Jun 26, 2012

Ahhh...the Atlantic!!!

So once you leave Perry (and there isn’t a whole lot in Perry) it takes just the blink of an eye to traverse the state and end up on the Atlantic Coast. My first visual was from New Smyrna Beach and I have to admit..I fell in love with the beach all over again :) Now, I have never been to the Atlantic before and jumping in for a swim in what I later learned to be the shark bite capital...awesome! The water was super warm, the waves were low and the beach didn't have many people on it!! 

I was glad to be back looking for seashells in Daytona beach...really... no I mean it really! The nerve of her to be laying right on the shell I wanted to look at...unbelievable
 Since I haven’t been paying attention to time or days I have to guess as to how long it’s taken me to go from Daytona to Fort Clinch. You could make the drive in a day no problem…I think I’m into day 8 or 9 now.

 Along this coast I have stayed in these state parks....

  • Gamble Rogers state park- small park but awesome beach, great park staff and I met some very cool people here
  • Faver Dykes - This park is in from the ocean about 15miles. Cheaper (which was wonderful), great nature and a rain storm that lasted a full 24hrs
  • Anastasia - fabulous, this is where I did a night time swim (which I learned was a very bad thing) and slept on the beach
  • Little Talbot - great little spot, I popped in the yak and took it for a spin. Was lucky to get a place here though due to my late unreserved arrival, another post on that is coming
  • Fort Clinch - wow, cool park! Here I caught a horseshoe crab, a Ray of some sort and I pulled in a poor shark who was caught up in another fishermans line and left to perish. The fort is cool and is in working order from how it was left after the civil war. Neatest thing? 53000gallons of cistern water kept in various locations. Why we all don't have rain water cisterns at our house is ridiculously stupid since we don't actually have control over the water at all.
 I really can’t say enough about this leg of the journey…and I know that it seems like every leg is getting better and better…it’s hard to believe but…it is!! :)
dem's big bugs down here!

The ruins of a Sugar Plantation that failed to make it economically back in the day...then was raised by Sherman during the "freeing" of the south

Nothing but beach!!!

Live shelling allowed...just don't put them in a bucket and "hope" that they dry up quickly to get rid of the smell. No...boil them in vinegar and then rinse them...ask me how I know?

Now that is classic...awesome!

Who doesn't like a lighthouse? I think everyone does...but climbing them...not so exciting!
 When I pulled up to a beach somewhere along the atlantic I asked a local guy “where are we” and he looked at me like I was crazy “Dude…you’re in Jacksonville!!” What? I didn't expect that... So now that I was here I dropped a line into Eyvette (Detroit connection) to see if her cousin was around…but her cousin was in Michigan visiting…so I didn’t spend much time in Jacksonville…drove around for a bit, watched some kids breakdance at a downtown park, stopped off at a church that was having a fish fry…and headed out. 
Evening full moon at Anastasia State Park...I turtle buried my legs, fell asleep, woke up, took a moonlight skinny dip and had an amazing time. When told that it was dangerous I joked that my canadian midsection of buttocks and jewels was so white the sharks were stunned into passivity like a deer in headlights.

Flagerly, FL...this is the old florida and the old florida sure beats the new florida of hotels and commercial bullshit

At Marineland

This dodge..maybe a mid seventies model...was hands down the cleanest most well restored motorhome I have ever seen

Nature here is wild compared to back home...the spanish moss, the long oak limbs, the lizards darting into the bush...it is humbling to know that I get a little spooked out by the "newness" of it on occasion, always looking for something that is going to fly out and bite me.

St Augustine

Castillo de San Marcos, St Augustine. Oldest fort and oldest city in the USA

under these waves lay a Manatee...coolest creature in the ocean

Amazing fort, Castillo de San Marcos

drivers burn...

 Now let me tell you…fish fries are awesome. I can’t remember a time back home that I have driven by somewhere that had a sign out “Fish Fry – open for everyone”. Now…one of the reasons that I’m drawn to these fries is that they aren’t run by white folks…no these are brothers and sisters of the church who run these (at least down here). And while it’s no substitute for being a part of the community…I do love to connect with my back roots and have a laugh and a smile, of a different sort, every chance I can get. This is the second fry where almost every single person was born and raised and had never explored much of the surrounding area. So I hope I left a good impression on the young guys who were there asking questions about Canada and my trip. 

24hrs of rain in Faver Dykes

I saw this....

so i did...what was at the end? A guy telling me to turn around :)

It was a postcard moment...

 I’m going to back track a bit here to relay a quote…maybe this is why I enjoy culture so much, ignorance is such a pain in the ass things to deal with. “I’d rather of been over there killing those sandniggers than dealing with niggers in Chicago…” said “Bill”. This was innocently led to by me asking him what he does, he corrected me “did” as he is 53 and retired (with full pension…and most of America is crying foul about some health care bill claiming it will bankrupt the country). He was explaining to me that he was an aircraft launch tech or something along those lines and that he was stationed in Chicago during the original gulf war to assist with recruitment and training. Pouting he spouted the ignorance above and was genuine in his longing for "fucking with them sand niggers".
 His line didn’t offend me, ignorance is everywhere and I have been and am full of my own type of it. But it did bring up other thoughts…after the trail of tears and the final battle of the civil war, the divide, the mixed emotions…it’s plain to see that America would not be who it was without racism and the military itself would not function without a heavy dose of racism both within and on the outside as something to direct hostility towards. The segregation down here still exists for the most part. You can "see" the difference in areas in almost every single city. When speaking with people you hear things like (at the fish fry when asking about jacksonville) "We don't go over there much and they don't come over here" - (in Mobile while changing my tranny fluid) "stay out of that area over there, you are way to white to be thinking you're friendly with them"

 And there is no fix for it that I can see. You can't turn the programming of the generations back like a clock and so the best you ca hope for is a slow tempering of those same outdated ridiculous opinions in the future.  Let's let the Juice Media explain it a little more...

 If you didn't laugh at that...I'm laughing at you!!

 So at the end of this leg there is Fort Clinch...last stop in FL!

This was a private castle, you can't get to it but it looked pretty serious from the road

Kick ass VW

From Fort Clinch you can see this US naval base...


The ray I caught and threw back

Yep...busted out the rubbers

oh yeah!

I don't like paying to see wildlife...so this was my first run in with gators. The babies seen here are actually standing on mom's back. Part of me wishes I had a chicken to throw in there ;)

In Anastasia state park I found out that ZZ Top and 3 Doors down were playing at the amphitheatre. Since the park is connected to it I rolled my scooter down in the hopes that I may get a cheap ticket...or find a way inside. Well after trying to sneak in over the fence and encountering 3...3 savagely sticky, thick strong webs in a row  freaked out!! I had spiders on my shirt, under my shirt and then 1/2hr later I found another one coming up out of the waistband of my shorts...needless to say I had the heebies. So anyway an old security guy left his post and I got to stroll back, talk with some roadies who just assumed I was part of their clan. I got to see Billy Gibbons backstage (he didn't wave at me when I waved at him). Then I sauntered up and started chatting with a security guard...I could have just strolled in but I turned to subject to sneak ins and she said they didn't have any that night....until i told her I was there with no ticket and no pass. Well she shat her pants, got on the horn and I laughed as they escorted me out...it was a catch me if you can moment and staying to see the show wouldn't have been as good as seeing her or the other guards reactions!!

Fort Clinch, a very cool fort

When ocean fisherman see me extend this collapsible rod they just smile...they know, and so do I that if I got hit with a real fish this may not make the battle

fishing pier...way long, way crazy storm coming in kept my time on it short. Then...it didn't even rain!!
 And with that ends Florida! I met a great guy who lives in St Marys, GA who invited me to stay...and that is where I'm heading!! 

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