With reservations in place in-state, the Carolinas, and ultimately Vermont, I hit the road early February to push my way out of Florida before the March mania begins. Florida has felt quite busy these past few years, but it's over the top now as the year-round and seasonal population has simply exploded. Too many people and far, far too many cars, so hence my decision to push out before March, the busiest winter month of all.
I'm thinking this is the last hurrah, so my first stop is Sebastian, a place I've felt at home these past few years. It's also just a 2.5 hour drive to test out the Element, which remains questionable. I've spots on both the inlet and the mainland, and I'm really looking forward to a few weeks of the outdoor life.
There was an interesting mix of people camping from throughout the US and Canada -- newbies and veterans, young and old, outdoorsy types and those seeking a cheap bed. The inlet is pretty well developed now and the traffic on A1A is an all day event. In town, the New Yorkers with a smattering of Californians are changing the culture here, and the locals are shaking their heads. I'm so pleased that I found this spot oh-so-many years ago, and so thankful for Paul Kroegel, Teddy Roosevelt, Roy Couch, and Archie Carr for saving greenspace for the wildlife and me!
When I rolled into South Florida to help a friend, I could not have imagined the magnitude of what I was stepping into. Let me be clear, 2023 is a kick-in-the-ass odd numbered year already.
My friend’s house needed serious attention, and with injuries that just won’t quit, he was committed to performing at three events, as well as renovating an empty condo he needs to sell. So, for the past two months, I’ve been a sander, a painter, a cleaner, an installer, a hauler, a secretary, a motivator, an organizer, a cook, a DJ roadie, and quite a few times, a nag. That’s life?
Perhaps, but not all of it. While cycling is difficult in this concrete jungle, I did sustain my minimum weekly miles. Pedal -- but never let your guard down. I also did a bit of writing and editing as two clients reconnected; so incoming moolah is starting up again. Good timing as my dear Element, also known as home, has taken a bad turn. A few sensor fixes and too many dollars later, I’m now sitting on the edge of my seat as a used part arrives tomorrow that must be the solution.
Just what makes that little old ant
Think (s)he'll move that rubber tree plant
Anyone knows an ant, can't
Move a rubber tree plant
But (s)he's got high hopes, (s)he's got high hopes
(S)he's got high apple pie, in the sky hopes*
To say that I’m exhausted is an understatement, but okay February, bring it on slowly. My itinerary has me back in my tent this weekend and out of the Sunshine State by month’s end. I’m so ready to be back in my element.
*Van Heusen, Jimmy and Cahn, Sammy, "High Hopes" (1959). Vocal Popular Sheet Music Collection. Score 2890.
Cyclist, writer, teacher, avid reader, bike/ped advocate, nomad, pie lover