It is Friday night, October 9, 2020, and I am sitting at my little TV tray-desk in my little Weeroll drinking a little glass of red wine... or purple wine. It is the last of the wine from the bottle that Jeannie Clayton gave me from the Purple Toad Winery in Paducah, KY. It is Black and Bruised Red Wine. It is sweet and potent, as I sip my writing might get silly. Just warning you.
This evening before I sat at the computer I hooked up Lilac and folded up my portable sink and horror of all horrors... I used the campground shower. I have tried to avoid doing that because COVID might be lingering in the air from the last user.
Now I am all hooked up and ready ready ready for.... HOME! Yes, I leave in the morning and drive to Inverness.
Last I wrote I was feeling down about ending my journey, but the last few days I have stayed in one place on my own. I have rested and reflected and thought about next spring and summer and fall. Oh the places I will travel with Lilac!
I have come to realize that this small simple living is in-line with my values. In my house I have three toilets, THREE!! Even when I am not using two of them I have to flush them about once a week. Each time I flush my toilet or the other two toilets I think what a stupid waste of fresh clean water. Six gallons or more, woosh! Gone.
I mean it isn't really gone, the planet has the same amount of water, it is just now dirty. Most municipalities clean it up enough to dump it in a river. Some have started to clean it up enough to water lawns or even make it drinkable again.
Speaking of water! I drove all the way from Hattiesburg, MS (starting at dawn) to Nothern Florida SE of Tallahassee. I am right back where I started this trip, Suwanee River Rondevous near Mayo and Live Oak, Florida.
I arrived at the Suwanee River Rondevous after dark. That is the first time I have arrived at a camping spot after dark I think. Setting up was interesting, I have a headlamp but didn't want to dig it out I guess. The night was warm and muggy and the mosquitoes bit me all over. I am still scratching and putting on anti-itch creams.
This time I reserved a spot in the upper campground because I almost got washed away in a heavy rain in the spring in the lower campground closer to the river. I think the upper campground with full hook-up is much more expensive. They are charging me over $48 a night. I thought about cutting my stay here by a day, but I am glad I stayed the full time.
It was a loooong driving day to get here. My first day I was content to rest much of the first day in this spot.
They have laundry facilities so I washed and dried clothes.
I found the Goo I had packed when I started this trip, so I fixed my lovely flowery sign.
I sat in the shade in listened to the mocking birds. One made a cricket sound. The mocking bird must have the two vocal cords like the brown thrush because they can make that pretty double throat sound.
I rode my bike to Mayo to get groceries. About 15 miles RT.
Back in the rural south there is no political balance it seems. In my campground of maybe 50 campers there are two Trump flags, two confederate flags, and a multitude of Trump yard signs. As I ride the roads to May and back I did not seen a single Biden sign.
The second morning I walked down to look at the Suwannee River.
And then I did exercises and yoga with youtube videos. And I read! I have been reading Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing! And I picked it up to read a little and I read all afternoon. I rarely RARELY do that. It just goes to show me that this travel takes energy and it is good to stay in one spot a few days and just chill and recharge.
Oh dang! As I was writing this, I have both doors open wide. It is the first cool night here in Florida. I was looking forward to sleeping without the hum of the air conditioner. But my neighbor has decided to watch his outdoor TV and has it turned up like he is at the outdoor theater. Deep voices, punching and Star Wars sword sounds. I yelled at them twice, "Sure is LOUD!" I said.
What makes people think when they are camping that they can do this? I have been fortunate on this trip to have mostly quiet neighbors.
Today was wonderful.
Yesterday I almost decided to leave for home, I am so close, only an hour or two away. But I made myself stay the full time so I can be ready to get moving when I get home. There will be lots to do unpacking, dealing with the mail, cleaning and repairing and visiting and riding.
First I washed my car and the bugs off the front of the Weeroll. Then I went down to the spring and this time I went all the way in and floated a bit.
While I was still wet (I use my biking clothes for swim attire) I packed my lunch and rode to Peacock Springs State Park which is less than 10 miles from here.
The park is dotted with sink holes where the underground caves collapsed.
There was a gator in the water foating about 30-40 feet beyond these divers. My first gator siting since I returned south!
I found a quiet spring and sat at the edge to eat my lunch.
I returned to camp and then took the car to Troy Springs State Park which is about 10 miles in the other direction.
Here the people were snorkling. I suddenly remembered that I had packed my snorkle, but I don't think I have used it at all this summer. I went to the car and got it. I am so glad! What an experience. The water was cold, but then the bottom dropped away (one diver said at least 76 feet). An even colder gush of water was coming up from the spring.
A couple that came to snorkle asked me to take their picture and text it to them.
On the far side from the stairs where we get into the spring is the Suwannee River. I tried to swim over too it because I guess there is an old boat that used to deliver mail along the Suwannee that is sunk over there. But each time I passed the cavern, the water got murkier and warmer and I started thinking this would be good gator water.
I started seeing these orange sparkly clusters like Tinkerbell Sparkles and I began to wonder if I was swimming through fish poop... or were they spawning? Anyway, I figured swimming to the boat wasn't important. I chickened out.
Well I have an appointment to bike with Debra, an appointment to dine with Regis and Cindy and Mari and Jerry, and in only two weeks I take off again to ride near Sanabel, FL. Plus I have three women to call and discuss being housemates. If none of them are interested, I may look for a peice of land with electric and water and just park Lilac and live in it... small and simple. Less to maintain, less insurance, less taxes, less.