Sunday, January 9, 2011

Border of Blue

The day after Christmas we began the border of blue leg of our odyssey.  We are not on a trip nor journey, not even an adventure.  No--this is an odyssey, a long series of travels filled with sometimes excruciating, sometimes empowering but always enlightening experiences.  Inspired by Frederick Turner's A Border of Blue: Along the Gulf Coast from the Keys to the Yucatan, we left South Padre Island, TX, the day after Christmas and have visited Follett's Island, Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula, TX.  At High Island we turned north to pick up I-10 East.  In Gonzales, LA, we stopped for the night at Cabela's.  Next morning we returned the broken Generac generator then continued on to New Orleans.  For a couple of hours we drove around looking for a parking space large enough to accommodate our rig.  Only one would permit us to park...for $150!  A bust, so we travelled on to East New Orleans where we stopped to play on a city playground.  About an hour later we were marching toward Waveland and Bay St. Louis, MS.  Sage was disappointed about missing out on the beignets at Cafe du Monde -- really, she was a screaming wreck.  Some of this I've already written after Mississippi we whizzed through Alabama and left I-10 in Pensacola to follow the coastal route all the way to Santa Rosa Beach.  There we spent five days (was supposed to be three) with our friends, Angie and Steve.  We rang in the new year with them exactly as we wanted: at home dancing and singing with the kids.  We also hiked Point Washington State Forest and ate and talked and imbibed.  The day before we were supposed to leave I noticed the truck trying to start itself again...

This happened once before during one of our stays in Rockport.  Then, the battery ran itself dead but suddenly sprang to life when David tried to start it a few hours later.  This time, it really was dead.  Wouldn't jumpstart.  David found a mobile mechanic who diagnosed that the solenoid and wiring were damaged.  He installed a new one with new wiring directly to the battery for $200.  Apparently we have other wiring issues, or at least potential ones, because water has been trickling inside the windshield, eventually dripping onto a bundle of wires, and shorting them out.  When it's dry, though, there are no problems.  So...we can seal the gap around the windshield ourselves and will replace wiring on an as-needed basis.  We need to conserve our money and time resources if we hope to continue this odyssey.

The repairs worked, and the next day we relieved Angie and Steve by heading south through Panama City and Mexico Beach to end our day at Indian Pass Raw Bar and ultimately the local campground.  David ate raw oysters, I had gumbo.  Sage took bites of my gumbo but focused her energy on a plain old hot dog.  Two days we spent in Indian Pass exploring the dunes and beach.  Glorious.  We continued on through Carrabelle to Apalachicola and eventually to Homosassa Springs.  In Apalachicola we stopped at Up the River restaurant and feasted on alligator.  From a roadside vendor we bought tupelo honey and mayhaw jelly.  We nibble on both a little each day.  The wildlife park and butterfly museum in Homosassa Springs were the focus of our two-day visit.  Florida panther, black bear, red fox, red wolf and several species of birds and reptiles, including flamingo and the endangered American Crocodile.  Butterflies such as buckeye, monarch, white peacock, julia, and zebra long-wings, flitted around the butterfly house.  Love this town; we will definitely return.

So many wonderful experiences here along the border of blue.  Although at the moment we are all stricken down with colds and probably some type of respiratory infection, the entire clan is happy and hoping for speedy recovery.  Special thanks to Angie and Steve for "Up"...there is not a more perfect animated film for us.  "Adventure is OUT THERE!"

Love to all...

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