Sunrise Sunset

Here we are, its 3:30 in the morning and after hours of trying,  I can’t go to sleep so I tore down the campsite in the dark.  I’m bit up, fed up, packed up and about to head south west across the state, hoping to find a more family friendly environment.

Then I get a thought…

Let’s go back to Flagler Beach and watch the sun rise one last time from the Atlantic coast.

One last walk around our vacated campsite with the flashlight and lantern.  Nothing has been forgotten.  One last check to ensure the cargo rack and contents are secured for a long haul.  Straps tight.  Tarp tight.  It’s all good.  Buddy in the kennel.  The girls up front.  It’s lift off once again!  Off we go out of the RV Park, and into the dark, heading to the eastern edge of North America.  See ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya!

Driving down narrow state road 40 to the coast left me thinking about back home.  In Minnesota at this time of the morning, there would be critters darting across roads everywhere.  Where is the wildlife here?  I bear down the road at less than the posted speed limit, just in case.  We’re in no hurry, there are no other cars, and we’ve got plenty of time.  Heck we’ll be to the coast by 5:00 am—I could take a nap.

The great Atlantic Ocean was equally desolate once we got to A1A.   I end up stopping long before Flagler, just beyond Ormond-By-The-Sea, pull into the narrow parking area, and wait.  And wait. And wait.  The clouds presented a heavy blanket across the horizon.  We waited.  I decide to get out and stretch my legs, and make some coffee.  HOLY HANNA once again it is ass biting cold out there!  What??? I need mittens!  Gee I guess this is why there isn’t a line-up of folks waiting to see the sunrise!  How can this be, only 50 minutes east of where we camped? Yikes!  I’m back inside the truck with the heat on—I put on my bad Santa hat and get warm.

We continue to wait, and finally a glimmer of pink lines the top of the waters horizon line.  As it turns out, we are witness to the all-time longest, coldest, and most uneventful sunrise ever.  The clouds hid most of it.  Hoping for something amazing, we held out until almost 8:30 to no avail.  But we can say we were there to see it all.  After a brisk walk on the beach and a quick breakfast for all, we’d had our fill of the Atlantic coast.  Now it’s onward and westward, hopefully to warmer weather.

Of course our journey took us through Orlando where the landscape shifted from thick trees, beachfront, and solitude to tall buildings, cement clover leafs, and 4 lanes of heavy traffic.  Every other vehicle was an RV it seemed.  We got a look see at a few points of interest from the highway.  Determined not to be taken off course, I held fast to the wheel and did not exit for any roadside attractions.  If there were children on board, I don’t know that I could have kept going.  Especially past Disney World.

Several hours later we arrive to Tampa, and hurray, it is at least 20 degrees warmer here!  We drive around the area, up 75, down 597 and find ourselves somehow on highway 60, traveling across a bridge over the ocean. 

Man, oh man, oh man, how cool is this???  Campbell Causeway.  I turned around and went back across.  Then, we turned around and did it again.  And yes, one more time. What can I say?

Oh this is a great place!  We keep bearing west, and end up in Clearwater Florida.  I pull off the road into a gas station and GPS for food and camping.  We follow coordinates that bring us across another bridge over water and in to Pier 60.  The entire pier and surrounding area is jam packed with tourists.  I see the restaurants that GPS pulled but can’t find any camping or dog friendly areas. No animals on the beach, but they can be on the walkways and grassy areas along the pier.  Happy to get out after our cross country trek, I park, and walk the dogs around the parking lot and along Pier 60’s main drag. 

Once again, people stopping us to find out what kind of dogs these are, or telling stories of how they miss their own dogs left at home. I spot Shepards Restaurant on the water.  All you can eat seafood buffet.  Oh yes, I’m there.  I make reservations for 4:30.  We spend most of the day wandering around the pier, enjoying the warm sun and diverse population.  I’ve run out of poop bags, but accumulated some brochures on fishing trips, various boat ride excursions, and a list of things to do on the Pier every day.  At 4:00 we are back at the truck, dogs are getting dinner, and I am soon on my way to “sea-food-and-eat-it” heaven.

And heaven it was! The only customer sitting on the deck, it seemed I had the entire outdoors to mshephardfood2yself. My waiter, Bryan, commended me on braving the cold.  Cold?  It’s got to be 60 degrees!  That’s not cold!  There I was, crisp wind on my face, scratching my bites in my bad Santa hat, gorging on plates of well-prepared seafood, and watching an amazing end to a wonderful day. Bryan was outstanding.  He was there to assist in fending off the hungry gulls attempts to steal my food, and took pictures of me at sunset. 

Happy girl. holidayc2c

 

Happy tummy.  

 

shepardfood1

Happy to be here in Clearwater Florida.

 

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Comments

  1. Jody Padilla says:

    I was wondering if you were out ice fishing on Lake Washington, but apparently, not. I may be down in that area in another month, if mom decides on exactly where to go. She wants us (me and and my two brothers) to join her on her birthday vacation.

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