Nomadic Day 508
So much has happened since my last travel post.
SO much goodness!
We stayed at the Chassahowitzka River State Park. What a cool place (although, we are back in the land of No-see-ums and they LOVE to munch on me. Stupid bugs).
We finally got to try out our kayak. There were manatees everywhere near the boat launch. The river broke off in small tributaries, the park has a map to help you find the best places. There's a cave system in one of them, called the Seven Sisters. I didn't feel comfortable enough, or strong enough, to swim through the one big one we found. Jordan went through several times though. Then we went to the Crack... which is exactly that, a big Crack. But it's a fun little swimming hole you actually have to walk into. You can kayak most of the way at high tide but just a short distance before, you have to beach your kayak and walk the rest of the way in. It's a even straight out of a movie. A lovely lagoon to hang out in.
The water was a bit cold and the air a bit chilly for me, so I only got in the water one day and had pants and sweatshirt to wear on the ride back. It was a nice, quiet campground though. Probably the quietest we've experienced.
And, like I said, we saw a lot of manatee. Crystal River (where we swam with the manatee) wasn't far away. Neither was Weeki Wachee River- which was a great kayak as well and even more manatees.
We even saw a river otter (we were worried it was going to try to get in the kayak for a minute). He didn't seem to care at all that we were there.
I've learned that the lemongrass oil does, in fact, reduce the amount of No-see-um bites. Just as good as bug spray. But, it also attracts the sun (which my current bug spray does as well).
Then we went across the state all the way to the Atlantic and stayed in Del Raton RV Park. Not the greatest park, the sprinklers put spots on everything and... there was constant train noise... but it was the closest we could get to the beach on the east coast. We spent a month in this windy city... very few days nice enough to go to the beach but we spent quite a bit of time hanging out with Jordan's dad and little brother. We even went there for Christmas dinner (I sure miss my family during the holidays). We enjoying Atlantic Avenue for New Year's Eve - catching a cold or flu bug (maybe even a different strain of Covid but that's not for sure and Jordan's dad got tested after spending time around us - it was negative). Jordan was miserably sick for over a week.
We also visited the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens. That place was VERY cool and relaxing. Which was needed because Delray Beach is full of people always in a hurry.
Then we got back to the Keys. Once again with the No-see-ums. I'm currently VERY itchy. Kinda going out of my mind from itching right now (calagel helps); but, we're in the tropical paradise again.
We've been taking day trips to Bahia Honda State Park... I finally felt warm enough to get in the water (and got my first sunburn - oops) the other day. Jordan was made for the water. He's in it every time.
We went down to Key West again. Many shops did not survive the shut downs - including one of our favorite bars (Lucy's). But, there's still live music and people everywhere. Still everyone gathering to watch the sunset. It was great to see that not everyone is living in fear.
We also went snorkeling again, this time through Captain Hook's in Big Pine Key. We went to Looe Reef - part of the only living barrier reef in North America.
It was wonderful. We saw a lot of fish and we both saw a sea turtle. We got some great video of the 2 hours in the water (condensed to 17 minutes - is hard to tell what you're filming with a GoPro in the water). No sharks but lots of barracuda. One was plotting on me. 😟 Thankfully it didn't get too close but it was creeping up on me for a bit. Creepy experience for sure! Jordan really wanted to see a shark and was chanting all morning and while we were there "shark shark shark shark shark." I even caught a bit of it on camera... but no sharks.
The last time we snorkeled down here, I did not enjoy it. The water was choppy that day. The waves kept crashing over me and getting water in my snorkel. Plus, we barely saw anything. I had decided ocean snorkeling was not for me.
I'm glad I tried again. Even though I was nervous leading up to it, it was worth the nerves. Plus, we saw the biggest manatee drinking fresh water before we left the marina (shown in the picture). I even figured out how to use my fins better. 🙃 Since my legs are literally twisted, they don't work the same as other people's. I learned that I can move well in the water with more of a frog kick than a dolphin kick (the dolphin just would not work for me).
It was a surreal experience when Jordan sent schools of fish to me. I was surrounded by them. It was pretty magical.
I'm glad I made the decision to try snorkeling again. I began feeling somewhat comfortable in the water.
I challenge you to conquer your fears and do the thing because it is always worth it. Even if you don't enjoy it, something comes out of the experience.
We have just under 3 weeks left here. RVing in the Keys goes through your budget quickly. We'd love to stay longer... we'll see if the Universe will provide for that.
For now, I leave you with a quote from my friend Frank White, "There are moments that define a person's whole life. Moments in which everything they are and everything they become hinge on a single decision."
What was your moment?
I had a dream that I was traveling all over the world. In less than 6 months, I sold almost everything I own...bought a Toy Hauler (the "garage" is my art studio) and am now living wherever, whenever...just me, my art, and my cats.