Daily Archives: December 4, 2012

DAY 76 -11/29/2012 Solace for a cold

100_7184Leaving the idyllic Jekyll Island, I knew further rest was needed.  We sought refuge in a refuge of sorts.  We found a National Forest campground at East Delancy, Ocala National Forest.  Our National Parks Pass, picked up at Acadia, Maine levered us a $5 per night rate and there wasn’t another camper, tent or anyone in sight.  We silently filled out the envelope, added our five dollar bill, and didn’t even see the camp host til noon the next day.


What I saw at dawn, or rather heard was of great delight.  Silence all night broken by an insane trumpeting from pairs of Sandhill Cranes.  I barely caught glimpses of them through the trees, but was afforded a range of tones, calls, and answers from their discussions.

Later in the day, I hung a hammock and found my own solace in Steinbeck’s East of Eden.  If you know me you’ll be surprised to hear I read about half of it in one day.  Half a book.  A real book!  I normally fall asleep after reading about 3-5 pages!  Even some of my most quoted reads lately take me two to three months to read.  Jane and I well knew “I was sick”.

Hammocks are uniquely able to support rest in many positions and fold over lots of book-propping options.   I look forward to our next restful campsite with just the right paired trees.  Thanks Jack the hammock and book donor!

– David

DAY 80 – DeLand, Florida with ones we love…

I have a stepson, Alex. He has a wonderful wife, Daria. They have a fabulous 4-year-old named Zealen. We visited them in their home in Florida for 4 and one-half days.

Z at his school

Z at his school

What a great little family! We all get along so well. Even discussions about politics and religion are pleasant. Mostly because we all feel pretty much the same way about these things and share some of the same concerns.

Zealen is the perfect playmate for me because he shares his toys, doesn’t throw temper tantrums and mostly is OK with doing what his Mom and Dad ask him to do. He’s also very good at explaining the rules of a game just so everyone is clear. We played Lego’s mostly but we also played some board games, went for a bike ride and watched The Incredibles. I had so much fun!

We took some little trips, too.

Baltimore friends - note the t-shirt. A gift from his Pop-Pop

Baltimore friends – note the t-shirt. A gift from his Pop-Pop

Went to a Christmas tree farm to cut down a tree with Zealen. Visited Blue Springs State Park where we saw manatees and an alligator.

This family is very precious to me. They are young and beautiful and smart and very, very dear! I’m so lucky to have always had a good relationship with my stepson. He picked a really great partner and their little son is such an angel!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Good pick, Z! That's his Dad, Alex.

Good pick, Z! That’s his Dad, Alex.


That’s Jeff, in the middle

Our friend, Jeff, happened to be vacationing in Florida so we met for dinner at a really great restaurant called Seasons 52.

Florida is extremely pleasant, weather-wise, at this time of year. I am really enjoying wearing shorts and a t-shirt! I love going in and out of the house without having to suit up for the cold. It’s so nice to be soaking up some warm weather now, because it 5 or 6 weeks, we’ll be in the Tramper in the snows of Colorado.

Our plan now is to head out of Florida by way of the Gulf, visit New Orleans, then travel to Texas to visit our friend Jean-Philippe. When J-P heads north for Christmas at home, we will continue on to the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico. We’ll play in the sand for a few weeks, then head north to ski.

All this is loose, of course. Discovering something really cool along the way could waylay us for a while. That’s the beauty of the Tramper Voyage – no set timetable…

– Jane

Wonder what the neighbors think? Despite being parked in yet another upscale neighborhood, everyone's been nice. (But maybe secretly hoping we'll go away soon!)

Wonder what the neighbors think? Despite being parked in yet another upscale neighborhood, everyone’s been nice. (But maybe secretly hoping we’ll go away soon!)