~Monday, February 1, 2021~
Weather report for today…..windy, overcast and cold. Wow, what a temperature drop. The high today will only get to 45 and the low around mid 30’s. So this was the perfect day to just “be".
I know it seems strange to hear this since the past 7 months have been a complete blast and adventure. But haven’t you ever taken a vacation where in trying to take in as much as you could, you drove yourself to complete exhaustion?; like needing a vacation from a vacation kind of feel? That’s where we are. The Everglades kind of did us in. Even though we spent 11 days in this amazing national park, we never had a “chill” day. There is that much to see. And we’re going back in the coming days (stay tuned). So for today, rest it shall be.
Jeff thought he would revisit a few cooking shows and in the process became inspired enough to try out a new technique for his breakfast dish. Breakfast open faced sandwiches with brown sugared bacon (cooked in the oven). A few lessons were learned in the process…...cover the cookie sheet completely for easier clean up (oozing grease and brown sugar onto the edges of the pan makes for brutal cleanup), and don’t put the bacon on a paper towel for absorbing grease (because of the sugar, the paper towel stuck to the bacon). On toasted brioche, you lay a layer of tomato, caramelized onion, avocado, bacon and the egg. I partook in this lovely dish as well….minus the bacon. And it was delicious!
The beach is only a half mile away and was calling us and Sadie to visit…...even though we had to dress like we were in the arctic. There were a few other nut brains out there too, including surfers. The sand is covered with a numerous amount of shells, many intact. Why are there so many more shells on the Atlantic side vs. the Pacific side? This would not be the place you’d want to go in bare feet, even though the sand looks enticing enough to do so. But we also spotted something that you don’t see everyday on a beach…...a beached sailboat, and quite a large one. It appeared that this may have just happened since it didn’t look like it had sunk too far down in the sand...yet. A few gaulkers, me included, were walking around, taking photos of the spectacle when a city park official drove up to inspect, so of course I had to ask a few questions. Evidently, the owner of the boat and his hired captain lost navigation about 15 miles from shore in the storm the previous night, fearing they would hit the levy’s near the military base. The rest of the story is fuzzy, but they must have had quite a jolt when they hit shore. The boat looked rusted and worn, especially at the hull, but the sails looked fairly new. Maybe they were sailing it to a location to restore it? Who knows. But the park official told us that the owner obviously hired someone who didn’t know what he was doing, and has no insurance on the vessel. He has 30 days to remove it and the city fears that there could possibly be fuel leaks and lead/rust exposure on the beach. Not good. The hull is about 3 feet deep at the moment, and getting increasingly deeper with the tides.
Just down a bit from there is the Naval Air Station base, 1 of 21 in the state of Florida. In the distance, we could see a battleship and tanker slowly making their way to port until the military base border prevented us from walking further down the beach. As we made our way back to our campground, we couldn’t get over how densely forested it is (Amazon style).
It’s increasingly rare to see such huge acreage be preserved with the heavily developed Atlantic Coast. Nice to see that the city of Jacksonville has maintained its 447 acre park and 2 miles of beaches, generating revenue by the many visitors and campers that enjoy this mature coastal hammock, instead of building homes and strip malls. Let’s hope it stays that way. We were talking about how rare it is, at least where we’re from, that a city park would include a campground in it as well. Stay for a week, or just a day, it’s definitely a precious jewel in the city of Jacksonville.