Monday, March 24, 2014

With a Bow to the Grateful Dead - It Really Has Been a Long, Strange Trip

It all started with a thought: "I want to spend some time in Florida in January".  It seemed innocent enough. Who wouldn't want to leave the frigid north land of Indiana/Ohio THIS January?  I sure did.

I'd made the decision, after being laid off from ANOTHER job, to just not work for anyone anymore. Realizing that, after all, I was the only one who really cared whether or not I ate...I decided to finally start my own small business.  Yup, just like that.  I'd had enough of sending out resume after resume. I was fed up with the waiting and the silence.  I'd had enough of shutting down businesses and working at jobs that were uninspiring and low paying.  I can hear you guys...I know you KNOW how I feel.  Having spent some years doing work that WAS inspiring, it was hard to accept that the world expected me to settle and sweep floors at a big box store where I do not even want to shop.

So, I gathered some ideas and headed south for a visit, little knowing that I was not going to be back home for two months.. During that time, I'd have some great experiences and meet a bunch of new people. I would visit with long-time friends and share a hot springs tub with new.  I'd see some beautiful sunsets , take some great pictures and cry a bit.  But then how can we know where we will end up when we first start down the trail.  The journey is just that, a journey with surprises around each bend.

Florida was cold yet sunny, windy and sometimes rainy.  I found the contrasts and levels of gray upon gray reflected in the sky, the beach, the birds to be mesmerizing.  There were a lot of birds...Cormorants, Red Headed Mergansers, Plovers, Sandpipers, Gulls, a life bird which I got no pictures of and now can't remember....but at that same place I saw a Common Loon which was cool.  The above bird is a Black-bellied Plover and it too, is a life bird!

During this time, I had an amazing experience with 2 dolphins  Both are regular visitors to the seawall by my friend's house and visit her often.  One late afternoon, I saw the fins breach about 20 feet off the wall...they were fishing.  They have developed a behavior where they will cruise out from the wall driving the fish ahead of them and then surge in to the seawall...or at least that is what I've told myself they do.

I believe they are probably some of the most sentient beings on the planet.  So, when I went out I just wanted to get a few photos of them out in the channel.  As I stood on the seawall, the larger of the two, approached and did a swim by.  "He" circled and came back for another pass, moved out into the channel, came back for another pass followed by the second dolphin, smaller and what I call the "female" but who knows.  After several more passes, he swam by the wall one more time turned, dove then came up blowing out his good-bye with his expulsion of air.  What a wonderful experience and as they swam away I raised my hand in good-bye as they swam towards the bigger water of Tampa Bay.

So, that was just the beginning of the trip which took me to Atlanta to weather the second, Icemageddon, to Northeast Georgia for the first couple of weeks of Thru-hiker season, to Amicolola Falls State Park for the AT Kick-off and then finally, ended with a trip over the mountains in a freakish snow storm, to Hot Springs where I spent several days visiting with good friends and enjoyed the hot springs for the first time.

And now, I am back in Northeast Ohio awaiting spring and the birth of grandchild number five. awaiting the entrance of a new life into this crazy, roller coaster ride we call life.  Bring it on...I can't wait!


  1. Glad to see your writing again and I love your photos.

  2. Thanks, Paralee...just takes time...:) Appreciate your support & encouragement.

  3. wonderful and wish I could have been there at Amacalola. Now you've been to Florida....and I hope you intend to return there in the future. I'm trying my best to empty my B-more house of 40 years of accumulation so I can sell and move back to Florida,near family. And when I do....I fully expect to constantly have visitors in the you, and other hikers,friends, gal-pals, etc....
    Will check on your blog more often, now....
    Love 'n hugs,

  4. Rosie I will look forward to hearing from you concerning the couch surfing offer!! I am currently sending intentions out there into space indicating that I wish to spend next Jan & possibly part of Feb in FL :) So get the spare bedroom ready!! :) Love to see you sometime btw...

  5. Hey, Vera. Thought you had a job at a new hostel outside Hiawassee. ??? I'm off to visit my Mom for Easter season on Thursday. Be gone 3-4 weeks. Your blog is well written. What camera are you using? HOPE YOU'RE LOOKING AT MARS TONIGHT!!! Enjoy the birth of your new Grandbaby ... the reward of not killing your teenagers ... lol. TTYL, Coosa

    1. Nope, I left there about a month ago. Been home since then. Have a great time with your mom. Thanks, appreciate your kind words. I will enjoy him. Thanks for reading ...