Post Finder’s Fest in the Forest
After all the activities and geotraffic, we hit the trails in the Jeep several times. The only wildlife we saw was turkeys. Corny did a face plant on a tree branch while hunting a cache and got a big scratch on his cheek, about an inch below his eye. At another site I slipped on pine needles and landed on a manly sticker bush. I pulled a big thorn out of my flesh and had big long scratches on my forearm. The first day out, I was wearing black socks and never knew I had gotten into a bunch of DAMN chiggers. I scratched myself silly the next few weeks and even avoided geocaching a couple days because with every step I took, my feet were miserably itchy. I ALWAYS wear white socks when hiking now.
The first time I took the Dual Sport on a Jeep trail a small bear ran across about 100’ in front of me. I was worried there might be a big momma behind him, but she must’ve been ahead, or I never saw her. I was beeping the little Yamaha horn. Of course the next cache was located right where the bear had crossed. That was the second time I have geocached with my gun drawn. I was pretty nervous, ducking into the brush for the cache. Later I was sitting down resting and a little buck came up the trail and eyed me. He looked me over then stomped his little feet and snorted before flying into the forest. It was a real treat to meet him.
The bike was a lot of fun on the sandy Jeep trails. I was doubting I could make it at first, but I saw the tracks of a motorcycle that had been there before me. Or was it an ATV. I figured out quickly that the farther back on the seat I satmyass, the better traction I got. At one corner the sand was well over a foot deep - more like 1 1/2’ - and I had to turn across the ruts. I was holding the bike up with my right foot to turn right, but my boot kept slipping away out from under me. I said “Sorry, bike”, shut off the engine and set it down. It was hard picking it’s almost 300# back up because both my boots kept slipping out from under me like I was one of the Three Stooges - whoop whoop whoop whoop whoop! I left quite the tracks in the sand there. I wonder if the Jeep would’ve gotten stuck.
Sonny’s BBQ ended their “Q for Two” promotion so we had to order off the real menu. I was very disappointed with my chargrilled chicken sandwich - although tasty, it was just the chicken on a bare bun. I had been wanting to try the salad bar and was disappointed by it, too. Not only was the sneeze shield so grimy I could barely see through it, the potato salad tasted like it was from Wal-Mart, the broccoli salad was soggy and tasteless, and the “Greek feta” dressing was ordinary Italian dressing with some cheese crumbles. Corny’s brisket was good and lean, but was about half the amount of meat on the Q menu and didn’t come with garlic bread. We really missed the awesome chicken nachos, too. We didn’t leave hungry, but we’re going to give Sonny’s a break for a while.
We didn’t have any trick-or-treaters at Ben’s although I had put together six little zippy bags of candy just in case. There is a big bonfire every evening but Corny has only gone over there once to burn some of his receipts. We haven’t used the pool. It is in the shade in the mornings.
After Finder’s Fest I stayed home several days nursing an Aldi’s cheese puff addiction because it was too hot. Then another rainy cold front moved through and cooled things down again. I found myself feeling very happy and Blessed, even undeserving, of the great year we’ve had in the RV; all the things we’ve seen and gorgeous, relaxing places we’ve been to. I want it to last longer - I’m signing up for another year! Corny and I talked about how much more fun we’ll have with the Jeep, going places where no other hoomans will spoil our view.
To wrap things up, I had bear sightings about every other trip out, lots of turkeys, a red-tail hawk flying with a 2 1/2 foot snake in his clutches, and the little snorting buck. I’m a little miffed that I didn’t see any other snakes - not even a black racer. During our stay here I accumulated about 350 cache finds and moved up a few notches on Florida’s “Rankings” list to #63 (http://www.cacherstats.com/Florida1.html). In some other lesser populated/snowbird states I would be in the top ten.
We got a flat tire on the Jeep already. A roofing nail. It was $23 to fix the plug. That day we tried Longhorn Steakhouse for the first time. We got their pretzel breadsticks for an appetizer - they were awesome. My steak was good, but Corny’s hamburger was raw inside. Good God, they can’t cook a HAMBURGER? We sent it back but by the time the second one came, I was done with my steak. We got it to go. They took it off the bill, but we won’t be going back there.
Later that week we went to Outback for lunch and our waitress was sick - couldn’t talk, probably from strep throat. Her hair looked sweaty, like she was feverish. I was extremely nervous and didn’t drink anything because she had put the straws in our drinks. I went home and took every kind of vitamin I had. Now we know better - if you ever get a sick waitress, quietly leave the restaurant. Thankfully, we didn’t get sick.
We finally got the dogs to a Vet for heartworm medicine, only Dolly refused to cooperate. We heard her in back screaming and rolled our eyes. The girl finally brought her out and said all that noise was to just pick her up off the scale. They weren’t about to attempt to draw blood. I wasn’t about to sedate her for routine healthcare. Anyways, it came to over $300 for two dogs for one year of heartworm pills. Bubbles needs the expensive kind ($20/pill) that controls fleas, too. She had been scratching herself silly lately.
While I was off geocaching, Corny installed solar panels, ripped the carpet out of the bedroom and layed vinyl flooring. We were at Lowe’s one day and a bum was working the parking lot. I was sitting in the Jeep and he claimed he was trying to get enough money to get a Subway sandwich for his granddaughter. I told him no. As I watched him in the mirror, he begged from old sick people on scooters. It pissed me off and I was a little bored, so I went inside to report him. I waited in line at the return counter for a little bit, but when my turn came up the race of the clerk was the same race as the bum, so I left. There was no greeter at the door to tell. I left the store and boom, there was the bum right in front of me, begging. I told him I had just reported him for begging and he was about to get kicked out of there if he didn’t leave. First he said “What” so I repeated it again, exactly. He wanted to argue with me that he wasn’t begging or bothering anyone; I said “The end” and walked away to the car. He was ranting as he quickly left. There was a young white girl waiting for him, his lookout I suppose.
After Lowe’s we went to Aldi, and guess who was there begging! I went in to the check-out area, not the grocery area. He saw me go in and was glaring at me through the windows. I told the manager but by the time he came up to the front, the bum was well on his way to Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart has a security patrol, so although it would’ve been fun, we passed up the chance to get him kicked out of there too. I saw the bum and his “granddaughter” on the sidewalk a couple days later.
After Corny finished up the solar panels, the first time it rained we sprung a leak. Luckily it leaked inside the TV cabinet and nothing was ruined.
Off to Suncoast! Glenn is there and life is a bit more civilized, indoorsy and leisurely. Maybe my bug bites will heal. Life is Godd!