'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, finding my way, friends, fun, go with the flow, making memories, natural wonders, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Ups and downs…

The last time I drove Skyline Drive I popped the pop-up off the hitch when I drove over railroad tracks in Front Royal. Fortunately two very nice gentlemen appeared out of nowhere and jacked up the now bent front support and got me back on the road. So I drove the whole way preoccupied with the camper, worried it would pop off again. I know I took pictures and enjoyed the scenery to a degree, but not like I did on this trip down Skyline Drive. The fact that I wasn’t the only driver was both a blessing and a curse because we both really would prefer to be the driver, but we managed to share the driving duties peacefully. But driving that road with its ups and downs, and hairpin turns to the right, and hairpin turns to the left, and stopping at every overlook to take pictures, can wear a girl out.

And when you come to the end of Skyline Drive you immediately begin your drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, with more ups and downs, and twists and turns. So we stopped for the night in Hillsville, VA. Which my son may remember from an infamous trip we took from FL to upstate NY, dragging a uHaul, and he said, looking at the map, “Mom, there is a road that’s a shortcut from the road we are on to the one we are going to”, and we took it. Much to our dismay we found it had twists and turns, and ups and downs, and we groaned when we saw that we had been driving, however appropriately, through Hillsville! I asked him if I had been driving him nuts by driving too slow over that road and he said no, I was driving him nuts because he thought I was driving too fast! I never imagined I’d spend four days driving that sort of road willingly, and calling it fun!

My first trip to Florida was in 1988 and I came away with the impression that it was entirely too flat. At this moment in time I think that Florida’s flatness just might be its best feature.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, connections, finding my way, foggy sky, friends, fun, go with the flow, history, life goes on, memories, perseverance, photography

In the mist…

Do you see it in the mist? The Gurnett Light. One of the few places I knew of that my friend hadn’t been to when he was a kid growing up in my same hometown. So we drove the long, rough, dirt road out to the point where it sat, and had to get 90% there to see it at all in the mist. I dodged raindrops all day to get these pictures, but somehow it didn’t spoil what turned out to be a fun day for us.

You really can’t get close to this lighthouse since it’s in a private community that sits out at the tip of the point. But you can zoom with your lens.
When I googled the Powder Point Light I expected to see the other lighthouse, but this one showed up. It sits right at the start of the Powder Point Bridge and is now a private residence.
And the bridge, once the longest wooden bridge in the country. Or maybe it was the world, I just read it but can’t remember.
Someone watched me taking pictures.
And swimmers on the beach. A
And the lonely lifeguard, watching them.
We had driven through Plymouth the day before. It was a gorgeous day but we couldn’t stop then, and probably couldn’t have found parking since the place was teaming with tourists. So we said we’d come back the next day, and the weather meant that there was plenty of parking.
Those masts are the Mayflower 2. As we drove back and forth to Duxbury the rain would stop, but each time we returned to Plymouth it was pouring again. We wound up drenched.
At one intersection along the way we saw the Toll House sign. The actual Toll House was a cute little white house in Whitman where the toll house cookie was said to be invented. It sat on this corner, and across the intersection was a fabulous fabric store called Saftlers. Both are gone now, replaced with gas stations I think..

I think that if I had had anyone else with me yesterday, and wanted to show them scenery that was close to my heart, they’d have thought I was nuts. But we both loved pointing out all the beautiful old houses along the roads we both traveled as kids…

'scene' along the way, adventure, coping, exploring new places, finding my way, friends, go with the flow, life, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel, unintended images

Detours…

I’ll bet you think I’m going to get all philosophical and talk about how you think your life is going one way and then it takes a very unexpected turn. I might be tempted to talk about that, but in this case I’m talking about the actual detour we took yesterday. Off of Rt. 301, compliments of the policemen who had closed the road to all traffic. We knew that something very unfortunate had happened up ahead, and we had a pretty good attitude since we had planned a day of driving that would get us to our stopping point on the early side. I had, however, just suggested that a bathroom break might be in order, and little did I know that it would be two hours before we found ourselves back on 301.

We were on a two lane road, very rural, with standing water along the sides of the road in places, from the recent rains.
When I say ‘we’ I mean ourselves and the many, many huge trucks traveling in both directions. One after the other those huge trucks passed us, most with their right side tires off the pavement and I noticed that they were creating a deep rut on the other side of the road. And still there were more coming.
I wished I could reach my camera when I saw three mules in the pasture here. One was kicking up it’s heals at the other two. It could have been a good picture, darn it.
I suppose I was lucky that I wasn’t the driver at the time, so I could amuse myself by taking pictures with my phone.

It took us over two hours to travel that detour. We saw only one issue, and that was a car driving in our same direction, and she had gone off the road enough that trying to back herself back up the slope probably wouldn’t work. We were seeing the light at the end of the tunnel by then, 301 was just up ahead and our particular nightmare was almost over. We looked at the cars and trucks heading south and just turning onto that sad little road and felt bad that they had no idea what they were in for. And, just as we expected, once we reached 301 we saw that the northbound lanes had been reopened while we were stuck in that detour nightmare. But we were back on the road with no harm done, so we were happy. Later on we learned that a truck driver had overturned and died, causing this whole problem. Day one of this trip was done…

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, go with the flow, kids, making memories, perseverance, photography, Pine Island, sunset

People watching…

Was I at Pine Island for the sunset? Of course I was. Did I get there early and totally get distracted by people watching? Of course I did.

There was the mom on the pier next to me who’s son was catching fiddler crabs and asking her to take a picture of them. He happily let me take a picture also. Then there was Dave, a frequent flier at both the sunrise at Bayport and the sunset at Pine Island. He sets up his camera to take a shot every few seconds and makes videos which he puts on You Tube.

There were cartwheels on the beach…

I had seen this little baby playing in the mud but couldn’t get a shot of him until Dad carried him down to the water to rinse him off.

What I can’t seem to get a picture of is how this guy gets from the before picture to the after picture.

Oh wait, I was there for the sunset…

adventure, boats, brainstorms, exploring new places, friends, fun, go with the flow, history, Just do it, making memories, perseverance, photography, road trip, sky, weather

The witches of Salem…

1692 was not a good year for witches, or people perceived to be witches, in Salem, MA.

This is the witch memorial. Each stone slab is engraved with the name and date of death of a person who was hanged for being a witch.
We did no homework ahead of time, so if these people have stories we didn’t learn them.
There were no crowds at the memorial on Tuesday. Possibly because the main stops were only open Friday-Monday at the moment. As was the Visitor Center, so we were without maps, and wandering on our own.
These murals caught my eye.
This was an interesting sign, and there were many opportunities to get your fortune read. I’ve always been afraid to do that, I guess I prefer to stumble along in the dark.
This shop in particular caught my eye, but we didn’t go in.
A chuckle at the front door.
The waterfront seemed like a good bet for photos.
Loved this figurehead.
The shoreline was quiet.
The sky was so pretty.
This is the home for aged women. I should have asked if they had an opening.
I love it when flowers spill over a fence like this.
Up one side.
Down the other.
A passerby told us to look up the oldest candy shop in America. The building wasn’t as old looking as others and I’m not sure that we would have gone in without a heads up. They told us that in 1802 a British woman was shipwrecked off the coast and was brought ashore penniless. But when the villagers learned that she had been a confectioner they bought her a barrel of sugar, and the business was born. Gibralters were the first candy made and sold in America.
200 year old candy remains in the glass jar in the case on the shelf. I liked the cash register.
I bought these to share with someone special, provided I can resist them for a few more days.
'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, boats, connections, Florida landmarks, fun, go with the flow, Just do it, making memories, perseverance, photography

Also on the river…

When I was in Charleston there were do-it-yourself bike rentals in convenient spots to help you get around. If we have scooters here in Tampa does that mean we are younger, at least at heart?
I saw that the dog was positioned to be the figurehead of this ‘ship’, but he never actually assumed the position. But his people waved at me!
I would never have spotted Humpty Dumpty if someone on the boat hadn’t pointed him out. He’s at a restaurant called Ulele, and he’s a holdover from a former attraction called Fairyland.
I’m not sure that this would be my chosen spot to kayak, but maybe it’s just that where I like to go on the Weeki Wachee river the water is only a foot or so deep.
I loved that helmet, and when she turned around and came back by I got my shot.
There he was, a very chill Mockingbird, in the midst of people, dogs, kids, and revving engines, just doing his thing in the shrubs.
I guess it takes two to paddle that thing. Or they lost a paddler…
Another bird who was not bothered by the activity on the water.
While I find this little girl in pink to be adorable, I have to wonder about her mother’s choice of footwear for this particular day’s activity. Dad was in jeans and a tee shirt.
This little girl and her dog were walking ahead of me, and I caught up with them to ask what kind of dog that was. It was so adorable walking along with ears sticking out like bat wings. Her dad told me it’s a Shih Tzu/French bulldog mix.
When I arrived in the morning that beautiful green (Astroturf) lawn was empty, and the Adirondack chairs were arranged in one long line facing the water. I sat there waiting for the water taxi. But when I got back things had been rearranged into socially appropriate clusters.