Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April 23, 2014 (2nd Day)

Up at 7:25 am - Sunny 70 degrees
Biked to the shelter at the river to look for white squirrels. Found only two. 

Biked on the sandy loop trail

After breakfast we left Ochlockonee Campground around 10, turned left on 319/98. 

Stopped at Carabelle to check out bottle house. Went in to look around. Here are pictures  

As we were ready to leave the property the owner/sculptor, Leon, who built sculptures with glass bottles, called us back. I thought I was in trouble for taking pictures without permission ;-)
He just wanted to talk with passerbys, so we stayed for a bit. He told us that he had back surgery last February.   He broke his back in several places due to lifting so many bags of concrete mix, He is not going to build any tall sculptures again, but will build as high as his height.  Plans to build layered boxes and impossible traingles. As I was about ready to leave EH saw blue jay coming to the feeder, so I went back in the bottle property, took pics of Scarlet Tanager, a new lifer me. 

Stopped by the world's smallest police station 

Went to the marina to check out sculptures, pelicans on docks and in water.

Stopped by to check Crooked River Lighthouse, took several pics

Continued on 319/98 to Apalachicola.  Crossed the bridge to town.  Found parking spot one block east of main street.  Was going to Tamara's Cafe, but we decided to try a different restaurant, so walked across the street to The Grill.  I had 1/2 lb hamburger with fries and EH had 1/2 cheesburger with fries. The hamburgers was very delicious.

While in town we decided to check out the boat ramp and fishing pier to see if we can park there over night, but we decided to call St. joe's Peninsula State Park for availability.  They had avialable sites, but it is on first come first serve basis, so we hurriedly went over there.  We were planning on spending the rest of the day exploring Apalachicola, but we can always come back another time. Got on Route 30 toward Cape San Blas/St. Joe's Peninsula State Park from RT 98.  Checked in at the ranger station, had several sites to choose from, so we picked site #98 (handicapped site) that is close to the beach and shower facility.  Asked about bald eagles, they said there is a nest in wilderness refugee but didn't know if it was active.
Saw lots of Indigo Buntings near the restroom. 

Biked to the Wilderness Refuge. While we were locking our bikes to the post a bald eagle flew over.  Hiked less than a mile before we saw the nest in a tall pine tree.  Hard to tell if it is active.  Waited for 10 mins hoping that the eagle will come to the nest, but no luck. So we hiked back to our bikes.  

For supper. I fixed chicken thighs and Knorr pasta side.  While cooking EH chatted with a lady, named Joanne from Keystone Heights for a good long while.  While chicken were being pan fried I went out to meet her.  Turned out that her husband passed away of Alzheimer's recently, so she is traveling by herself for 6 months.  She said she was 17 years old when she got married and bore 9 children.  She admitted that it is bittersweet and she is visiting places that she and her husband loved to go to in the past..  She drives a 24' foot Class B Thor alone! Brave soul! 
It was ao nice dnining outside with a cup of Scyamore wine (Norwood Restaurant's speciality)

Walked to the beach, brought chairs. Waited for the sunset. Took several pics.  EH was reading ebook while I was busy taking picures.  It was very breezy, little chilly, but bearable.
While. I was busy taking sunset pictures EH was reading an ebook written by Louis L'Amour called 'The Walking Drum'.

No clouds in sight.  The setting sun was pretty, but no green flash... EXPLANATION: green flash: This is a phenomena when the sun is setting in the sea on the horizon, just before it disappears down there is occasionally a brief green flash! You have to watch hard for it and not blink or you miss it! I have yet to see it! It works only at sea horizons and not on land but perhaps might work on the vast open great plains. 

It is 9:30 pm and I think I am ready for bed soon. Hope I can get up early tomorrow morn for sunrise pics.  Nope, she slept in!

Edith & Erwin (EH)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April 22, 2014

Beautiful morning. Temp is 55 degrees.
 Up at 7:45 am
Started to load more stuff in the van. EH forgot to fill up the water tank yesterday, so he is doing it now.  
Power failure in the house!!! We did not want to leave the house until it came back on. It took half an hour.

Erwin is getting excited and ready to begin the long journey.
We finally left the house at 9:50 am.
Beginning miles marked at 4,739

On atlantic blvd to I-10. Took us 45 mins to finally get on the road! Bye Jacksonville till later!

Pleasant drive on US 90 so far

Stopped for lunch at Bob Evans in Lake City i had apple cranberry spinach salad and EH got breakfast

Back on US 90 W toward Lake City
US 90 to US 129 in Live Oak FL (1:20 pm)
Stopped on US 129 to take a picture of Swannee City Courthouse

On 536 EH saw a black squirrel, went past it then backed up, but the squirrel was already gone, shucks!
Right on US 27 from 536, 25 miles to Perry.
Contacted Marlene Hartman, my childhood friend, to meet somewhere for a chat.  Met her at car wash at 2:30. Followed her to Burger King where we can find a place to sit down and chat. Of course, I had to haveI strawberry milkshake and EH got cinnabon and caramel sundae. We chatted for about an hour before we got back on the road.

Entered St. Marks Wildlife Refuge and Lighthouse. Toll booth was closed so was the visitor's center.
Saw moorhen, black silks, redwing blackbirds, snowy egrets, blue heron, bald eagle. Now on way to see the lighthouse. Very quiet, not busy. Took pics and video. Saw only one alligator.
Very windy. Saw 4 pelicans gliding in formation. Beautiful!  On way out saw new lifers - shorebirds and songbirds.  Tried to find an eagle but no luck.

Back to Route 98 going toward 319 for Ochlockonee State Park, hoping they have campsites available. It is 6:55 pm and we have not had supper

Arrived Ochlockonee state park at 7:15 pm   Saw 3 deer near the ranger station (two does and one yearling). The ranger station was closed, so we proceeded to campgoround site, got site #3. Warmed up Syrian leftovers.  I walked around the campground, only 30 sites.  Very nice.  The restroom was clean.  Then EH joined in for a short walk. Lots of bugs...
Decided to run a.c. inside the van.  Really exhausted! A productive and enjoyable day!