Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Broken springs, great people.

Heading north on the Delmarva Peninsula this morning, we hit a small bump and the camper springs broke - both sides. As we limped into Pokomoke City to look for help, a black cat ran across the road - we told him he was late.

An hour of searching later, we find new springs at a Tractor Supply store, plus all the hardware. An older guy (yes, older than us) overhears us, and offers help. Keith and his wife Toody drove an hour round trip home for tools and we started to work. Fourteen years of rust on the bolts was too much for us, though.

Along comes Frank, who runs home for a big jack and a saws-all to cut the bolts off. Three or four hours of work and we have all new springs! Will get to Martinak Park in time to set up before 10:00 quiet hours. We will long remember the good folks of Pokomoke!

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Hate Auto-correct

I typed CCC on the pavilion post. As in Civilian Conservation Corps.

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CDC Pavilion

At Myakka State Park, we find a picnic pavilion built by the CDC in the 1930s. The palm logs look nearly new.

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Florida Cattle Range

Traveling from the east coast to Myakka River State Park today. Going by orange groves and huge cattle ranches. We hear that Florida cowboys consider Texas cowboys wimps. They have no gators to contend with.

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Mike's quote of the day

Mike said at breakfast this morning, "the best part about grits is, if you put lots of butter, salt and pepper on 'em, they taste like butter, salt and pepper".

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Treasure Museum

With the wind too strong for kayaking, we took in this exhibit about 11 Spanish treasure ships that wreaked in a hurricane in 1715. We are on the museum observation deck overlooking the wreak area.

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breakfast on a windy day

We survived the first night with the ladies.  Geezers life has changed!

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Raise a glass to the old sod

After 12 grueling miles paddling around Cedar Keys, Mike raises a glass of Midnight Oil Stout (brewed in Gainesville, FL).

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Otters on the Chass

Here is a clip of the River Otter family we watched on the Chassahowitzka River

Chassahowitzka River

Say the name of this place, three times, fast. Locally, it's known as the "Chass". Wednesday, the Geezers where looking for a shady place to paddle, and tried this cool, spring-fed river. The highlight of our six miles on the Chass was a family of River Otters. We saw these curious guys twice, swimming along the shores and popping up for looks at us. I'll try to post some video of them later. In the meantime, here are a few shots from the Chass.

Along the Chassahowitzka River

A side trip up Baird Creek, headed for Blue Spring

A tree full of vultures, and one Osprey

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ozello Outpost

OK, Whalen is a bad influence.  It's 4:45 on a Thursday and we are on the 4th $1 mug of beer after a grueling 6 mile paddle on the Gulf.  4 inch waves, wafting breezes in 85 degree temps - we deserve this!

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Geezers Recoup After a Tough Kayak Training

Apologies to our readers for being mostly off the grid. Four days of kayaking in the roughest water we could find along the Georgia shore took a lot out of us. We are now resting up and licking our wounds at Camp N Waters in Homosassa, Florida.

We paddled today in the Crystal River and on the Homosassa River, right by the campground.

Here is a piece of video, showing two of our ACA kayak instructors. This was day 3 of the training, checking the 20+ knot winds before launching into the Crooked River.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Good food in Southern Georgia

We have been in St. Marys, GA for 7 nights and have returned to the St. Marys Seafood Company for dinner 4 times.  Tonight, in addition to the great raw oysters, we had grilled shrimp, coleslaw and Lima beans cooked with sausage!   Un-frigging believable food, great prices and very friendly folks!  Gonna miss this place as we continue south tomorrow.

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Tired Geezers

Finished the kayak course - 4 days of sun, wind, waves, currents and many challenges.  Pretty wiped out, but nothing a few oysters and a beer or 3 won't fix!

On to Florida tomorrow!

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The Geezers are whipped. Four days in the roughest water to be found along the Georgia/Florida coast. We are back at the campsite, but can't seem to get out of the car...

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Big Day Tomorrow

The four-day kayak class starts tomorrow. We are headed for knarly water. Mike's nervous.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I know, we've been bad...

We should really be posting more, you all hang on our every word - don't you?  Well, we have been really busy.  Yesterday, we paddled the Okefenokee and today beat ourselves up in very windy and choppy conditions on the Crooked river.  Since some of you like our culinary explorations, last night's dinner was at a little restaurant in Folkston, VA where we had a fantastic buffet for $8.50 including drink, dessert and tax.  Tonight, after paddling through oyster beds all afternoon, we returned to St. Mary's Seafood for a plate of the freshest, most tender raw oysters and some great cooked fish and shellfish.  In our quest for dark beer in the south (which is MUCH harder than you'd think) we ventured into J's English Pub in St. Mary's for a wee nightfall.  

We promise, a real post will come soon, sort of...

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Flamingo & Palm Tree "Tacky Lights"

We can now compete with the other motorized campers!  The Geezers have arrived!

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gumbo, garlic bread and WIND!

Too windy to venture out, so did whatever was next best - EAT!  Great shrimp gumbo at a little shop in St. Mary's.

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Saturday, March 3, 2012

dinner at last

7 hours of driving in pouring rain, flat tire & setting up camp in the rain - finally got a beer and OYSTERS! Might live afterall.

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Oh, joy.

Are we having fun yet?

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breakfast on the run

A stop at "The Barefoot Barista" in Pawleys Island, SC for a good sandwich and fine coffee.  Super laid back guy and, yes he was barefoot!

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Geezers Al gets into his work.

Al shows his best side while trying to tighten the roof vent as we beat a retreat from the Myrtle Beach weather.

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Friday, March 2, 2012

nighttime in the Geezers abode

Nighttime in the Geezers Abode.

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Reconnecting, Paddling and Guinness

The Geezer Guys are getting into paddling shape, but slowly. Yesterday we made our first outing of the trip, a 4 mile paddle on the Waccamaw River out of Peach Tree Landing (not far from Myrtle Beach). Today, we paddled from Bonaparte's Landing in Calabash, NC out to Bird Island Preserve, 4.5 miles.
Waccamaw River - huge cypress with huge Osprey nest
Morning surgery on a kayak, fixing the back band
 For this paddle, there were three of us, as we reconnected with a fellow NYSDEC retiree, Jeff Sama. Jeff moved down here a short time ago and showed us some great sights of the coast, including beaches, dunes, jellyfish, pelicans and oystercatchers (not to mention oysters).

Jeff Sama and Mike on the beach at Bird Island
Jeff is rather new to kayaking, so we took it easy on him. Otherwise, we would have paddled 20 miles and practiced landing through the rough surf - not.

Jellyfish were thick along the inner beach, each 8-10" in diameter

Our local guide also lead us to some good food and Guinness to top off the day. Our meals on the trip until today have not been worth mentioning. That made today's good eats (clam chowder, seafood gumbo, firecracker shrimp, hot crab dip) all the better. Thanks for a nice day, Jeff, and good luck with the new house!

Weather for tomorrow promised thunderstorms and rain, so we will pull up stakes a day early, heading to Georgia in the morning. Myrtle Beach and the Geezers do not seem to mix. We had rotten weather when we planned to stay here last year, and wound up bypassing Myrtle. St. Mary's, here we come.

Home away from home

Had our first night's sleep in the Geezers Trailer, our home for the next 5 or 6 weeks.  Felt great!

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

good night at the pub

We hit Fayetteville NC after 14 hours on the road.  The Geezers were pleasantly surprised by: a) the temperatures (see picture) and b) the friendly atmosphere at a local pub (see time of post).  On to Myrtle Beach tomorrow for some paddling and meeting up with an old friend, Jeff Sama.

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

On the road for 12 hours...

Al takes a turn at the wheel.

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Here we go!

0600 at Al's house - the guys are on the way. First bird was a Great Horned Owl hooting as this shot was taken.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

This is a test. It is only a test.

If this was an actual post, it would contain something more substantive than this.

Actually, a new element has been added to the Geezers Blog this year.  Both Al & Mike have "Smartphones".  If it would only rub off on the Geezers!

So, to test our newfound capabilities, enjoy this picture of my well organized paddling gear waiting for our departure VERY early tomorrow.

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Updated Route Map and the Countdown Begins

With less than a week before departure, the Geezers have been assembling gear, repairing kayaks, stocking food and getting the Geezermobile and Villa ready to go. Because of some last minute items, they may have to detour to Annapolis on the way down to pick up some parts from Chesapeake Light Craft (and drool on the boats!)

The map shows our route and timetable as on now, Saturday February 25 - but hell, it could change! (Click on the Map to enlarge.)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

We're Baaaack!

Just a quick update - Geezers Go South 2012 Edition is starting to shape up. Geezer Mike is recovering nicely from knee surgery and should be good to go. Plans at this point are:

Depart sometime in very late February or March 1 and drive to...
Myrtle Beach, SC for a few days of getting the kinks out of our kayak skills then on March 4, we will move on to...

Crooked River State Park in St. Mary's, GA for some paddling in the Great Oke, and taking a 4 day paddling workshop tripping around Jekyll Island and Cumberland Island. After recovering from getting beat up in the surf, on March 12, we will pack up and make the drive to...

Homosassas Springs, FL for a little hanging out with Manatees and Curmudgeons, some nice paddling in the Gulf and probably lots of food, friends and the occasional brew. On March 18, we will pack up the Geezermobile and head to...

Long Point Park near Melbourne, FL - a favorite spot with the Geezers. Waterfront campsites, where you can keep your boat right behind the camper. We will have to clean up our act (and selves and camper) because the Geezerettes will be arriving March 20 to spend a week or so, maybe even make a trip to the Land of the Mutant Mouse. On March 25, they will help us make the move to a completely new location for the Geezers...

Myakka River State Park, a little south of Sarasota. This place is reported to be one of the most beautiful parks in Florida. It is well known for it's birds and wildlife and will be, we hope, a jumping off point for many adventures. On March 30, the ladies head home to the chilly north. Mike and Al have one more night at Myakka. After that...

Well, like any current military action, the attack is well planned, but the exit strategy leaves a bit to be desired. We will gradually head home, but plan to do some additional Geezering along the way. Any suggestions, dear reader?