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ADVENTURE XV
Written By: OC Fotoguy
*Click images below to view larger versions.
ADVENTURE XV
ADVENTURE XV
ADVENTURE XV
ADVENTURE XV
ADVENTURE XV
ADVENTURE XV

    The Beginning Photos: lil frog, air plant, red flower, blue heron ... What a place to start my Adventure XV with so many unique critters, plants, flowers and birds.  I have always seen something here every day that most people never see in a lifetime. I learned that it is deer hunting season, so I overnighted in EverGlades City over the weekend and gave the hunters their space. There were virtually no tourists in EverGlades City this first weekend in December, 2012. I was the only person for HH at the Seafood Depot and there were few customers in the dining room, but there was still a full menu including delicious local seafood and my favorite, the salad bar with homemade potato salad, three bean salad, fresh local citrus, and more; complete with AYCE steamed shrimp. They don’t use Old Bay; they use a nonhot spice which accents the shrimp’s delectable flavor.
    I relaxed from the strenuous, problem free, but uneventful 1,200 or so miles of driving from Ocean City to here. Still there are no signs directing the through traffic to US95 in the Norfolk area till you’re less than five miles from that interstate.  Going north there’s signs from 95 directing travelers to the Bay Bridge/Tunnel from the exit off 95 to there every several miles.  Explain that one; I need to write a letter! I guess they want you to get lost, spend money, and stay a while as you figure out the route! I was occupied by watching the gas prices go up and down with each exit.  The low was $3.07/gallon near the South Carolina line. I filled up, wished I had an extra tank, and observed other places where the price was nearly a dollar more.   I made it to Savannah, Ga., the first night, but overnighted at MegaMart on US 95 in Poder, 600 miles from Ocean City, because I’m not sure if there’s any place to park my nest (slide-in camper on a Ford F-150 4WD pickup truck) overnight downtown. I left OC at 6a.m. and got here at about 6p.m.; that was enough for one day.  I hope that’ll be the last long driving day of my Adventure. Next year I need to find a place nearer to a good restaurant. The dozens of chain places just don’t make it for me.  They don’t have what I’d call food!
    Deerfield Beach is a natural for my second night since it’s 400 miles away and I lived there for the winter in 1998-9. I’m still remembered by Junior, the owner, of RattleSnake Jakes, where I have a “National Geo” photo of spoonbills feeding amongst the mangroves at Whale Cut (MM 80), Islamorada in the Florida Keys (a Don’t Miss spot for me!) on the wall and he catches the tuna that he sears in sesame sauce and serves with wasabi. It’s worth the drive in itself!
    From there it’s a much shorter drive through the everglades to EverGlades City, home of the Seafood (country/rock music) Festival (on my Don’t Miss List, too) the 1st weekend of February, in Big Cypress.  The drive from there to my camping spot is about 30 miles with the majority being on a dirt road, which used to be virtually impassible, but now though it’s still unpaved, I can set the cruise on 40mph and only slow down when I want. I had stopped at the Oasis Visitor Center to confirm the combination for the lock on the gate to ORV/Back Country Permit Area hadn’t changed. I’ll adapt to the “canon” yielding stalkers; I don’t want receive any of their lead! I have a license to be here, stay as long as I want, and do what I want, which is immerse myself in nature, walk (some call it hiking),  photograph anything I want as much as I want where the subjects abound, and be on the lookout for a unique, but suitable Christmas Tree for my nest.
    Last year I adapted a palm tree’s flowering stem that worked out very nicely.  It’ll be a fitting place to slip into the le’id back relaxed life of no requirements. The last several months I’ve put all kinds of stuff in my nest, thinking that might come in handy as I travel. Now I need to organize all that clutter.  There’s a network of dirt roads, once utilized to get to oil wells and farmers who grazed cattle here. I do my walking on them, since the pythons have invaded! I’ve never seen one, don’t want to, and certainly don’t want to tangle with one off the trail in the middle of the jungle, where I may not be found for weeks.
    I’ve brought lots of frozen food like crab soup and mussel chowder I’ve made, fish (sea trout, drum & blue fish), and Kim (of Kim’s Hair Design), who cuts my hair gave me lots of vegetable parmesan, vegetable soup and ham casserole. I’ll be eating good.
Bob R  o.c.FotoGuy more photos @ picasaweb.google.com/o.c.fotoguy2009
& facebook.com/OCfotoguy PHOTOSAsYouWantThem.biz, articles @ coconuttimes.com

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