I've spent the last two weeks camping in Savannas Recreation Area, a repeat spot from 2016. It was fun to return to some familiar smiling faces, and this year's experience was quite different. Last year, I spent most of my time to the south in Jensen Beach and Stuart, as I was contemplating the area as a relocation option.
It's off the list, so this year I ventured north of my camping spot, and spent time playing tourist in Fort Pierce, and over the causeway on Hutchinson Island. Fort Pierce has a dubious reputation (that is rightly earned), yet I discovered a lovely, historic downtown and waterfront area with friendly people. Change is in the air.
Built on the Indian River Lagoon in 1838, Fort Pierce was commanded by Col. Benjamin K. Pierce, and as was customary, named after him. Yes, he was the brother of our 14th President, Franklin. Fishing, cattle, pineapples, citrus, and vegetables put the town on the map, and all but the pineapple industry thrive today (Cuba was too much competition). In addition to being the burial place of author Zora Neale Hurston, Fort Pierce is also the birthplace of the Highwaymen, 26 self-taught landscape artists who chose to sell their works from their car trunks, in lieu of picking citrus in the 1950s.
I'm now "home" on Sebastian Inlet for two weeks or so, then on to sites unseen.
"Nobody can be exactly like me. Sometimes even I have trouble doing it." -- Tallulah Bankhead
While I have been pondering many options for 2017, I did sit and peruse this blog, and my journal, before I forget what a great year it's been. It seems all too easy to be grumpy about too many things these days, and (if you follow the news), to expect the worse for the coming year.
Instead, I'm excited to have some repeat performances in Florida in the coming weeks, with at least one or two new locations on the itinerary, too. I won't be missing the mind-numbing IRS job at all, though I'll certainly be thinking of my Austin friends (bike riders and whiskey drinkers, alike).
Does anyone want to cycle the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where sleeping bears lie? The summer in Canada was more exceptional than I expected, and I am still in awe of the stunning scenery, the kind people, and my unique experiences. The fall flew by with family and close friends, and what a joy to spend the season in New England. Heading south, I was welcomed back to Maryland, then found three lovely spots by the water to call home. It was a tumultuous holiday season, but hey, aren't they all?
As I look back at the places I've been and the people I spent time with in 2016, I am happy and motivated to begin another interesting, challenging, adventurous, and unique year. I hope you are, too!
Cyclist, writer, teacher, avid reader, bike/ped advocate, nomad, pie lover