It was a nice ride down through Georgia on Highway 441 from Athens into Florida (the old highway) all the way to Ocala, without the ‘luxury’ of an interstate…… sure, there were some stop-lights here and there – but other than a very few inconveniences the ride was pleasant.
The towns were quiet, school-buses were fewer than expected, antique stores were common, and there was an overall desolate feeling to the ride – I bet I didn’t cross 12 other vehicles in 6 hours. To enhance all of this the November day was very distinctly outlined in comfortable clarity.
Its difficult to realize that I am out of the “gotta get there” mentality, but I have continued to find a way to make it fit. After so many years “travel” meant that we gotta GET THERE! almost a bee-line mentality. To finally feel the comfort of the highway passing along with the ability to stop and capture any moment of the wayside air has been a long time coming – it was tough not to lean back and put my foot up against the door frame like a recliner.
Just before crossing into Florida I had noticed the Suwannee River at Fargo and it looked ‘paddleable’…. to tell you the truth I didn’t realize that it was a product of the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia and not a Florida derivative… any way at the first opportunity of a boat ramp to it, I took (for more reasons than one).
This troupe of girls were at the ramp and had been on the river (180 miles of it to the Gulf) and were stretching their legs as I took my walk – interesting, and yes – it certainly has me thinking that I would like to float the Suwannee river too, no – not for the girls….. but what an awesome setting.
I could only imagine that at one time Stephen Foster might have rode this creek and was inspired, “Way down upon the Suwannee River...” (later I learn that he had never seen this river, the words simply fit into his song, good fit).
but the river was compelling…
– as I said, it unusual NOT to be on a schedule, but I think I like it. From there I pulled myself away and went further…
coming into Lake City there were was a giant wildlife mural, birds and stuff….
and places further along the way (if you had a kayak on top of your car) to check out.
so I did -this was the Santa Fe River – and I really did check-out some other neat places but I’m just too tired to write about them now….
plus I checked out the place where my Cousin JoAnne and I will paddle tomorrow (The Silver River/Springs), it will be a chore upstream – but a nice ride back,,,,, more later.