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Best Ever?
Written By: O.C.fotoguy
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Best Ever?
Best Ever?
Best Ever?
Best Ever?
Best Ever?
Best Ever?
Best Ever?
Best Ever?
Best Ever?
Best Ever?
Best Ever?
Best Ever?
    I’m reflecting on my meanderings over the last several months, thinking about what’s to come here in Ocean City this Spring & Summer, what local trips I’ll be making, and life, as I watch the watermen’s boats on Assawoman Bay.  They’re harvesting crabs.  I think they’re mostly females, which are legal to take on the ocean side, but not in the Chesapeake Bay by a recreational crabber, and the commercial guys are restricted, too.
    This is part I of my Adventure #17 that’ll summarize the happenings that occurred east of the Mississippi River.  West of the River that divides our country will be next week.  You may want to save them for use in your own travels.  I’m hesitant to label my Adventure I just finished to the warm places I can drive to in this country my best ever, but it sure went pretty good after my tire problems (they’ll get their own article) in the beginning ceased.  My nest (slide in camper on a pickup truck) was the star of the show again.  It is such a fine, convenient, cozy space in which to live.
    It’s going to take two articles to briefly describe my meanderings, because there so many places that I enjoyed and none where it didn’t work.  I’ve been gently chided about not doing anything different.  It’s part of my life style to stick to what I know will work, especially, that is time tested to be successful.  I have so many places where I know it’ll work, that are warm, naturally beautiful, or just absolutely fun and/or relaxing, that I can’t get all of them in my four months anymore, because once I’m there, and it’s working I like to stay awhile.  There’s not many requirements, but warmth is #1, unique animals, plants, & other wildlife, good restaurants, friendly or few people, good HHs (happy hour) with abundant ACBs (adult carbonate beverage), sure help, and would be part of the list if there was one.  I went to many of my usual spots, plus I added some new ones!
    Big Cypress in the EverGlades, Key West & the Florida Keys (where I spent about a month each) and south Florida below the SmileLine (26° north latitude that runs between Ft. Lauderdale & Ft. Myers Beach), below which the people are smiling all the time because they’re warm, are mainstays for me in December- February, because it’s warm.  I’ve been describing them here for years, so they’ll get a light touch in this series of articles.  There were several instances there, that make my travels an adventure that just need to be described, though.  I didn’t make it any farther west than southern Texas last year.  This year I didn’t make it there and missed kayaking in Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend N.P. on the Texas/Mexico Border, and the TexMex food in the mom & pop restaurants in Port Isabel across the bay from South Padre Island where there are all those exotic migrating birds, so it’s amongst the top of the list for my next adventure.  I hope to do much more kayaking in the Keys and in the coastal areas between Naples and Homestead/Florida City next time, too.
    In the beginning of March I checked the long range weather forecasts for Texas, southern Arizona, Las Vegas, and southern Utah and pointed my nest west.  That’s the part of my trip that’ll cover next week.  Going west was a great decision, because everywhere was delightful.  After that, April was about to begin, so thoughts of Ocean City’s ½$ menus, steamed crabs, and beach & boardwalk kept creeping into my mind, so driving east became prevalent.  I still wanted to see Carlsbad Caverns, which were very impressive.  How can there be so much open space in its huge chambers beneath the ground?  That put me on course to drive east across northern Texas, stopping for more local TexMex, BBQ & smoked, and seafood in Louisiana, northern Alabama, and near the Outer Banks of North Carolina and enjoying spots in those places.  I’ve always wanted to do the restaurants and bars in Natchitoches (a new place for me).  I got one of my best seafood meals there in Mam’s Oyster House (snapper (fish) smothered in crawfish & shrimp sauce) of my trip and the people were so friendly.
    I wanted to watch the final four of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, so I headed for a TV at Jim & Nick’s BBQ place in Gardenville, Al.  I was there last year and the flavor of the smoked turkey, chicken, pork sausage and pulled pork drew me back again.  North of there is the Walls of Jericho, where I tried to go last year when the first leg of my tire dilemma hit.  This year I did it, didn’t see the Walls, but sure enjoyed the wildflowers!  Next I was off to the Outer Banks with an overnight where I hoped to be in front of a TV for the final game.  The strangeness of that night gets it’s own article!  I found the carnivorous plants near Wilmington N.C., but they weren’t blooming, yet, so I’ll go back; had a delicious Carolina Boil (over a dozen clams, mussels, & shrimp right out of the local water with sweet corn, and a piece of sausage) at Fishy, Fishy in South Port, where they film Under the Dome. I checked out the south part of OBX (a new place for me). The ruralness is very much like the out-of-the-way places here on our eastern shore; I added it to my NoWhereLands List. I had another delicious seafood meal in Beaufort at Finz of sheepshead fish, wow! And the next day drove to Kitty Hawk.  The weather didn’t cooperate; was chilly, drizzly, and windy.  I knew where it was warm and I could turn up the heat - my condo in O.C.; so home I went.  On the DownSide and Loving It!!!
Bob R  o.c.FotoGuy
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