Sunday, 5 April 2015

Off To Savannah

Staying connected while on the road is not always an easy thing. Hotels are in the room business, not the internet business, so mostly the farm this service out to others, people who supposedly know what they are doing. Yet here I am in Jacksonville, Florida, in a Quality Inn near the airport, where I can do my blog yet not reach my email server, where I can check Google Maps yet have an inconsistent connection to my blog. Ah, life on the road.

Yesterday was an interesting road day. We left Vero Beach after an extra day of R&R for me, heading towards the ocean once again. We had slipped out to the I-95 the day before but were now headed back to the US-1 and Florida A1A, both of which follow the coast. The US 1 is typically on the mainland side while the A1A tends to follow the shoreline on the outer islands which line this coast almost all the way from Miami to the Georgia border. Even those states to the north of here have outer islands. It is a feature of this Atlantic coast, the low slung sand bars which have become grassy and bushy habitats for birds and all kinds of other small creatures, plus us humans too.

Once we hit the coast, we turned northward, up to Cape Canaveral, the home of the Kennedy Space Center. I seem to recall, as a youth, that they tried to rename the cape to Cape Kennedy, but in 1973 it seems to have reverted back to its original name. We went to visit the Space Center, happily paying the $10 fee to park in a lot out in the middle of nowhere; there is nothing out here besides the Space Center. We got out of the truck, walked to the main gate area, only to discover that the admission fee is $50 per person. We had only planned for an hour or so at the Center; this was just too much. Instead we took some cool pictures from outside the gate.

Having done our obeisance to the political spirit behind the American race to the moon, we headed up coast once again, this time towards Daytona Beach, the world's most famous beach, as the sign at the end of the road declares. Our time there was short, just enough to discover that this is a very busy beach, too busy for the likes of us. We turned northward once again.

At this point I made the decision to visit St. Augustine, a quaint little town on the Florida coast set at the site of the first Spanish settlement in Florida, the launching grounds of Ponce De Leon's ill fated exposition to find the famous Fountain of Youth. This town reflects much of the old Spanish architecture of its time, with narrow streets, houses with patios and inner gardens, and stone buildings that seem to harken back to a time long past, despite their apparent newness. It's a lovely place; I would go back there for a full day if I had the chance and the time.

When we headed from St. Augustine towards Savannah, exhaustion set in. I was done. I managed to make it to the Jacksonville Airport exit before pulling off the I-95, ready to sleep. We found a motel and I collapsed onto the bed, not to rise until this morning. I awoke early, not refreshed but at least alert, ready to face another day. Now it's off to Savananah!

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