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Time To Go Home
Written By: O.C.fotoguy
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Time To Go Home
Time To Go Home
Time To Go Home
Time To Go Home
Time To Go Home
Time To Go Home
 
    Oh Boy, looks like the weather has finally broke and Ocean City is cooking.  The Bloody Mary’s @ Seacret’s Radio Contest at Fager’s tasted terrific and there was remarkable variety. I enjoyed mixing and blending the too spicy ones, with the too vodka laden ones with others that were mostly tomato juice and came up with a pretty good one. Now we have SpringFest!  Wow! The palm trees are arriving at Seacrets. Half-price menus are still happening with my favorite scrumptious seafood alfredo at Coins and the jazz of No Byscuyts will be back at the Caribbean Poole Bar on Sunday afternoons, and the Castle in the Sand’s Ocean front bar is soon to be open, which has become a mecca for local musicians with the fastest and best HH on the beach.
    As I meandered through the warm places of our country, O.C. memories increased to take prominence in my mind.  Way out in the nowhereland of Big Bend, Texas, in the Chihuahua Desert and the Chisos Mountains, I knew it was time to go home.
    This may’ve been my best Adventure ever, but I’m hesitant to christen it that. I was more relaxed. I ate good food everyday. I had few hassles from the fuznics (actually some were downright friendly! but, of course, there were a couple jackasses). I drove less and drove no marathon days. I was warm every day; especially when below the Smile Line, 27 degrees north latitude or a line from Ft. Lauderdale to Ft. Myers Breach and west, where everyone is happy all the time because they’re warm!
    My nest (a slide- in camper on my pickem up truck) was the star; what a wonderful, convenient, portable, comfortable little space to be in. And as usual, Mother Nature showed me sites and wildlife that most people never see in a lifetime. That happens because I’m there often, for a long period, and at the right time; I’m ready and looking, and I’m lucky! Plus I keep a camera in my hands, so I get the photo. Was this trip better than the last two, yes. The horrendous events (yeah, everything doesn’t always go right) and the weather at the end of those two Adventures so tainted them that it was overpowering. The first year I had my nest, 2009 & ‘10, has no negatives in my memory and neither does the next one. Those Adventures included Florida, south Texas, many places in Arizona (how did that state get so many natural wonders inside its borders?), Las Vegas, and gorgeous southern Utah, and encompassed much more driving and good luck from the weather. I doubt if I’ll ever do all those places in one trip again. That’s not the lei’d back style I’ve developed.
    The 11 Adventures before were done from a car and I tent-camped in the remote places or stayed in motels in Vegas, the Keys, and places like that. It’s so hard to compare each year’s meanderings, because the events are so different and the route through the warm places in our country in the winter always differed, but I was always at the mercy of the weather.
    The reminiscences of camping on the edge of the north rim of the Grand Canyon at ToroWeep at the end of 65 miles of almost impassable roads; kayaking in Rio Grande River’s St. Elena Canyon, seeing a big cat either in the EverGlades or Big Bend; getting through sleeping in a pup tent on the first night of my first Adventure 26 miles deep in our country’s jungle of Big Cypress, with no one else being within miles, eating mostly ramen noodles, and not having a clue of how to camp then!; and feasting at the buffets in Las Vegas top the list.
     This one I really got it right, though. However, coming back the weather raised particular hell and I cancelled the Walls of Jericho in the mountains of northern Alabama, and abbreviated my stop to see carnivorous plants that were just starting to bloom near Wilmington, N.C., and decided not to do the Outer Banks of N.C. That was smart; it was too chilly, and I was within driving distance of O.C. and could almost taste the half-price entrees and HH ACBs.  It was time to give it up! I’ll go to the places I missed next time or later. It can’t be as cold next year north of the smile line.  I’d like to see those plants eating insects, though; maybe I’ll go there this summer.
    I intended to be in Ocean City until the end of December, so I’d start this Adventure later than the last several years.  Last year I burned out in latter March, so I thought if I started later, I’d last later, but it got so cold in mid December, that I bailed out for Florida. I was in south Florida below the smile line for three months, where it was record warm, while most places north were record cold. Then I went to south Texas and then took a southern route home to avoid cold temperatures.  Avoiding the cold didn’t happen, but southern Texas really worked. I’ll be back for a longer stay there next time, where I’ll kayak in St. Elena Canyon to my heart’s content.
    I already have a general idea of what I want to do and go next Adventure to escape the cold, but I know that my meanderings take a course that happens as the day’s happenings unfold each time, so no detailed plans or agenda is made. I’d like to spend St. Patrick’s Day in Las Vegas where the most tremendous party I’ve ever seen happens under the light show on Fremont Street. There’s a fantastic musical group playing outdoors in each block and I can take my own ACBs. My nest is parked in an RV park about a block and a half away, so I can return to refill my camera bag that’s really a small cooler.
    I’ve heard so many people rave about the wildlife they see at Lone Pine Key in EverGlades N.P. that it’s on my Don’t Miss list for my next Adventure, too. Of course I’ll be in Key West and Islamorada for weeks, then Big Cypress for a long time, too. The EverGlades City Seafood (Music) Festival, where I heard Jimmy Van Zant, the original Free Bird Guy, is always the first weekend in February, so visits to those places must accommodate it, and the migrating birds in South Padre Island, Tx. second week of April were fantastic; so there’s some dates to build my next Adventure around. I’ll be ready!  
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