Coconut Times - Ocean City Maryland
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Written By: OC Fotoguy
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    I have to know where I’m going, when I’m going to be there and how long?  But, but, but…. I don’t plan; have an agenda, and no schedule. That’s the way it is now; not only that; there’s also fees, that’s what the fuznic with a gun and badge is telling me...  Things change; I can handle that, and change is good, we’re told by our leader, who hangs out on Pennsylvania Ave. This’ll sure cramp my style! The U.S. Park Service has new hoops to jump through. To camp you need to make a reservation and pay a fee! At least one day before you arrive and for not more than a specific number of days in the parks they operate in Florida.  I made the call; it was painless, but it complicates my style, and I’m 30 miles deep in America’s Jungle at Big Cypress in the EverGlades with a camp site at Pink Jeep starting tomorrow.  
    I’ll have to spend another night parked at the bridge the road crosses to get to EverGlades City and go to the SeaFood Depot Restaurant and feast on their salad bar with all that homemade coleslaw, potato, macaroni, and other salads, plus steamed local shrimp. AYCE for $10! The person on the other end of the phone call asked me for my email address and my cell phone number. I told them there’s no service for either back in the Preserve; that didn’t matter it was part of my profile, I was told. Sounds a little 1984/Orwellian! The good thing I learned from the exchange with the fuznic is that the plans to make a USPS RV park way back there, where I love the peace, serenity, and isolation, have been scrapped. Good! The tourists with their hundred thousand dollar RVs with all the conveniences of home, would not have appreciated nature or drove the nearly thirty miles of dirt road to get there, and they’d have been bored and too noisy, anyhow.
    The beginning of my Adventure, which is #16, went well. I got out of Ocean City at 6a.m. on the 15th of Dec., drove twelve plus hours and overnighted in Savannah, Ga. That’s about 600 miles and I got there around 7pm. I wanted to park my nest, a slide-in camper on a pick’em up truck, downtown by the river. I drove around, didn’t see a good place, but I liked the looks of riverfront, bars and restaurants in the Spanish moss-draped town. Maybe someday I’ll arrive earlier in the day, so I can enjoy some time there, but after the drive, although it was easy without any problems, I was ready for HH and a good night’s sleep at megamart.
    The next day I drove to Deerfield Beach, where I began my winter hiatuses seventeen years ago by spending the winter there to check out south Florida. I’ve never spent a winter in O.C. again. It’s warm in Florida south of the smile line (a line I draw in my mind from Ft. Lauderdale to Ft. Myers Beach) and cold in O.C. I’m going deep in the Jungle and it was a 100 degrees  in the sun today!!!!! Gee, I wonder why I’m here? That’s a no brainer!
    The drive was effortless. There was drizzle in the beginning which cut down on my visibility, so I didn’t take short cuts on back roads to Rt. 113. I would’ve never seen a deer if one wandered in front of me and I don’t need a new hood ornament, or the damage - not the way to start. By 7a.m. it got light and I could see much better. I went through the Norfolk metro complex on a Sunday morning, so I missed the work day rush hour traffic. US Interstate 95 is about 90 miles from Norfolk, but signs are absent til you get 3 miles from it! Why?  Signs to 95 on the “beltway”, Rt. 64 & 58, would really help a south-bound traveler, who wants no part of Norfolk or Suffolk.  
    Once on 95 it was merely steer straight, find a talk radio station, and gas up when needed. Soon, I knew it’d be warm and I’d be in a place where I will have good eats when I want, sleep when I want, walk or ride my bike anytime, and do nothing, which I do very well, almost as well as get out of the way and shut up! No clock needed, the date and day of the week will fade, too.
    As I write this, I’m there and it’s incredible to be here again and, yay, it’s warm; while Ocean City and the north east is having what the weather guesser on the radio is calling a polar vortex, whatever that is! This Adventure I’ll maximize the things that work and escape the ones that won’t or don’t. I know in Big Cypress I’ll be shown birds, animals, flowers & plants, and more that most people never see in a lifetime and I’m ready.  
    Here in O.C. the sun has finally won the weather war with the wicked hawk from the north. It was a chilly beginning of SpringFest, but Saturday it was warm enough to ride my bike to it. I found a warm spot to bask in the sun and enjoy the music and Sunday, although breezy, Tom Larsen and then the Craw Daddy’s whipped up enough good music to make it unnoticeable.
    Then Monday we were treated to Fager’s 1st Deck Party of the summer with Raymond’s BBQ, ribs, & chicken right off the grill, yummy, and Batman dovetailed in between Opposite Directions for more splendid entertainment. Don’t forget all those DelMarvelous Fruits and Vegetables you can get at Birches stand across from the airport on Rt. 611; asparagus is in season, very tasty, and their tomatoes are not those cardboard tasting hard things that super markets have. It’s good to be back in Ocean City!
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