Otis takes a ride.
Yeah, I know – a cat. This past fall ‘Otis’ wandered up and after spending the $ to have him ‘fixed;’ we’re giving him every opportunity to ‘fit-in,’ so far he has passed all his exams. Anyway, –
a cat wandered up…. other than that it’s been a quiet winter in the foothills of South Carolina. More often than not it was comfortable weather, the frigid weather held back until the first part of January – then we got a dash of it!
Within it all I have nothing to complain about – i didn’t have to pull out my ‘jong-johns,’ the pipes didn’t freeze, and nothing broke. Another month, another set of bills – seasons’ pass, and another sunset hits the mountains; ‘Life’ is good.
In this rotation is February – a time to trade any sense of ‘cabin-fever’ for another snowbird ‘loop’ through Florida – my homestate. It’s ironic growing up hating tourists because of their impact on our little town, and now having an “R-U-V!” But at at this time also (life at 60 ) it fits, so well, why not?
btw; one of the GK’s (James) calls our RV an R-‘U’-V, James is a pretty smart guy, so with this our ‘Little Bessie‘ is now considered a first class “R-U-V!”.
On last year’s ‘loop’ I wanted to ride the backroads of W Georgia to Florida; long story short – it didn’t happen (‘fluid’ decisions). We stay off of the interstates as much as possible; this year in the direction of South Georgia and Plains, Ga – home of Former President Jimmy Carter. I always liked this guy – still do, he’s a good man. So we spent the day ‘lolly-gagging’ around the town stores and finding out first-hand just how much he is thought of as ‘a friend’ and neighbor. He has a lot of friends.
The old brick elementary school he attended has been preserved by the National Park System, really nice – and a place where the halls can easily remind one of where real ‘friendships’ begin. The above picture was on the wall – I liked the character and took a picture of it.
Sometime in the night Otis came out of his nest, looked around – then curled up and went back to sleep. Kims done a good job training him.. His eating/cat activities were normal with no messes. When morning came we continued southward on Ga Highway 19 into Florida with a stop at Fanning Springs.
I was really hoping for Kim to see some Manatees, and surprisingly we found 6 or seven ‘lazing-around’ just below the clear spring waters in the thin February sunshine.
Next stop along the way was to see an old friend, Dan Goddard (FMHS 70). I’m a ‘drop-in’ kinda guy, and Dan is always good with it. A schoolmate, we chatted as we walked through his back-yard (‘bone-yard‘) of old-cars and rusty projects – I’m into that stuff too; just don’t have a pace to put it – so I enjoy others stuff. Old-friends are good; and after a mmmmeaty burger and a beer at nearby Willards with Dan – Kim and I were off to Rainbow Springs.
We had five days and four nights at Rainbow Springs State Park waiting. Long enough to get comfortable, and a good place to get Kim in a kayak – on the water. The North Carolina Carr’s gave us a tandem-kayak for use at the lake, and when Kim said she would get out in it; I threw it on the trailer (along with my solo) and took them both with us.
The Rainbow river
If I ever have another home; along the Rainbow river would be the place.
The place worked well for getting her introduced to a kayak, and I think she liked the clear water. The Rainbow Springs ‘head’ is about a mile upstream, an easy paddle so we worked our way up river – then with our ‘feet-up,’ completed a very mellow hour-long trip back to the campground ramp.
I was wondering if I could get her back in (kinda hoping not so I could solo) but I blew it when I mentioned there was beverage at the other end. The following day we paddled (lightly) with the current a few hours down the Rainbow river to the Withlacoochee. A little further from there was the Blue Gator tiki bar – and next door was a shuttle (at our convenience) back to the Park.
– it is true, at the end of the Rainbow – was a cold little cup of gold.
Oh yeah, and Otis – he figured right in to this park-life stuff.
After a week at Rainbow, we hit the bacroads once again – down the road stopping to visit a cousin, Ellen (Lakeland/Kathleen is family land, Mom’s side).
Ellen’s got a neat little place off Scrotum rd (Socrum rd) with just the right amount of livestock – and a little gator in her pond. Julie, her daughter is the only female gator-trapper for the area and drops one off on occasion. Good to see Ellen and her other daughter Ginger whom was enjoying a birthday.
To “Creek Week”
and some paddlin time…
The goal for the past year was this ‘week at the Creek’ – with friends.
Al and Ava (FMHS 71) came in for a few days, and ‘pitched’ in – right beside us.
It was a time to enjoy what a place and folks have in common…..
(now Ava, was that mouse really that big??)
and there was plenty of ez time within the weekday peace to take a paddle….
maybe even reflect,
or share a laugh
Life can be, a tire swing – if you let it.
Kim paddled the waters too
even got some gator watchin time in
Of course there were a few other stories floating around the camp too…
another good thing about old friends
It was a simple time, with the best of friends
Kim and I remained through the weekend, as the crowds came – weekend at the creek changed, it was like a festival without the band.
Full of people and their activities – all the canoes and kayaks were rented out, the campsites were full – even had a ‘Joe Dirt’ wedding taking place. I was impressed how the staff kept up with everything. We just rode the bikes around and watched it all in amusement, kinda like hanging around a boat ramp – cheap entertainment.
Sunday was the best though; we watched as the crowds departed…..
Monday the peace and tranquility of the creek was back; later that day we headed North
Otis’s first ride in the RUV was a positive; he operated at the same pace as everyone else and fit in just fine.
“….can’t we all just get along?”
link; Tom Haynie