At last, the final day of March, a month that seems to have lasted far too long. Perhaps it's because I pointed south again from the peacefulness of tent life and the beauty of Cedar Key. Civilization is oh-so-highly overrated.
That said, I did get to help a friend post-surgery, and catch up on life logistics, before rolling out (floating out?) of Florida for the season. Let me just add that while the humans in South Florida are enough to manage, I was sitting at a red light and saw a 4' (?) iguana walking across a busy 6-lane road. People were slamming on their brakes as it simply jaywalked on to the next neighborhood. I thought, "yes, I am living in a parallel universe".
Meanwhile, I'm glad I've become a photo bug as there was some fun to be had...
In January I had to cancel a spot on my "Camping along Memory Lane" tour as temps were dropping into the '20s! So happily, I planned my last 4 nights in Florida at Princess Place Preserve. It's been 4 years since my last visit but the back story on this lovely spot in Palm Coast can be found here!
While the town of Palm Coast is developing, how grand that they had laid the infrastructure for walking, biking, and greenspace throughout town. It was a pleasure to cycle from camp and people are still friendly and considerate! While I found the Preserve a bit busy on my Sunday arrival, it remains well cared for, and I shared the entire waterfront campground with just one neighbor. Sadly, Mother Nature robbed me of my last night, but that's a tale that takes me into Georgia.
The town of Cedar Key, on the island of Way Key, is four miles out into the Gulf of Mexico. For those of you new to this adventure, Cedar Key is where I was living a "parallel existence" in March 2020 when the pandemic hit and the town shut down before I could truly visit. Since I'm camping down memory lane this winter, I'm thrilled to be here again.
With the exception of real estate prices, very little has changed. The County Campground, Shell Mound, is still first-come, first-served, affordable and no nonsense. My spot was just dandy and neighbors helped make this a lovely visit with conversation over morning coffee and evening campfires. Throughout the week, my bike was transportation and I did get to visit the Cedar Key Museum State Park, the Historical Society, the City Park, Tony's Restaurant, and pretty much the entire lay of the land on two wheels.
Yes, this was my first stop in two years where I felt okay to peruse museums, wait for food to go, and enjoy outdoor music with a group (masked, of course). Also -- I can't make this up -- on my last night at camp, a woman asked if I had been there in March 2020. After a chat, she said, "Wait till I tell Joe that you're just fine. He was so worried about you being alone here when we left." Cedar Key is a special place and I'm so happy that I returned.
Cyclist, writer, teacher, avid reader, bike/ped advocate, nomad, pie lover