- 5/6-7: Oroville, WA
- 5/8: CANADA!! This concludes Part 1
I know that last bit looks rushed, but we are trying to get to Alaska and at this point, we STILL have almost 4,000 miles to go. Crossing the border into Canada in early May, and really, all of this depends on cooperative weather. But we’re optimistic. Also subject to change based on shiny things along the way, but that’s why we have wheels and the ability to recalculate.
2017 Travel Map
Just a quick reminder about the other pages on the blog. I completed the 2016 travel map and started 2017. This year I have a favorite picture attached to each stop. It is interactive so click away and look at the details.
Out On A Limb
Here’s the favorite picture of mine from this stop. Pat really is out on a limb.
Actually it looks more daring from the camera angle than it really is. He asked me how far out I wanted him to go and I replied “How far are you willing to go?” A metaphor for life don’t you think? See you on the way!