Coconut Times - Ocean City Maryland
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Written By: OC Fotoguy
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    Wow, it’s day #80 of my Adventure #17 of meandering to places where it’s warm in the winter, when too cold for me in Ocean City, and living in my nest (Capri Rodeo slide camper) on a pickup truck.  Number eighty is about two-thirds through the time I travel from December or January to some time in April.  I usually drive at least 6,000+ miles, so I still have two-thirds of that distance to do as I go as far west as the St. Patrick’s Day Party on Fremont Street in Las Vegas, then head east stopping at places where it’s warm enough to wear shorts, T-shirts and sandals.  I’m always back in time for SpringFest and Fager’s Island’s first Deck Party with DJ Batman and Raymond’s BBQ:  a plate full of ribs, chicken, BBQ (like sloppy joe, but better) done on the outdoor grill.
     I’ve returned for a round two in America’s Jungle in Big Cypress.  This place is absolutely serene abounding with wildlife from panthers and bears, alligators and snakes to tiny frogs and even smaller insects, and a myriad of birds including limpkins, swallow tailed kites, painted buntings and more, amongst lush green plants.  There’s no place like it in this country.
    This jungle is quite a contrast to Key West, where I was for over a month.  Here are only natural things.  There there are many tourists, who cram as many events (Duval’s Street’s Bars & restaurants, snorkeling, parasailing, jet skiing, fishing, sunset cruises, the beaches, all the tourist spots (the Butter fly Museum, Hemingway’s house, the southernmost monument, Mallory Square, all those T-shirt & gift shops….), and whatever else is on their bucket list, into their limited amount of time there.  Me, I don’t even have a bucket and, of course, no list.  I get out on my kayak in the water as often as the weather will allow and frequent the bars and restaurants where the locals go.  I did get a little weary of throngs of tourists and noise of Naval Air Stations jets that were practicing landings and take offs or whatever they were doing.  Putting up with that is a tradeoff for being in the warmest place in the country, when it’s cold everywhere else.
    I enjoyed my 18th Seafood (Music for me) Festival in a row in EverGlades City before coming here.  The local seafood had disappeared there for several years, but this year there was a booth selling Key West shrimp and local steamed clams, a local seafood dealer had a stand, and I had a delicious pulled pork sandwich, and a gyros sandwich.  The food vendors are dominated by carnival type seafood vendors that lace their $25 platters with fake lobster meat made from Pollock or other cheap fish.  I’m not eating that stuff!  The music is played on a world class stage with a sound system operated by MoJo Sound Co. to match, and all the bands were top notch and dominated by southern rock with Lynyrd Skynyrd/FreeBird fame leading the way.
    Here in the jungle my life is so simple.  I eat good food, sleep well, walk & ride my bike, and putter around in the warmth of sunshine in February.  There are  none of those complications that cause stress, frustration and screw up our lives.  I’m convinced the simple way is how it was meant to be.  I did fasten an air pump onto my bicycle.  I looked at the directions, a couple of meaningless diagrams preceded by this symbol Ø with a screw driver on it.  I could clearly see there were two plastic screws.  I couldn’t see any place to put them, so I didn’t use them, plus that symbol meant to me, no screw driver needed.
    When I bought the pump I figured I’d just tape it to the frame til I needed it.  There was also a thin piece of material with velcro on one side. No matter how I wrapped it around the pump holder and frame, I couldn’t get the adhesive sides to come together to hold the pump in place.  The holder was curved a little, so I put it against a bar of the frame, and used cable fasteners (thin pieces of plastic with a pointed end, that slips through the hole at the other end, and clicks as it’s tightened) to hold it securely.  Good enough for me.  There was a paragraph of text that talked about how to use the pump to inflate tires with a Presta Valve, a change to that type valve from the type I’d used forever; another piece of craziness that I could never get to work.  Plus, the bike I used to have had so many gears I never figured them out.  Now, I only ride bikes that I find abandoned and leaning against a dumpster.  They’re all simple.  The old type of valves work fine and time tested to prove it.  This kind of craziness is an example of what people have to deal with to get so many things done.  No wonder at least half the population is running around in circles or worse, or simply nuts.
    Simple is the way to go, along with eating food that is good for you, well at least most of time, and getting plenty of exercise, and sleep.  Eat food that doesn’t contain refined sugar, white flour, limit foods with a lot of cholesterol (animal fat), use canola oil, and don’t eat large quantities of anything, plus don’t eat between meals.  Stay away from white bread and most baked goods sold in super markets, and eat lots of fresh vegetables & fruit, fresh fish & seafood, and seeds, nuts, legumes (beans), and whole grains that don’t contain gluten.  Walk to the corner store or places close by and our Boardwalk is spectacular for biking and leisurely strolls, but do it in moderation.  Simple for me to say, huh!  It works for me, though.  My cholesterol is falling and my blood pressure is within normal limits and even lower after I ride my bike.  Of course, I enjoy Raymond’s BBQ at Fager’s on Monday evening, but that’s the only day of the week I eat red meat.
    Take care of yourself first; if you don’t you may not be able to take care of others, who depend on you.  Know your limitations and concentrate on what you can do. On the downslide and lovin’ it.  Ask me about a free photo.
Bob R  o.c.FotoGuy
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