Saturday, April 28, 2012

Emotional stir - part 4

We push late into the night; zip though Chattanooga and end up just south of Nashville. Persuaded by over cautious truckers and a steady rain , the pack of vehicles in which I was running, pull into a rest area. We are road warriors we are bathroom seekers, we are done for the night.

Marissa has been asleep for hours, the motion of our travel soothes. The rain on the windshield amplifies; car camping pillow and blankie at the ready ~ out cold like a clubbed seal.

We wake to a great day, clearing skies and warm temps follow.  We push deep into Chicago-land, get turned around with road construction; pay a college tuition in tolls to get the **** out of there, turning north for Wisconsin.

We are home, mindset intact, we are still in vacation mode; It takes me a week to fully clear out all the gear; somehow keeping it in the jeep made the adventure linger a little bit longer.  Just in time too, as the Ipod player takes a dump and we lose tunes.

In a finite world, what comes around, goes around; so we're right back where we started... or are we?

The End

Friday, April 27, 2012

Emotional stir - part 4

We give nod to Historic 8th Avenue; pirate lore, rum running; we pay homage to the wood and ice trade of Shell Key; bye bye Pass a Grille, home of the world's greatest grouper sandwich.

The hoopty jeep called back into service; Marissa sits silently as we make our way through the labyrinth of causeways. Men working and road construction signs appear and disappear nothing appears to be holding us back, this is it, we are truly going home.

Marissa breaks out the Ipod player, gives a glance "Marley or the "Dead?" ~ "The Dead", I hesitate, not. Music drowns out the whistle of a poorly fitting driver's door; cracks in the windshield refract light making rainbows across the dash.

Truckin' by the Dead offers lyric interpretation, we crest a hill and see the last of the gulf; we "sing-sing" our way to Georgia.

Nothing good happens to teenage girls after 1230am thinking to myself; nothing good happens to me in Georgia. My thoughts go to the speed traps of the 60's and Macon County, traffic jams of Atlanta; I have an uneasy feeling. Thoughts race to the 262,000+ miles on the hoopty jeep. Keep on Truckin' as the song is looped several times to test my resolve.

We are unscathed by Georgia, in fact it was wonderful, Atlanta a peach. I still thought I heard banjo music in Macon County though. 

to be continued...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Emotional stir - part 4

There is something magical about roof tops; like cresting a hill and seeing the valley below, roof tops give you a unique advantage point. ~ a sense of accomplishment. Marissa and I find ourselves on-top of the Hurricane Restaurant quite often during our visits.

To the west the sea - to the east the ICW and beautiful homes; I wonder who lives there; I wonder what types of lives they lead; I wonder who invented the zipper and was the button guy abase? I shake off my disconnect and rejoin the masses.

Late afternoon arrivals, Grandpa Jesse and Charlotte have made the arduous journey up from Naples; the mean streets of Tampa - advantage 1, Grandpa 0 as they got turned around and got lost. Hugs and kisses ensue, good food and great conversation, they decide to stay the night as an opportunity to see us off tomorrow.

A long walk after dinner down to islands end makes for perfect closure to the day; we sit, we chat, we go big, we order ice-cream.  It's a late night we almost make 9:30pm before turning in.

to be continued...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Emotional stir - part 4

Big Medicine.

It takes us minutes to pack up; weather perfect early am; no dew, tents and gear dry as your grand daddy's skull.  Packing heavy we needed to tie in gear, but with  water like milk glass, no need to take the time stowing gear.

We take pause, our last look at the island.  In an adventure challenge you probably wouldn't look twice as you paddled through, but this is not a challenge, this is "big medicine"  We take away fond memories and an extremely nice collection of shells; "Be careful of the shells" ~ "yes dear"

*  I'd send you to the Urban dictionary for "their" definition of Big Medicine, but there is none; being nomadic, on the water with your daughter, with close ties to nature, is big medicine. It is un-describable to most and it appears the youthful masses have yet to experience it, let alone define it; don't even get me started on nature deficit disorder.

**  I get distracted and put in my name "Brian" ; I start putting in other names, like our encounter with "naked man" it's hard to look away. ~ I'm just saying...

We paddle out into what looks like fog, but soon realize there must be a fire some where as the smoke hangs heavy on the water. Our pace slow but steady, ghosting through the dense smoke, a schooner anchored looks to be docile, yet still a mystery; could easily be a haven for degenerates and contraband.  I am a story teller and I become entranced in my thoughts; A vivid imagination is a wonderful thing; I come up with all sorts of schemes and adventure.  Hmm I have a pirate daughter.

to be continued...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Emotional stir - part 3

This is our last full day on Shell Key, we are heading back to Pass a Grille to meet up with family tomorrow.

Marissa returns from her walk with only the best of shells; she has scored some perfect sand dollars as well; she is pleased for the sea has provided exceeding her expectations.

I welcome Marissa back to camp with trite gestures; ( the fist bump, high five, give me some skin etc etc) but she's not buying it; she knows it is the last day; so I resort to my "what up butter cup?" expression, met with the enthusiasm of a dentist's chair.

But this is a great day; we have a blast, we play the day away, boogie boards hacky-sac and paddling, the trifecta of yummy goodness.

Night falls, we make our move to the far end of the beach to watch the sunset; Marissa playing with the settings on the camera a tutorial for dad as she works the touch screen like a pianist works a grand piano.

We stroll back, make dinner and enjoy our last campfire; we sit for quite awhile silent; Marissa breaks the silence and offers appreciation for the opportunity to spend spring break out here; I listen while in the afterglow of contentment.

Now being the last night, I wait ever so quietly for Marissa to zip up into her tent; Now I do the same but I am not in my tent; I waiting for her to settle... I sneak up to the side of her tent and start scratching the side.  Marissa freaks, screeches  like a gull missing the last bit of bait!  I can't hold back the laughter, Marissa gives me a verbal how bout what for and sends me packing.  Ah, it's the little things I think to myself.

to be continued...

Emotional stir - part 3

The sun rises from the east and sets in the west; just like every other place I know on this great big blue planet; it's natures clock, a time piece to alert all comers that it is time to get moving an start the day.  I've been part of this phenomena for days now, my internal clock has been reset.

I make way to the galley to prepare coffee and I see we have had a late night visitor for the fig newtons "again"; but there are no fig newtons, as we polished them off yesterday; our visitor did not take disappointment lightly expressing his displeasure by scattering everything a bout camp.  Nothing lost to his fury; we had most everything broken down in to secure containers.

Clean up was simple, toss everything back in the food bag; pull a couple of nasty sand spurs from my toes and settle in to the mornings activities.

Birds darting to and fro; dive bombing pelicans; dolphins working the channel tide to their benefit; Marissa preparing to comb the beach, a quick "good morning", grabs some dry cereal and she is off.

I am left to my thoughts; I get the keen idea that I should go for a run down the beach, change it up a bit; nature stops as to look at me as if they could read my mind.  I have bad knees, multiple surgeries; I shrug off these negative thoughts and well sort of jump to my feet.

Our resident one legged half seagull half squirrel, ugliest bird Marissa and I have ever seen telepathically tells me that this is not a good idea.   Sea Squirrel is right, I make it about 100 yards, OK, feet and stop. This is no good, I limp it back to camp and prepare for the day.

to be continued...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Emotional stir - part 3

 Shell Key - yacht run aground. Dramatization purposes only

The shell trade is good in Florida, Shell Key a prime destination for many that work this trade.  But we deal only in ice and firewood, items that come dear to the beach dweller.

We fancy ourselves locals now, we have taken up residence and those that visit know us by name.  Like lighthouse keepers we keep a keen eye for anything unusual anything suspect.  We are stewards of the preserve.

A parlay with a majestic mega yacht offers up opportunity; but there is risk of refrigeration, TV's and the forbidden video game;  By the beard of Zuess there may be air-conditioning and showers, we are cautious of whom we interact.

Turning the corner on this for ever extending stretch of beach I come across a group of would be yachtsmen giving a heave ho to their power yacht that has grounded high on the key. I give way and nod and  move past as there are too many sea captains barking orders and giving direction already.  I fancy them clueless and my mind moves effortlessly  to buoy operations on the Coast Guard Cutter Mallow in which I was stationed many tides ago. Moving sinkers and putting buoys on station was our business; being innovative a necessity.

My stroll ends where the beach turns to sea grass, I turn and there is a woman in my pursuit;  the fantasy of rolling around in the surf quickly diminishes and we are down to the business of their boat being aground and needing assistance.  The woman states they are a cell phone click of calling for a tow. I offer counsel.

My approach finds assessing the men there more important then the situation; who's in charge, who fumbled the ball? I quickly assess that it is grandpa's boat and these are extended family down for a visit.  I can hear bitching and moaning and the degrading effects this is causing the aging gentleman.  Anxiety and stress seen in his face, his worry.

"Hey Captain" I cheerfully bellow out.  "If you never run a boat a ground or bent a prop you are either a liar or never been out on a boat." I say with a sense of expectancy. I see they are too close to the problem and can't see the solution.  "No need for a tow we can get it off the beach"  The roll of eyes and and a couple of huffs ensue to disrespect  grandpa.  I give the look that my dad had taught me, the one that says everything without uttering a word.  Silence is achieved; grandpa gives a weakened smile. There is a new sheriff in town and it's time to take care of business.

They have done quite a bit of digging at the stern of the boat which offered no resolution to their problem.  I call to order the men to move towards the bow; explaining as we move forward the bow is lighter and if we can get any amount of water to flow under the bow it is to our benefit. A heave too and  with small amounts of gain with each rock and roll, they are set free.

It's better to be lucky then good; their ordeal put to rest. I am elevated to hero status.  "What do we owe you?" states what appears to be the eldest son;  hmm my thoughts drift to the fair maiden leaning over the side with the come get me smile.  She moves closer to the man to whom I am speaking an gives way to a gentle caress...  Thoughts blurred - "Arr we deal only in firewood and ice on Shell Key, what say you?"

"Ah no ice or wood, sorry!" ~  "Say what?"

to be continued...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Emotional stir - part 3

Stan and Toby depart as the world calls forth their duty; We joke of honey do list and our intrepid Toby being home twice out of the last 8 days; we watch them sail off and contemplate our day.

It is warm and the sun shines bright. We move from baking in the sun to playing in the chop effortlessly.  With an in coming tide Marissa and I dart up to the edge of the channel and ride the tide back to our camp.  We talk for hours, no subject taboo.  I find myself saying a lot of no's as discussions of tattoos and piercings emerge.  Marissa knows the answer before the question is asked; but she loves to stir the emotion attempting to get a rise. This has been a set up; her statement of being asked to senior prom appears less threatening; I have been played perfectly.

We talk of  day paddling for tomorrow's adventure; we will skirt the lee shore of Shell Key looking for hidden treasures for those that dare to live life in the slow lane.  We saw treasures alright, rays, jumping fish,  and the allusive homosapien-nakedness.

Scared for life, scorched into the memory like a good scaled on fried chicken; we are privy to "naked man" fishing in all his glory.  I dare not ask what he was using for bait;  "Paddle on" Boo says, "don't look don't look"; like bugs drawn to a dim porch light, we fight the urge but can not look away.

to be continued...

Emotional stir - part 3

Night falls quickly on Shell Key. Stan readies his camp cruiser for the night.  Toby goes for a walk and returns with a bundle of wood; Marissa on a late afternoon walk returns with boogie boards left by the rich and infamous.

Stan breaks open a massive cooler and shares his bounty; does it get any better then this I think to myself. "You live you love you share you care".

Toby settles into his Kindle; Marissa sorts through her shells, Stan and I caught up in a setting sun; banner day I tell you, banner day.

to be continued...

Emotional stir - part 3

We have more visitors!!  Stan and Toby make their way out to Shell Key.  They are sporting a very nice ride, Stan's newly purchased Sea Pearl 21 trimaran.  These are a great couple of days; opportunities to sail and share stories of adventures past and adventures anew.

We spend quite a bit of time going through the Sea Pearl looking at all the comforts and advantages. This is good living, nice find Stan".  Stan allows me to take the helm and Marissa Stan and I head for blue water.

There has been a running joke that every time I break out my camera what ever was to be captured and fit to print vanishes; hence no pictures of the multitude of dolphins pods we encountered on our sail.

to be continued...

Emotional stir - part 3

Many of the legends or myths relating to the origin of fire are vivid and dramatic, and while they vary in detail there appears to be a common thread; fire brings people together, in turn opening the door for interaction. 

"Dad, did you pack anything to make smores?" ~" No, I didn't" ~ "When you die, do you want to be buried or cremated?" ~ "We should paddle out tomorrow to get stuff for smores" ~ "Cool". 

"Fire mesmerizes, flames flicker and waver coming to life; fire is restless consuming itself to survive; we are fire." 

to be continued...

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Emotional stir - part 3

The crepuscular light of dawn holds promise, for we have visitors.  There must have been an announcement of our arrival and extended stay; for we are no ordinary shell seekers and must be greeted.

I failed to mention that yesterday we had cracked the seal of a fresh bag of fig newtons;  it would appear we had dinner guests last night as well, as our food bag which was zipped up tight had been opened.

Someone, something had figs and only figs, interesting.. hmm? Marissa and I favor a good fig'; a stare down ensued.  " You midnight snack'n?"

to be continued...

Emotional stir - part 3


The night falls, the expectations of life as we know it, the hustle and bustle holds little value. Work and other responsibilities fell  away days ago; news, what news, all that is left is the cool sand beneath our feet and the wind in the air.  Birds sign off for the night calling out to mates; the sound of the sea amplifies; we are alone again.

The stars give clarity to dreams and aspirations; Boo talks of what inspires ~ all things possible. This moment, this gift, to be here, wondrous.

I lay in my tent with a sense of calmness, closing my eyes, opening my eyes, rolling left rolling right; conscious of my arm and shoulder I seek the perfect sleep position. A commercial for a posterpedic mattresses enters into my psyche. Can't remember where I left those black socks and the havoc they caused, but this I remember? Sleep my pretty sleep...

to be continued...

Emotional stir - part 3

"Arr me pirate shell hunter, what bounty!  But this is Shell Key, we trade only in firewood and ice; what see ye, the Black Pearl, oh the Pearl say ye, can't say, can't say".

It was quite enjoyable as Marissa took time to show me each shell, explaining to me the significance of her find; I drift off with the theme of Gilligan's island in my head.

The Ballad of Gilligan's Island

"Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale a tale of a fateful trip, that started from this tropic port, aboard this tiny ship. The mate was a mighty sailin' man, the Skipper brave and sure, five passengers set sail that day, for a three hour tour, a three hour tour...."

Late to the show, shell hunters arrive to the key; unbenounced to them the good ones have been picked over by Marissa; long walks great talks are only interrupted by Marissa's fearfulness that someone will enter our camp and steal her shells; forget about the thousands of dollars of gear scattered about.  The significance of those shells hold great value, so I am told.

Our day perfect in every way.  I've actually chilled out enough to do some reading; I break out "Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain

Both Marissa and I are in awe of how we spent the day so care free; we make a decision to paddle out and go for ice.  We head to the mainland, entering through the labyrinth of campsites at Fort Desoto; finding the elusive camp store we are greeted with southern hospitality and ice-cream.  Packing heavy with ice, we return just in time for another breathtaking sunset.

to be continued...

Emotional stir - part 3

We are castaways, alone on a desert island, well not really, but there is a sense of  secludedness on Shell Key. There is no boredom, the mysteries of a receding tide taunt; the "Great Pirate Shell Hunter" Marissa is up and gone; she is on the hunt for the perfect shell.

Siting back with coffee in hand watching the morning unfold, these are the days my friend, these are the days.

to be continued...

Emotional Stir - part 2

There is silence, we are both deep in thought,"lost in the vast abyss of space and time".

Marissa sees her first shooting star; how can this be, we've camped and traveled by night numerous times; I just assumed... wait, what else have I assumed about my daughter; I start to have this uneasy feeling. 

Silence promotes discussion, Marissa begins to speak unraveling the mysteries of her life; I feel I should be writing this down, no that would show my own naivety.

Google sky map is brought on line, we identify star after star; we wait for a waning moon to rise. We ponder sleep and head to bed.

Transforming into a celestial dream state; stars oh so many stars. I succumb to sleep, only to awake with an extremely sore arm and shoulder. It appears I didn't move much in my slumber and am paying the price.

to be continued...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Emotional Stir - part 2

Boo emerges energized, all lathered up in sunscreen with one thing on her mind... catching some rays and getting tan; a quick run to the hoopty jeep for chairs and necessities and we are officially at the beach; ain't life grand.

We pull together 2 pretty full days and a night here in Pass a Grille before leaving to our island paradise . Topped off with grouper a few cocktails and generous helpings of Key lime pie, we've melded into the locale. Our conversations and discussions are well above a traditional 15 year old's capacity; the art of active listening is activated. Mind and body attuned we father and daughter are connected. Then out of nowhere, "I think I'd like being a pirate". Check please.

So we find ourselves doing a late afternoon launch from Fort Desoto boat ramp, Easter Sunday. Boo's efficiency astounds as we "overload" the cruiser and are off in minutes. We paddle out into a setting sun, light breeze on the nose making the paddle extremely comfortable after a long day at the beach.

We are dwarfed by multiple local rescue boats, lights a blaze, full speed a head; in the distance we see the Coast Guard responding as well; either their filming an action movie or we got a full blown rescue going on.

We make our way to the Shell Key, find our slice of dream real estate and set camp. We look towards the Coast Guard helicopter circling, pondering the possibilities; We grab a couple of chairs and watch from afar; we never do find out what actually happened, but later in the evening well after dark we see what appears to be a jetski in tow. One can only assume that the jetski ran out of fuel, was being swept into the gulf by the tide and the rider attempted to swim for shore; pure speculation on our part.

to be continued...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Emotional Stir - part 2

Struck with a lightening bolt, I realize I am on vacation; why don't I have a cocktail in my hand? Cocktails and dreams, what a concept. I ponder that it is only 10:58am, then some quick math with the time zone and relize it is almost noon here in Florida; hurry for I do not want to miss the pre-noon beverage rush.

I am in awe; PBR tall boys on ice; a smile comes to my face as I anticipate the sweet nectar of Milwaukee's own. I am sure Oconomowoc WI where I grew up was a test market for this grand ole beverage.

Served by a damsel in a dress, I contemplate to impress. (I've been called out on occasion as a player, a flirt, I wont mention any names hum hum.. Beverly, Bonnie) "Maybe I'll shot gun this beer? - Hell, I'm parched I can do it." Travel pen in pocket, check.... ooh drapped in black socks... abort abort walk away with what dignity you have left; back to the bench fool.

As I turn I see the line for cocktails grow after the first snowbird makes a move; jesters, smiles and what ups are exchanged; we have found paradise.

to be continued...

Emotional Stir - part 2

My mind starts to clear of the fantasy (****) fest with Mary Jo; Boo calls first shower, I drop off my bag to the room and make my way down to the beach and grab some bench. This could be an hour or two of beach meditation as a teenage girl left to her own, with a bathroom, with 6 towels could be awhile; I've been set free.

I am not sure what is going on, I am a mess, an emotional shipwreck. I'm feeling light headed; Did I get into some bad sushi? Could it be the constant presence of my mom passing 6 years ago this month and the emotional stir of Pass a Grille? No, it is my subconscious telling me I still have black socks on. "Lose the socks moron".

I settle in, I settle down; I melt into the sound of the waves and the unspoken chatter of the beach; Kite surfer darts to and fro; the ooh and ahhs like fireworks on the Forth of July. Wind masks a hot sun; I make a break for the sunscreen conveniently stashed in a cargo pocket.

I reflect deeply on Marissa and Emily being the 4th generation of our family to visit this area; I am disheartened that Emily could not make it down with us. This is the second spring-break in a row she has missed as her school and now her work takes precedence. My thoughts dissipate as I see a severely handicapped man scooter on up to the edge viewing area. I take pause, mind darts to work left incomplete on my desk; I shake it off and get my head wrapped around the beach and the present.

This doesn't last long as it appears the man in the scooter needs some assistance, my worries are fleeting as a young gentleman assists with out hesitation; there is hope for the future a new generation of care giver emerges.

The beach in all its glory has away of soothing the lonely; I scan the area and see many elderly people sitting quietly, alone. Is this my destiny? I ponder my options as I readjust the black socks crammed in my pocket.

to be continued...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Emotional Stir - part 2

We arrive in Pass a Grille mid morning, our additional 4 hour jaunt through Alabama had actually benefited us as we had a completely different mind set, we're totally recharged.

Spring break was in full force about 4 miles up the beach in St. Petersburg, scantly clad vixens frolicking about, buff and stuff boy toys showing off their pecks; down in Pass a Grille things slow down quite a bit; poorly dressed men with black socks in sandals abound; I actually look pretty good in this crowd.

Cars stop for you as you cross the street, everyone strolling around like they didn't have a care in the world; historic 8th Avenue the shortest main st in America draws in artisans, beer runs cold, oh and the blackened grouper.

So now it starts; it's like going back in time as little has changed in Pass a Grille in my 51 years of coming down here; I actually start getting a little choked up thinking of the past, family members no longer with us, the good times, the adventures. I tune out my surroundings going deep into thought, stirring the past gently; images of skim boarding, cutting bait, hot concrete and body surfing fill the voids.

My thoughts are interrupted by a faint voice in the present; Boo stating the obvious, "What's our plan?" In my state of emotional stir, deep in reflection I am not yet prepared to leave Pass a Grille for Shell Key; "Let's get a room", I say without hesitation.

Falling into the rhythm of the locale, we sashay for the Keystone motel on the corner of Gulf way and 8th avenue; upon entering sits a young woman in her twenties a close resemblance of a young girl I used to play with when I was down here as a kid.

Out of nowhere with no introduction I pose a random question, "By chance, are you Mary Jo's daughter?" "Why yes, and who are you? the blue eyed beauty replies. "I'm the guy your mom used to pick on in your grandparents pool some 45 years ago, your mom used to tease me a lot." "Well, your in luck, I have my mom on speaker phone right now" I look down, I am doomed, I am actually wearing crocks and black socks.

So I am not actually sure what I said or for how long I spoke with Mary Jo, but I am pretty sure I was reverted into a bumbling idiot, with a neon moron light over my head. surreal to say the least, while on speaker phone a gathering crowd entranced with our banter.

Dazed and confused like a little boy who just lost a hotdog to a swooping gull, I exit with key in hand; find Boo talking with some 20 something skate board surf type (mentally throat punch him) and we meander to our motel room.

to be continued...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Emotional Stir - part 1

Hard right rudder and we are back to the freeway I-75, we spot a rest area for morning rituals. "Let's stop" she says with batting eyes and a sense of urgency.

I am not fond of rest areas, for stories of highway pirates and teenage fugitive druglords proceed us. The sign boasts nighttime security, screw that, I am not comforted by this thought as the guy in the orange vest and a severe case of fabric abuse (56" waistline) seems to be our first line of defense. We press forward as the need for a bathroom takes precedence over safety.

I follow Boo towards restrooms, my first thought, her safety; never mind that I left the keys in the jeep and $800 in cash with a come get me sign attached. Marissa makes her way in and I return to the jeep; crap...damn gawkers.

If you travel with a decked canoe the size of a school bus on top of your vehicle, you get gawkers. "What the heck sort a boat is this", he says with the faint smell of BO only dwarfed by his horrid breath. I return banter, "A "F"ing canoe, dumb ass!!" OK I recant, I made pleasantries and talked of legends and lore, what this craft is made for etc etc... Damn I need to use the rest room.

Back on the road without incident, we push forward warming sun to the east, nar' a cloud in the sky. Not two minutes down the road, Wait for it.... "What's for breakfast?", she chirps. Pouncing on the food bag and cooler, our bird of prey sort through the options.

to be continued...

Emotional Stir - part 1

As the weary sleep, I am comforted by my thoughts; I immediately go to fond memories of trips past; the hours and miles click by, fuel purchased fuel spent; road trip treats within arms reach, these are great days my friend; We are jolly bluewater giants traversing the earth. A full moon golden in color lights the way.

Decision time; meeting of the minds called to order. Do we go the long and winding road south through Alabama or do we throw caution to the wind and go through Chicago and Atlanta? Took about two seconds to decide. Those that are awake vote; unanimously decided, we head for the road less traveled; Boo awakes, "where are we, what time is it?"...

This ended up being an outstanding decision, no traffic, no tolls, no hassle and the Alabama countryside beautiful.. Who'd a thought they had paved roads in Alabama? We took the 110 out of Montgomery which offered small towns and scenic countryside.

A thousand mile + day of driving put us deep in the south east of Alabama, we car camped at a truck stop which offered 24 hour bathrooms and coffee. I never met a friendlier bunch of people, it was like we were their guests. I don't recall the name of the town as I was suffering from a severe case of white line fever, but it could easily be renamed Hospitality -ville.

A quick 4 hour nap and we were roadworthy again; is it too early for peach pie?

to be continued...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Emotional Stir - part 1

My earliest recollection of the water is at age 3; standing in a wading pool behind my grandfather's house with a garden hose in my hand. This would be the start of my fascination with sea; This is why we are headed south to the gulf; Youngest daughter in tow, packing heavy for comfort, timing couldn't be better . The sea beckons, paradise lies waiting. This is going to be a great trip.

Road tripping in a beat up jeep is priceless; driver's window held up by a fork wedge in the framework; radio stolen years ago, cracks in the windshield like lines on a chart showing us the way. Sixteen dollar pipe rack secures a boat twice its value; our hope chest filled with excitement as we head out before the dawn. Kick the tires check the oil, let the adventure begin.

The 3:00am start was a bold move, one never knows how a teen age girl of 15 will respond to, "it's time to get up and go". What makes this note worthy, is my travel companion is up and ready; she figured it out, the quicker she gets in the jeep the sooner she can fall back to sleep and like a sweater on the third date, we're off.

to be continued...

Emotional Stir - by Capt'n O Dark 30


The story you are about to experience is one of fact and fiction; names like Oconomowoc, Pass a Grille and Shell Key will intrigue.

Hemingway Twain London inspired, with a dab of Hunter S. Thompson to quill the mind; there will be no car chases, no steamy encounters of lovers rolling in the surf , no explosions except for the creation and demise of the stars above and possibly a ghost ship carrying contraband.

Settle in over the next few weeks and read with earnest; for it is for you this is written.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Still Packing....

Somewhere between the absurd and necessity we find ourselves bringing everything but the flat screen; I must confess, Marissa has 2 bags and well.... the rest is mine, well ours for all the creature comforts. I like to think of it as an extended camping resort picnic.

All of that has to fit into this; we'll be fine unless I have to do a two haul carry to the island we are staying on and then I wont hear the end of it. Hopefully a few of the boys and gals from the WaterTribe will venture out to see us; indulging in cocktail and mirth.
Marissa has clearly stated her goal is to get tan; a quick check of the weather, next week is looking pretty good. So we are off on another Spring Break Adventure, SPOT will be activiated which can be seen top right of this page.
ETA to Florida - Saturday 4-7-12

The Capt'n