Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Across The State

Without catching a glimpse of the Swamp Cabbage Man, we left Ochopee and took off eastbound across the Everglades.  We made a quick pit stop to play with some more alligators though.

 Tired of this yet?  Well, we weren't.

The day was winding down so we decided to take our own airboat ride back into the River of Grass.  It was relaxing.

We spotted a gator nest off in the grass, which meant that momma was nearby.  After almost giving up our search, another airboat dude gave us the lowdown on where we could find her.

"Over yonder!"

After turning around we spotted her.

After looking at more critters along the way, we got back to the boat dock just as the sun was going down.  It was a long, but fun day.  We were hungry though.  Between the Everglades and Fort Lauderdale, we found some good food and beer.

This would be our last night down there, but we still had a full day to go.  We got some rest and made plans for our final day in the swamps of South Florida.

Is it over yet?


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Swamp Cabbage Man

Being back in the swamp was like home for me and Lunchbox.  So when we ended up deep in the Everglades in the little town of Ochopee, FL we knew it would be fun.  After a quick stop at the Post Office, we stopped in for a visit at the Skunk Ape Research Headquarters.

Skunk Ape?  Yeah.  That's the Florida Bigfoot.  I came prepared.

Bigfoot socks by DeFeet

I've been there quite a few times (most recently last March), but this visit had something new.

That statue may be new, but the Skunk Ape isn't.  The proprietor there has seen the mystical creature several times over the past few decades, so this facility is for real.  It's not just found in the Everglades though, because I've seen it myself.  Back in the early 1990s on a dark night in the swamps east of Orlando, I spotted what us locals call the Swamp Cabbage Man (same creature.)  Hoping to share my story with anyone there that would listen, I was disappointed to be only allowed to talk to someone that didn't even speak English.

Luckily, they have other stuff to do there.  We walked around back, and the kind gentleman there allowed us to play with the critters,  Lunchbox was on it.

Baby gators...


And this big ass snek that liked tickles...

It's a fun place to play if you're into that sort of thing (we were obviously.)  We went to the swamp to play with critters and we got our wish.  Although we didn't spot any Bigfoot-like creatures on our visit, we had a great time just the same.  

If you ever find yourself deep in the Everglades for some reason, stop in for a spell and have yourself some real Florida fun.  Not that fake "magical" fun most people do with the "mouse."

And yeah, I'll be back tomorrow with some more swamp stuff.


Monday, September 19, 2016

River of Grass

I'm continuing on with our vacation...

Lunchbox and I had a great time riding the trail that started it all, and we hit the road made it to the swamp just in time for a beautiful sunset.  So of course, we woke up down there the next day.  We had a full agenda, which would consist mostly of enjoying some natural Florida with little to no other people around.

We started on the edge of The Everglades...

We got a private tour on an airboat, and Lunchbox was pleased.

It was really nice though.

Instead of just riding around, we were taken to an old Seminole camp that had been there for over one hundred years.

We walked around for a while and spotted some baby alligators.

And close by we found momma.

I'd been there before, so our guide waited at the airboat for us to return.  That's when I noticed how cool it was that we were out in the middle of nowhere,

We hopped back on the boat and took another ride.  It may be just useless swamp to you, but it's home to me.  I love it out there.

After our tour, we hopped into the truck and headed deeper into The Everglades.  We ended up in the sleepy little town of Ochopee, at the smallest Post Office in the United States.

Lunchbox wasn't as tall as the bottom of the sign the last time he was there.

It wasn't about the Post Office though.  We were in search of something far more interesting.


Friday, September 16, 2016

Fun Friday

I know, I have more of our vacation story to tell.  Who gives a shit.  This blog isn't in real time, you know.  And more importantly, it's Friday.

My easy day.

So yeah, since it's Friday, make sure you go out and have some fun.  Weekend fun.

Real fun.

See y'all next week and we'll continue whatever the hell I was getting into.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Swamp Mountain

I missed yesterday.  Oops.

Anyway, after leaving our Nation's Oldest City, Lunchbox and I headed south down Interstate 95.  We had a few hours of driving ahead of us.  Once we got into Central Florida though, I realized that we were close to somewhere special.  I turned to Lunchbox and said...

"Wanna go for a bike ride.?"

He was in, especially after I told him where we were going.  A couple of miles off of the Interstate and we were in the parking lot of an old friend.

Little Big Econ State Forest (Econ for short) was the first place we ever went "mountain biking."  That was sixteen years ago.  I've been back a few time since then, and for some reason it's still fun.  It seemed so difficult back then...

And scary.

The "Ditch of Doom."  Pretty much the only real "feature" out there back then (not counting alligators) and it was a big deal to ride down in it.  Hell, Lunchbox was so small back then that the water in it often came up over his waist.

Not an issue now.

Shit, it was still fun.  Florida singletrack is awesome.

We took was used to be the "usual route" but we ran into an problem...

Lunchbox decided to look for critters.

The river was high which meant flooding.  We turned around and headed to the other side.  Much better views of the river without being in it.

And on the way we finally got to see a critter.

We spent a while out there riding, but mostly reminiscing.  This was where the mountain bike thing started for myself, Lunchbox, and a couple of my childhood friends.  The place means a lot to me, even though my skill level makes it easier these days.  Easy rides are still fun rides, and just being on a bike back in my home state made things good.

Lunchbox agreed.

We had a blast but it was time to hit the road.  We stopped for a quick dinner, and a couple of hours later arrived at our destination (where we would spend the next few days.)

Just in time for a sunset in the Everglades...

And after the sun went down, we made a new friend.

See those little eyes in the water?  He was um, friendly.

So much fun already, and we had a ton of time left on our vacation.  Good for me, because I can drag it out on here.

See y'all later.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tourist Time

So this year instead of going to Washington, D.C., Lunchbox told me he wanted our annual "Mancation" to be in Florida.  He said he missed it a little bit.  That's understandable.  While I do prefer living here in North Carolina now, I'll admit that Florida is still pretty awesome.  I don't want to live there anymore though.  We'll just visit like everyone else, thank you.

We left late after work on a Friday.  It was Labor Day Weekend and a hurricane was rolling up the coast.  I didn't think we would make it.  It was actually smooth sailing, and that next mornign we woke up in Florida.

Saint Augustine to be exact, but from the photo above we could have been anywhere.  In the Nation's Oldest City, we knew where to go and what to do.  But first, we had to get a photo for Little Miss Sunshine.

After that, the city was ours.  We decided to do some touristy stuff, like visiting the Old Jail.

Then, we got a brilliant idea.  We brought bicycles along but we decided that we'd try something else.  We rented some of those tourist scooters and took them out on the town.

I got a regular scooter, but Lunchbox?  Well, he got this thing:

He said it was fun.  We swapped so I didn't have to take his word for it.

Hell yeah, it was fun.  

Saint Augustine wasn't as packed full of people as we thought it would be (for Labor Day an all.)  We goofed around all day and had a great time.  We spent the night, and before we headed down the road the next morning towards our next adventure, we made a little pit stop.

Castillo de San Marco.  Rad

We lucked out and got there just as they were preparing to fire a cannon.  Awesome.

We hung out a while, even getting to visit with some friends/family in the area.  We basically did a week's worth of stuff in a weekend again.  No rest for the weary though.

We hit the road and headed south...

Tomorrow, of course.  Be here.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Just Plain Busy

I've been gone again.  A lot longer than expected.  Lunchbox and I just got back from a pretty rad "mancation", but that was only for a week.

I'll get into that later (probably tomorrow), but be warned that you're probably gonna see plenty of shit like this:

Anyway, the rest of the time I've been away has been busy as shit.  Some changes are happening around here.  Not on this blog, but in my personal life.  All good stuff though, so no worries.

I'll get into it when the time is right.

In the meantime, keep yourself busy...

See y'all tomorrow.