Skip to main content

It's the Journey

Isn't that what they always say--It's not the destination, it's the journey? Well, count me as a believer of that way of thinking as I did indeed have an adventure on Friday, and the journey was longer than even I can believe!

Angela agreed to watch Baxter for as long as I wanted, however, a much needed hair appointment was on my calendar for 4:00 Saturday afternoon, thus, my little get away had to be quick. I decided to visit the towns where I have taken photographs that have brought some happiness to hundreds of people. So, I set about getting a change of clothing together, a couple of cameras, BATTERY CHARGERS, and I was off. St. Augustine was the destination, with a stop in DeLand on the way. We'll get to that shortly...

Here's when I was driving by the camera store in Orlando where most of my cameras were purchased. Please note the time.
In keeping with the journey business, I decided to take all surface streets rather than the Interstate beginning my trip on 17-92. In the past we've discussed how 17-92 was one of the major highways bringing folks from the North to Florida, extending all the way down to near Miami. Following the road I drove through Orlando, Fern Park, Casselberry and on into Sanford. Although this part of the trip was only about 25 miles, it took forever! After traveling through Sanford it seemed to be smooth sailing into DeLand, however, a road block impeded my way. Thinking that turning left would eventually land me in downtown DeLand turned out to not be the case whatsoever. Instead, I landed in the country, or so it seemed to this city girl. Fortunately a couple was out by the road in front of their catfish selling property and were happy to help a lost soul. According to them, the road block had something to do with a political rally which helped me make my decision about the next part of the trip. While chatting with them I learned I was in Beresford, which apparently once had many more folks than it currently does. A short distance from their farm I came across this:
Now I said I packed some things, but one thing I neglected to pack was my photography shoes. Instead, I was wearing some sandals which are hardly the footwear one needs when one goes traipsing through high grass! If only I had them, I would have spent more time studying the headstones. As it was, I got some stickers on my feet! Once very prevalent, I rarely come across any of those pesky weeds anymore. Then again, I rarely go wandering a country cemetery, so who knows they very well might be everywhere still.

A little further while still on the same road, there were some horses. Don't you just love to come across horses? I sure do. What magnificent animals they are.
I think it must have been while I was taking this picture that I discovered my battery was low. No problem, I have another. Except, you guessed it, when I put that one in there wasn't much life left in it either. Good thing I had another camera right? And a battery charger or two. More on that later...

So, with the directions the kind strangers gave me, I got myself back on the road heading North. The traffic was fine, moving more rapidly than you might think, and with the lovely weather I was feeling pretty good. Eventually 17 merged into the back road I wanted, Florida State Road 11. And what a lovely state road it is. Flanked by towering green pine trees, I followed the ribbon of asphalt, yellow, pink, and white wildflowers along the roadside, with a patch of bright blue sky in the front. Is it any wonder they call it a "scenic highway?" Again, in one the few signs of civilization, I came across some horses.
As a side note, if road signs are any indication, Romney is going to win Florida.

Eventually I came into the town of Bunnell, the Flagler County seat, which according to Wikipedia has a population of less than 3,000 people. It seemed to me there were as many flags along the highway as people who live there!
A very curious sight indeed. It was here that I decided to head over to the coast and travel A1A up to St. Augustine. It wasn't long before I came across the familiar landscape of Target, Olive Garden, Publix, and what have you. Quite a contrast to those back country roads!

Flagler Beach has quite a long pier, and orange sand. Don't believe me? How's this for photographic evidence?
These folks were napping in the late afternoon warm sun with the cool ocean breeze. 
The water, as I walked in the shallows, is still a very comfortable temperature. It is a curious thing to me how the sand along the Florida coast can vary so widely as you travel the long Eastern shore.

My next stop along A1A was Washington Oaks State Park. Several years ago, when Bruce and I traveled much of this same route, we stopped in, visiting both the garden side, and the beach front. Because it was getting late, I confined my visit to the beach side which is really quite remarkable. If you are used to Daytona Beach, Cocoa Beach, or further down the state, Ft. Lauderdale, this beach will really surprise you. Not only are there gigantic cocquina rocks, there are no sea oats at all.
Instead there is some type of sea grass I'm unfamiliar with. Aside from a few birdies sitting atop the rocks, it was only me. Fascinating to see how the waves have washed grooves into the boulders.
Back to the Pilot, and on the road again. I kept traveling for the maybe 25 miles along the coast and just before I arrived in St. Augustine I saw a sign for an historic beach. Curious, (what me curious?) I made the turn in ASAP. What greeted me were some gigantic dunes with sea oats waving in the breeze against a gorgeous backdrop of a cloudless blue sky.
Parking the car, I walked to the boardwalk to see what was on the other side of these dunes. In quite the contrast from my last stop, I saw the most beautiful white sand you can imagine.
I'm not kidding when I tell you it was like walking through talcum powder. Fantastic! As you can tell from the long shadows, the day was getting shorter by the minute. My next visit up this way will find me spending some time on this lovely stretch of Atlantic coastline, if only I can find it again! Onward we go...

Finally, St. Augustine, and one more beach stop. What did I see? Why, a wide, wide, wide beach with the now familiar orange sand.
Nothing like the sand only about three miles South. To be truthful, I did not traverse this area because I needed to find a Publix soon for a bathroom break! Before leaving home I did read up a little on this area, learning the boulders I showed you earlier were once on the coastline here, apparently used by the Spaniards in 1672 for building the Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in America. Now you know.

Are we there yet? Almost. After finding said Publix, I made my way to the St. Augustine lighthouse. How late was it? Nearly 6:00! How far is it again to St. Augustine Gail? Highway mileage--110. Gail mileage? Who knows! How is it possible to take five hours? It's the journey folks--not the destination.

The lighthouse was closed due to the late hour, so here's all I can show you:
Very attractive what with those stripes and red top.

Now, what to do about a motel room? Why, I think I'll use Siri. Except she wasn't much help: "Gail, I've found thirteen hotels fairly close to St. Augustine." Thanks a lot Siri--24 miles away is not what I call close! I kept driving, finally stopping at what appeared to be a clean motel with a vacancy sign. The room was just fine. After changing into some jeans, I walked across the street to what turned out to be a St. Augustine mainstay; Osteens has been in business for 47 years serving seafood to what looked to be a very local crowd. Amazingly enough, they only take cash. If I told you all about that dinner it would try your patience as this post is probably already too long, but in a nutshell, it was both delicious and interesting.

After dinner I did what I always do when I'm alone, crawl into bed with a good book. So, how's that for a little journey, both in miles and experience? Tomorrow we'll actually visit St. Augustine together, after all, the journey is important; eventually, however,  the destination must take over.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Should We Go or Should We Stay?

It is hard to know what to do in the situation we found ourselves. Should we go, or should we stay? My vote was to stay, whereas Bruce wanted to head back to Vancouver because he had loads of meetings and work to do. After losing Baxter so recently, he'd had a hard time concentrating on work, and had only just begun to find his way. While I could understand all of that, now that I'd gone along for the ride, I realized how unpredictable it could be. How long could it take, after all?

Saturday morning Bruce drove over to the dealership to find out what he could while I roamed the property looking for anything of interest. Two things caught my eye, one of which are these cool pinecones on what we would call a Christmas tree.
Adjacent to the hotel there was a large lot fenced off for conservation. Walking around the block I saw what looked like evidence that a beaver had been busy. Further, I saw some cone shaped "structures" in the distance.
I never did see any beavers,…

The Sky

After our friend, Karen Howard, moved to the North Carolina mountains, she said one of the things she missed the most about living in Florida was the fluffy, white clouds, ever present throughout the year. Now I have a better understanding of how she felt.

There is no escaping the sky when you are living this high off of the ground with abundant glass. Because our high rise was the first to be built in this area of downtown, there are few impediments to the view. From what I've gathered, views are both highly prized, and highly protected here. And what is there to see? Having lived here for more than five months now, I've learned that there is a lot to see. Whereas in the summer months, your eyes are drawn to the activity on the water below, in the winter, it is all about sky watching. Will it rain? Will there be fog? Will that yellow circle on my phone, indicating a sunny day, really happen? If so, will there actually be a sunrise or sunset? What about the moon and stars? Wil…

Six Months!

I would be the first to admit that during these months in Vancouver I feel as if I am living in a bit of a bubble. Rarely do I even know the date, so it came as a bit of surprise discovering this morning that six months have elapsed since we arrived on July 29, 2017. Doesn't it seem as if were not that long ago that I was writing this post? Now that was fun to re-read that post! I was wrong, the building I photographed was not ours. Terribly sad to read about Baxie..

So, what do we think six months later? We do love the city, but this weather, yikes! I also read in that post that I was bound and determined that I would not complain, so we'll leave it at that.

Every day last week, in both rain and weak sunshine, I made myself go out and about, not wanting to sit in the condo alone while Bruce is at the office. I visited places both familiar, and not so familiar. More often than not, I began my walk when it was not raining, finishing them when it was. One morning I saw that the …