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Issue #192, Epic Road Trip, June 14, 2018: Collier-Seminole State Park, Florida

June 14, 2018 It was a long drive yesterday. It seemed to take all day to get here, to Collier-Seminole State Park, even though we were fairly efficient at getting packed up and hitching the trailer, leaving at around 10:30 am. As I mentioned, my right ear was seriously ringing and I assumed it was the air conditioner; however, it also might have been the build-up of clouds, which climbed to tremendous heights all day.

Shortly after we had made a stop in Venice, Florida, to get groceries (and a towel to replace the one I lost at Manatee Springs) the rain began to sweep across us in successive waves as we traveled the 250 plus miles on the interstate. The traffic was intense - the most congested yet of the trip - and I drove the whole way. It seems Paige gets fairly nervous in highway traffic with the Cricket, but it is also true, as she likes to point out, that I like to be in control when driving.

I occupied my brain by writing haiku, going over in my mind the interesting encounters we had at the Haile Plantation and Manatee Springs, and recording them verbally into my iPhone.

So far, Manatee Springs has been Paige’s favorite place. The kids claim theirs has been the French Quarter RV resort in New Orleans, citing the proximity of the pool to our spot; but I have no favorite, only the continued movement from day to day, and the changing scope of reality as we transition through our arc of travel on this trip.

When we finally pulled into the park, we had driven by a vast array of retirement homes and it was pouring steadily. I got soaked simply by talking to the park ranger at the entrance, even though I rolled the window down only partway.

The spots are nice, are all surrounded by pools of water; it’s really fortunate we have this camper, for it provided an immediate psychological refuge, given that the mosquitoes and flies are really intense here. Frogs are croaking everywhere, and there has been one on the doorway to the bathroom all night, as well as a huge red grasshopper sitting on top of the dryer that Paige discovered when she lept out to do the laundry.

I was pretty spent by the drive, and so Paige also cooked the dinner, chicken with noodles, which was great and yummy. The Cricket is definitely cozy and as far as protection from the rain and insects, it is awesome. I had a number of dreams last night including one where I got a $2000 parking ticket and was also trying to frame a bunch of my prints for people who wanted them.

Paige is making waffles and hash browns; I dressed in my long pants and long-sleeved shirt, ready for the bugs; we are going to do a bike ride today and perhaps even retreat to the beach at Naples - not sure.

solo/group kukai
jonathan machen