I took this shot at the Wilmington, NC edition of the March for Science a few weeks ago. I saw her tattoo, and it speaks to The Making Lemonade Road Tour in an important way, so when I asked to shoot it for the blog, she very graciously allowed me to. (I’ve let the calendar fall a bit behind, but I’ll try to get to updating it in the next few days.)
After a lovely time in the Congaree, I had a few more bounces back and forth between the Carolinas.
But on Friday last week, I left with the intention of visiting some Civil Rights History sorts of places in Alabama. For whatever reason, Google Navigate rerouted me back east, down I-95. Maybe there was a big accident or something, who knows, but I’m going where the wind blows as much as possible, and taking my cues from the universe, so to speak.
My “other daughter” lives in Savannah, so if I didn’t stop and spend the night, she’d have killed me dead, and the Tour would have ended before it really hit its stride. That would have been unfortunate. I spent a little time in Savannah River National Wildlife Refuge, and I’ll post some of those photos when I can get to them. Gypsy and Journey and I enjoyed a quiet sunset on the Savannah River.
I’d been toying with the idea of clipping the corner of Florida to add it to the road tour map, and Google had obliged me.
I found what might turn out to be the most remote campground in the Apalachicola River Wildlife and Environmental Area, called Butcher Pen Landing, and pitched the tent there for the night. It’s a beautiful spot, right on an oxbow of the river.
It’s several kilometers down a soft dirt road, that looked a little scary in places, to be honest. And being right around the bend from Bloody Bluff Landing… I was beginning to wonder a bit.
There were thunderstorms in the forecast, but not until 10 or 11 the following morning, so I wasn’t worried about road conditions since I’d be long gone by then. The campground had about 5 posts marking the campsites, a dock, and a picnic table. That was about it. I saw one truck drive through about an hour after I’d gotten there, and a few boats up and down the river from time to time, but other than that, I had the entire campground to myself. I decided to get a little sun.
I went to bed without incident, but woke up at 3:30 AM to a dire need to use the bathroom. I barely made it to a tree comfortably far from the tent when … well, let’s just say it was explosive, painful, and awful, but I felt immediately better.
When I lay back down in the tent, however, I had a similarly dire need to throw up. I made it about three steps from the tent before I began violently vomiting like Linda Blair in The Exorcist. I didn’t feel better after that.
About an hour later, those “late morning” thunderstorms arrived, and my biological violence seemed prescient. They were nasty storms in every way, and I was more than a little concerned. Not least among my concerns was the condition of that long dirt road out. I’d brought in three gallons of fresh water with me, but it was nearly gone, between the hot afternoon and the rehydrating after expelling all that liquid earlier. As long as the rain came down in buckets, I could collect it in pots and pans and I’d be ok, but if the rain stopped and the road remained unpassable, I could be in a pickle. I decided I’d try to make a break for it the first time the rain let up after sunrise.
About 9 or 9:30 the rain eased up and I tossed everything, including the soaking wet tent, haphazardly into the back seat, and eased Gypsy onto the way out. Several times I had to get out of the car and scout the mudholes ahead for depth and stability, and plot a careful route through some pretty bad places. But Gypsy was a goddamned champ, and an hour later we were on the hardball. I dropped the hammer, and we ran for Alabama as fast as we could get away with.
I’ve now been to Florida three times in my life, and all three turned out to be disasters. The first two times involved women, and that’s all Imma say bout that. I don’t like Florida. Fuck Florida. (…or from another perspective, Florida does not like me.)
I spent Sunday night in a nice, clean, well-maintained RV campground in Summerdale, Alabama, treated myself to a shower and a hot shave, and went to bed feeling a bit better. Yesterday’s sunrise was gorgeous, and I was right as rain by the time it came.
I cruised through southern Alabama and Mississippi, taking my time, stopping here and there to look around and just soak things in. I didn’t take many pictures. Sometimes I just want to look and be inspired. I did a lot of thinking along the way, on subjects shallow and deep, grand and personal, awesome and mundane.
Before I knew it, I’d crossed into Louisiana.
Yep, “Fat Head”, Louisiana is a real place.
And before too much longer I’d pondered and wandered all the way back to the Rose Marie last night.
You might could say I had a good homecoming party.
I’m going to park here for a few days and rest among friends before The Making Lemonade Road Tour leaps off out west, without a net. Scary and exciting times are ahead, and I want to take a deep breath first.
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