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How Do I Do It?
Written By: OC Fotoguy
*Click images below to view larger versions.
How Do I Do It?
How Do I Do It?
How Do I Do It?
How Do I Do It?
How Do I Do It?
How Do I Do It?
How Do I Do It?
How Do I Do It?
How Do I Do It?
How Do I Do It?
How Do I Do It?

    I’ve said Good Bye to the limpkins and other critters in the EverGlades and America’s jungle, Big Cypress, passed thru Marco Island and visited Seacrets’ Jim Long, marveled at the Venice Rookery, and continued up the western coast of Florida, and got on US Rt. 10 and headed west.  I found an incredible amount of Mom & Pop sized seafood restaurants in Orange Beach in Georgia near the Florida line and feasted at Doc’s Seafood Shack in Gulf Shores.  Then I checked the weather and saw monsoon-like rains were destined for south Texas, so postponed my destinations there, and made a speedy bee line across the south and Texas in two days to beat the storm’s arrival, and kept going all the way to Arivaca, Ariz., southwest of Tucson, Ariz., and for first destination out west.
    Occasionally I run into somebody who asks about my method of meandering around through the warm places in our country in the winter when it’s cold here.  Getting and staying organized has a lot to do with it.  Here’s a couple of other things that are important:
    Weather, the ultimate decision maker - if it’s cold I go somewhere else; List Maker - I maintain a ToDo List. This assures things get done or bought/obtained, i.e.: When I run out of matches they go on the list; if not I may forget them and be miles deep in the wilderness with plenty of food, a propane stove or fireplace at my campsite, but no matches to start a fire and I’ve never learned how to rub two sticks together.  When I experience a place that I want to do again it goes on my Don’t Miss List, like the seafood places in Orange Beach.  Now, there’s such a long list of restaurants, entertainment spots and gorgeous natural havens that I can’t get to all of them on one Adventure in my four months.  If you want a copy let me know and I’ll email you one.  Routine - whether I’m in a party spot or in the backwoods. When my daily activities fall into a logical order I’m more comfortable and relaxed.
    Grand “Plan” Be Warm is the blueprint to head towards South/West Florida in December, January and February and South/West Texas & Arizona and surrounding states where it’s warm in March & April; then I head home for steamed crabs, the beach, Fager’s Island’s 1st Deck Party and Spring Fest here in OceanCity.
    Limit Risk:  I limit long driving days, don’t do things like walk on the edge of the rocks above a drop of 1,000s of feet, like at the Grand Canyon, paddle my kayak out so far in water that I can’t see any land, (I used to do both), and I remember a person is the most dangerous animal I’ll encounter, and driving a vehicle is the most dangerous thing I’ll do.
    Events:  New Year’s Eve in Key West must be a lot like one day of Fantasy Fest the way the swarming throngs of tourists & locals perform.  Another date is the EverGlades City Seafood (Music for me) Festival.  This year and last Lynyrd Skynyrd of “Free Bird” fame was one of the many performers, so no more needs to be said.  The other is St. Patrick’s Day in Las Vegas - not the strip where a draft beer costs $5, but downtown on Fremont Street’s outdoor bars, and a tremendous band (one is Irish with a gal playing an electric bag pipe, down the street is a guy who plays each type of sax, and more) playing under the Fremont Experience light show every 100 yards or so.  I kick that evening off with eating almost all kinds of food (seafood, Mexican, prime rib, sushi, Italian & more + desserts) at the Paradise Buffet in the Fremont Casino.  
    $$$:  I have a diner food and draft beer life style, am frugal, and I’m debt free, so money is not really an issue. I don’t spend what I don’t have, but I do keep track of what I have, so I don’t overdraw my means.  I balance days in party spots with days in the wilderness and I don’t do things like pay to park (not even where I park my nest at night, unless it’s a negligible amount), eat Breakfast out, use a taxi, use ATM machines when there’s a fee, and don’t have a Smart Phone Bill, any apps, do texting, watch movies, and use a GPS only to find a MegaMart, a free & frequent overnight parking spot.  Plus my nest (slide-in camper on a pickup truck) doesn’t have any heat, TV or internet.  Traveling in my nest on my pickup truck has saved me twice the amount of $$$ that I paid for it when compared to what I paid for motel bills before I had it.  I do post my photos on Face Book, have a 1,000+ friends there, and occasionally write something there and read others posting once in a while.  I am an avid emailer, use wifi hotspots, usually at libraries when I travel, post newsletters to my email list, ask questions for advice, and value the responses as one of the best sources of information I have.
    Activities:  I’m happy and satisfied to spend my time paddling my Kayak, bicycling, walking, and I cook most of my meals myself - yummy.  Of course I like a delicious restaurant meal and HH with music like John LaMere, Kevin Poole, or whatever band the Green Parrot has at Sound Check in Key West.
    Life Style:  I avoid loud, excessive, obnoxious things, including people, treat people right, and respect all natural things.  I eat good, get plenty of rest, and keep it simple.  I’m very good at getting out of the way, shutting up and doing nothing; that facilitates my traveling and produces my le’id back demeanor.  I generally have realistic expectations, am patient and let things happen; avoid getting locked into requirements, schedules, or details of plans.  The food I cook consists mostly of fresh fruits & vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, dry beans, and whole grain noodles.  They are inexpensive, taste good and are good for me.
    Usually I like playing by the rules when I know what they are and the fuzniks (authority figures) let me alone.  Most of my daylight hours are spent outside my nest, although I find the 70 or so square feet a peaceful, relaxing pleasurable place to hang out.  I fill my days with appreciating nature and accomplishing photography, whether I’m in a party spot or the middle of a nowhereland.  The computer fills dark hours as I stay inside in the wilds, which ties into limiting risk.  I don’t want to stumble over a python, etc.!  My laptop is my record keeper (journal), filing cabinet, library, and photo image (film) processer, editor and adhancer.  I’m never bored or can’t find something to do, plus life is better than a movie just to watch.  On the down slide and lovin’ it.  Ask me about a free photo and make sure you get some of that delmarvelous sweet corn and other veggies grown right there in that sandyloam soil at Birch’s Produce Stand across from the airport in West OC.
 
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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