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Snowbird Run 2015

What to do

I suppose it’s time I think about the return trip. I want to be home at the start of March.
Should be easy, right? Just hoist the anchor (figuratively speaking) and turn north. After all, I can’t get any further south.
My dilemma is the weather. I don’t want to drive the front wheel drive T.O.A.D. towing 3/4 ton of trailer and motorcycle into the mountains if the roads are icy.

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Yes, the snow can be pretty at times. Just not while driving an RV towing a trailer.

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The forecast for the top half of Georgia includes freezing temperatures with snow, ice and rain next week and that is when I planned to travel.
Perhaps I should delay my departure. Heyleigh says “absolutely “.

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Snowbird Run 2015

Key West

I rode down to Key West this morning. A cold front is blowing through and I do mean blowing. The winds must be nearly gale force at times and it was an interesting ride down and back.
I checked out the old cemetery. The sun was too high for good photos but my trip was more to scout than shoot. I may return tomorrow afternoon to shoot and stop on the way back for some conch fritters.
I found this guy amusing. Maybe I’ll catch his friends tomorrow if it isn’t too cold.

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Snowbird Run 2015

Quarry swimming on Ramrod Key

There is an old limestone quarry (the keys are all limestone) on RamRod Key that is open to the waters of Florida Bay. Some of the locals hang out there either fishing or enjoying the sunshine.
I have been promising Heyleigh she could go swimming for a couple weeks now. She isn’t like to forget it either.
It was a bit too chilly for her to swim in a friend’s pool in Tampa Bay but here in the keys the water is perfect for swimming.
Yesterday we jumped on the motorcycle and rode south 3 keys, found the quarry and had a ball. It’s a good thing we did as a cool front is coming in today.

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The big shake
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Snowbird Run 2015

Adios Tampa Bay

We rolled out of the bay area around 08:30 Sunday morning. Interstate 75 got us to Naples where we jumped over to the Tamiami Trail.
I visited Clyde Butcher’s gallery in the Big Cypress Swamp where I found Clyde himself talking with visitors. We has a brief chat.
The Tamiami Trail (Hwy 41) took us all the way to the Miccosukee Indian Reservation (CASINO) where we parked for the remainder of the day. The Miccosukee allow semis and RVs to park in the casino parking lot over night and we arrived early enough to grab a great spot. We could walk out our door straight into an everglade marsh.
It was a quiet night. I awoke early, anxious to continue on to the Keys but forced myself to drag my feet. After a leisurely breakfast I packed up and continued south to Big Pine Key.

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Snowbird Run 2015

Picasso/Dali, Dali Picasso

Today I rode across the bridges to Saint Petersburg to visit the Dali Museum. When I lived here, the Dali Museum was a regular excursion for me. The OLD Dali Museum, that is.
This is my first visit to the new museum and I definitely like the what they’ve done.
Currently the Picasso/Dali, Dali/Picasso exhibition is there (until the 22nd). Having never been drawn to the better known iconic Picasso works, I found this exhibition to be a delightful introduction to the artist. It shed a whole new light on him. Possibly it is because I am a Dali admirer. Maybe it’s because I’ve now seen a number of different pieces up close where I could study both the technique and the artist. Whatever the reason, I had a marvelous time seeing the rivalry of Dali and Picasso hanging side by side, piece by piece.
As always, I enjoyed my trip across the bay to admire work by the only artist I’ve seen who can depict how my mind works with his brushes and paints. It was a good day.
Ciao.

Snowbird Run 2015

We are enjoying the Florida Sunshine on the Alafia…

We have been camped on the river for the past couple weeks. Soon we will be pressing on southward to Big Pine Key.
It has been a wonderful stay in the Bay Area and I have thoroughly enjoyed having the time and opportunity to visit with so many friends.
Maybe we’ll do it again next year. Who knows?

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Snowbird Run 2015

Circle B Bar Reserve excursion

Friday morning we got up early and I loaded the motorcycle up with camera gear and headed east to Circle B Bar Reserve.  I had to leave the dog behind as pets are not allowed.  I rolled out about an hour before sunrise thinking I would arrive long before the sun came up.  Uh . . .  Lakeland traffic is just about as bad as Brandon and it took me longer than I’d anticipated.  It was a chilly ride (Florida’s damp 45 degrees is like 30 degrees at home.) but since I brought my riding clothes along, I arrived with functioning fingers and toes.

When I arrived, only 3 vehicles were in the parking lot so I figured I was early enough to capture some wild life shots.  Not 100 yards out of the parking area I spied a large silhouetted bird in the thick of an old live oak tree. I grabbed the camera and looked closer and was pretty sure it was an eagle so I set up the tripod and began shooting some pictures.  I probably stood there for 30 minutes hoping that either the sun would climb high enough to properly light the bird or that he would take flight and I could capture him in all his glory.  He never moved out of the thick of the tree and the sun did not shed good light on him.  I had never walked that trail so in hopes it would wind around where I could get a better shot, I grabbed my gear and walked on.  Unfortunately the trail led away from the tree and I did not get a good photograph  But, I did get to stand and admire this symbol of our great country for a while.  Maybe next time.

I probably walked 5 miles all together and when I returned to the parking lot several hours later it was full.  Circle B Bar Reserve is a very popular place and rightfully so.  It is a wonder nature preserve that is free for the public to enjoy.

Here are a few shots from the visit.

Bald Eagle

Capturing a good shot of the eagle just wasn’t in the cards. It’s a good thing am not a bird photographer because I’d have to invest a small fortune in glass (lens) to do a proper job.

 

Searching for breakfast
Searching for breakfast
Southern Cuisine
Southern Cuisine
Enjoying that warm Florida sunshine
Enjoying that warm Florida sunshine
Shadow Puppets
Shadow Puppets
Baby sitting
Baby sitting
Turkey Vulture Toofer
Turkey Vulture Toofer
Browsing the breakfast buffet
Browsing the breakfast buffet