Thursday, May 25, 2017

Finally some bad weather

Wednesday, May 23, 2017

       We left Yorktown in the rain and mist with small craft advisories and choppy seas forcast but decided to try our luck.  It was a pretty long boring day since we couldn’t see much and it was a long way to the Potomac River and a decent marina for the night.  The Chesapeake and the mouth of the Potomac are really wide and so there wasn't much to see. except bouncing seas.  Im doing really well so far and haven't been seasick at all.   But we made over 80 miles and are in striking distance of Washington DC where we plan it see four nieces and nephews and assorted grandnieces and nephews.  We ended up at a 50 year old marina and boat yard which still had the old railroad tracks in use for pulling boats out of the water to work on them. 
this is a lot different than the cranes and slings that move boats all around marinas now, but it still works.

The US military 1776 - present

Tuesday, May 23
      The weather had turned bad overnight and there were small craft advisories out but we decided to try our luck since we wouldn’t be in the Chesapeake for very long and then into the York River.  Traveling up the Elizabeth River and into the famous, or infamous Hampton Roads we saw the full naval ship yards and watched as a destroyer and an aircraft carrier pulled off their piers and followed us up the channel till they turned out to sea and we went up the Chesapeake.  Pretty cool. 
This was one of the ships we had to watch out for pulling out on the Elizabith River

  The day was overcast but good boating weather and we made it to Yorktown just before a huge rainstorm hit.  I had wanted to go up the James River and recreate the feeling of the first English settlers coming into a new continent, but realized that I could save a whole day by going to Yorktown and renting a car and driving 20 miles across the peninsula created by the James and York Rivers.  I had been to Williamsburg before which has a wonderful recreation of life in colorinal Virginia, with glass blowers and cobblers and taverns and everyone dressed up, so we concentrated on the Battlefield at Yorktown where the British we finally defeated and the war ended and Jamestown.  Lots of the old trenches and earthworks are still visible on the battlefield.      The exhibits give lots of credit to the French for the victory, both their navy which beat the British and kept supplies and troops from reaching Cornwallis and Lafyette and the French troops who helped win the battle.  Of course a lot of credit goes to Washington who created an army out of volunteer militias and keep it together for 6 years.
             Then we went over to Jamestown.  Since I had been there in 1967 they have done a huge amount of excavation and have a much better idea of what the town looked like.  they have been able to recreate exactly  the palisade of the fort and foundations for some of the buildings and excavated a cemetery and other burial sites under the original church.

     The skeleton of a teen age boy that was buried in the graveyard in Jamestown.  Note the musket ball on his right knee. Through modern forensic science they can tell how he was shot with the musket and how far away the shooter was.         

Life after the ICW

May 20, 2017
     We spent all day in Portsmouth.  My plan was the usual for Sunday, find a Church and a good place for Sunday breakfast and grocery shopping.  The church was a beautiful 100 year old Gothic style, but unfortunately the Mass schedule had changed and the next Mass in the combined parish was 5 miles and two hours away.  So I tried to find the grocery store.  I got pretty lost but eventually found it and got most of what we needed.  Then back in downtown Portsmouth found a nice coffee shop/ cafĂ©.  Nothing good enough to take back to John on the boat, but tasty.    All of the above on my bicycle.
     Portsmouth looks like it has seen hard times, the poor sister to Norfolk but is really trying to revive its downtown area and refurbish its old homes   After taking the groceries back to the boat I decided to catch the ferry to Norfolk for the afternoon. 
  With my bicycle I got a good look at Norfolk.  It is much more modern and looks more prosperous, but still has some lovely old homes that have been preserved.   I’m reading a book about Thomas Jefferson which explained that Norfolk was a thriving seaport in colonial times that was burned to the ground on orders of the Virginia Convention so that  the British governor of Virginia couldn’t take refuge in the city after being driven out of Williamsburg.  Today it is the main port of the US Navy and there are aircraft carriers and destroyers and other ships everywhere.  I also found another aquatic creature all over the town.  The mascot of the town is the mermaid and about 20 years ago they had 200 mermaids cast, “adopted” and decorated and they are all over the town.


      John spent all day working and then watching the golf tournament so I made him walk to dinner.  The next morning after he had found a UPS store to notarize some documents for the sale of the White River ranch, and mail them, we decided to head north. 

The end of the ICW

May 18, 2017
      In Aligator we got the news that a bridge about thirty miles ahead was stuck in the closed position and boats were stacking up at the next marina.  We decided to keep going since there wasn’t much reason to stay in Alligator.  Did I say that since they were between owners and liquor licenses you couldn’t even get a beer there?  Fortunately we have a pretty good supply on board and we took some and went over to SevenTenths, a boat and looper that we met when we were buying Colorado Cowboy in Jacksonville.  They gave us news of the people that we bought the boat from.
       A short ride got us to Coinjock on Friday.  We had reservations at one marina but the boats there were rafting together,  tying up to a boat that  was tied up to a boat that was tied to the dock.  So we went to sort of a deserted marina across the river where we could tie up.  John headed out on one of his marathon rides up a lonely highway.  He did find a farmer’s market and brought back strawberries for the boats that had helped us dock. 
      Saturday morning we got the news that the bridge was fixed so we got in a very long line of boats headed north.

 Lots of boats headed out early, we left at 6:30 am but we might as well have stayed in bed longer. The fast boats soon passed us, And we passed the slower boats, including this tug and barge.  But be the time we got to the locks 30 miles later we were all together waiting for the lockmaster to let us through on the hour in groups of 15-20.  We went in behind the tug and tied up with it.

   Twenty miles further and we were in Norfolk, VA,  Mile 0 on the ICW.  The first leg of our loop was over.  We docked in Portsmouth, across the Elizabeth River and went to dinner with our friends on Magic, Terry and Dorothy to a great German restaurant.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

On to the Chesapeake

May 16, 2017.
      Beaufort was our last stop of any interest.  It is 200 miles of huge sounds, rivers and canals with nothing but water, trees and some wild life until we get to Norfolk, Mile 0 on the ICW.  We stopped in Oriental.  Good comfort food, a coffee shop open early for a latte and a tiny swimming pool to lounge by to finish my Charleston murder mystery, Low Country Boil.  We did have a nice visit with some other Loopers from Maine.  A lobster fisherman and his wife who live in Florida now and take the boat back to Maine for the summer.
May 17
       Next stop was Belhaven: beautiful restored mansion and marina with golf carts for getting into town and a wonderful dinner at a farm to table restaurant. This dragon is the town's mascot.

May 18
        Seven hours today and we are in Alligator NC.  A gas station, dock and reportedly great fried chicken.  But if you look at a map you will see that we are really out in the middle of nowhere. But maybe people think that as they drive across I70 in the desert.

       One thing I have been amazed at in all these small towns is that they have the most incredible hardware stores where you can find anything marine you need from the smallest nut or screw to carpet for the cockpit.  But not Alligator.

Beaufort and all about pirates

 May `14-15
  Beaufort was a perfect little marina with some very big sailboats.   We came into the dock to
See some ocean going sailboats with 100 foot masts.  Most sailboats can go to sea, like the 30 foot boat that was in the marina in Oriental, headed to England.  But these sailboat were doing it in style.    Beaufort has a good inlet to the ocean with no bridges to get under.  The controlling height on the ICW is about 65 feet of vertical clearance which is the height of the mast of a 35-40 foot sailboat.   These are highway bridge that don’t open.  All the other bridges open either on demand or on a fixed schedule.  Most sailboats have to have all the lower bridges opened.  We can get under anything over 30 feet with our antennae up and we can winch the antennae down to 16 feet if we need to. 
       We docked next to a nice Italian gentleman, Rene, who had come over from Turkey solo and was headed to New York. 
       Back to perfect little marina because it was small, easy to get into and right in downtown historic Beaufort.   I went for a walk the next morning and was delighted to see all of the old homes in pretty good shape and most of them had a plaque with information about the year they were built and the name of the original owner.  

As you can see this house has had different historic owners

  While John waited for a mechanic to change the oil, we have about 100 hours on the engines since Ft Meyers,  I got serious about chores. Four load of  laundry at the laundromat across the street in the General Store and provisioning.   The marina also had a courtesy car we could borrow since the Piggly Wiggly was about two miles away.  We can manage pretty well on our bikes usually but I can stock up on heavier items with a car.  Beer is a heavier item.  Did I mention that we both have discovered Yuengling beer, its really good.
   Since there were a number of Loopers at the marina,  you can tell because they have a Looper burgee flying on their prow,  I decided to host a docktail.  Basically its BYOB and something to snack on, though the host boat seems to prepare a little more  stuff.  

    The final stop in Beaufort was their Maritime Museum  Lots of museums are sort of interesting but rarely do I find a museum that goes into depth in just a few things that I don’t really know much about and I come away having really learned something, not just been amused for an hour or so.  I don’t know whether that speaks to museums in general, or my attention span, but the Beaufort museum was really enlightening. 
   The Beaufort Museum had a display of a lot of artifacts that had been found in the wreck of Captain Blackbeards ship the Queen Anne's Revenge.  The exhibit did a good job of explaining the life of pirates in the early 18th century.  It also showed the early methods  developed to save people from the wrecks that inevitably occurred on the shoals as ships, both legal and illegal tried to get into the ports along the North Carolina coast.  It also described that battles against the German U boats.  In all 177 ships were sunk off the North Carolina coast in WWII. 

Swansboro and the marathon bike ride

May 13, 2017
        We made it to Swansboro because the Waterway Guide said there was a very nice 25 mile Bicentennial Bicycle trail.  They were celebrating, you guessed it, Pirate Days!  John found the bike route and we set out.  It was 25 miles alright, but some pretty busy roads and little shoulder.  But we survived and I stopped at a farmers market for tomatoes, potatoes and strawberries.  The strawberries are in season here and they are wonderful.    I got out my Hibachi and grilled some steaks and we feasted on steak, salad, baked potatoes and strawberry sundaes.  All of these little seaside towns have ice cream shops.
               Sunday I went to Mass and out to breakfast at a wonderful little 50’s diner what made strawberry fritters.  I was expecting chopped up strawberries in a standard 6 in fritter, but these were whole strawberries, battered, fried and coated with powdered sugar.  Really good.  I always take Sunday breakfast leftovers back to John.  Back at the boat John was doing chores filling up the water tank.  It holds about 100 gallons and lasts us a couple of weeks.  We also washed the boat down since the crashing waves of the day before got salt water all over the boat.  
                We left Swansboro and only had about 30 miles to Beaufort NC.


Crashing Seas


 The crashing waves only lasted about an hour and they were straight into our bow which is a lot easier to take than rolling waves moving us side to side.  As we got farther up the Cape Fear River things calmed down and we continued to enjoy the scenery in North Carolina.  But we kept a watch out for pirates.  Every visitors’ center for the next 150 miles reminded us we were in Pirate country, from Blackbeard to German U boats. 
   We ended up anchoring out with Journey and Nearly Perfect in Mile Hammock Bay.  We weren’t too worried about Pirates there because the US Marines were doing touch and goes in Ospreys for about 6 hours.  But we got the dinghy out and motored over to Nearly Perfect for docktails with Jack and Patty Nickerson of Nearly Perfect and Randy and Michelle Palmero on Journey. Before the sunset there were about 7 boats in the beautiful little bay, and the Ospreys had quit there runs.

    The next morning was Saturday so the marines were off and I went for a beautiful ride in my kayak before we took off.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Southern North Carolina

 May 12,2017    

         On to North Carolina and some of the prettiest scenery that we have seen on the trip.  The “ditch” that we were going along was lined with a beautiful forest of pine, live oak and a jungle type underbrush and very few houses. And every once in while we would get a glimpse of the ocean and breakers on the beach.   We chose Southport NC as our next marina since it was about 50 miles north.  We try to travel about 50 miles each day.  John wants to keep chugging  along and I want to stop and smell the roses, but we both agree that 6-7 hours driving the boat is plenty each day.  If we’re going with the tides, wind  and river currents we can get up to 11 mph.  Against them it slows to about 6 mph.  

          The town was a lovely gem, (oops, the Indian Trail tree in the previous post belongs in Southport)   set at the mouth of the Cape Fear River where ocean going vessels, whether big container ships or Civil War privateers running the Union blockade come in to go to Wilmington NC.  The river pilots that the ships need to traverse the river to Wilmington live here and the sunken remains of two Confederate ironclads, the North Carolina and the Raleigh are here.
     We also met some other loopers and had drinks and snacks aboard their boat.  The marina provided an excellent update on weather and shoaling issues on the rest of the ICW north to Norfolk.  It is a really confusing string of rivers, sounds and cuts which can be pretty rough in even some light wind and weather and a front with thunderstorms is expected through the next few    days.   

       We found out how rough it could be first thing this morning when we set out for 10 miles up the Cape Fear River.  The seas were crashing over our bow!

Myrtle Beach

 May 10,2017      
      We kind of skipped main Myrtle Beach since we had been there before and thought it was a lot of Coney Island kind of stuff. Though we did see a lot of golf courses right along the ICW as we went through. 

 We stopped in North Myrtle Beach, at a shopping mall, tying up on a dock just below a GregNorman Australian Grille.  But the food was good and you have to walk somewhere to get exercise.  Found a beautiful new Nativity set for my collection and went to a great musical revue show, Time Warp, by the Carolina Opry Company that featured music of the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s.  It also had a whole segment on Woodstock for the 50th anniversary with a montage of photos playing behind the musicians that I had never seen before.

Golf on Pawley's Island

 May 8-9
      John found two beautiful golf courses on Pawley’s Island, Tru Blue and Cordelia, on  Different but both interesting and challenging.  We played by ourselves on the first day but got off before the members starting times and had the course to ourselves.  The next day was pretty slow, but we played with an interesting gentleman originally from York, UK who lives really close to Maria in London now.   I tried to convince him to try Bombay Burrito.
        We got back early enough on Monday for me to go to the Rice Museum.  It was a fascinating explanation about the rice plantations that made the area very wealthy before the Civil War.  It was rice not cotton that was “king” in the Low Country.   All of the cypress swamps were cleared and 1000 miles of canals and dikes and irrigation gates made it possible to flood thousands of acres of land as the rivers flowed down into the deltas and met the ocean tides coming in.  Georgetown fared pretty well after the Civil War made rice farming impossible without slaves.   They also had a good harbor and lots of lumber.  A paper mill is still operating and when the wind blows just right…
         The museum also has the remains of a really old boat that proved that they were building commercial vessels in the colonies as early as 1730.  They found it and a lot of stuff on it

really well preserved in the black muck of one of the rivers in the area. The most amazing thing was that the ribs were made of single branches of oak trees.  They looked for ones just the right shape and cut them

The most photogenic alligators we have seen have been on golf courses.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Georgetown, SC

 May 7-9
    Very old (500 years) live oak

Without a marina to dock in (reservations are pretty tight on weekends)  we found a place to anchor on Saturday night and headed into Georgetown early Sunday morning.  Beautiful little harbor and marina.  Sort of a mini Charleston with all of the same history, and houses but with golf since we were now on the very south end of Myrtle Beach.  Not much open on Sunday, but we found a sports bar on the river with three bars and 10 TVs.  Just bike riding around the neighborhoods looking at the beautiful homes on the live oak canopied street was enjoyable.    John took off on a more ambitious ride, about 20 miles back down the ICW.

More of South Carolina

  May 6 we headed north planning to stop in McClelanville, a small town where they were having a local shrimp festival and a boat parade for blessing the fleet.  I general we are trying to stop at some of the more "off the beaten track"  places.  Unfortunately the locals were using the small marina as free public docking for the day and the dockmaster was enjoying the festival and not policing too much.  After a tour of the harbor we decided to keep going north but not without admiring the decorated shrimp boats.

These guys must be making some money shrimping cause these boats are really nice compared to the ones we saw down in Georgia and Florida.

Charleston SC

May 4 -5, 2017
         We docked at the Charleston Municipal Marina.  Huge and a little tight getting into but a short Uber ride into the downtown area.   I set out immediately to see what there was to do and see and text John about where to meet me for dinner.  That works out pretty well for us.  Checked out the Visitor Center to book a tour for the next day.  With John’s knee issues a motorized guided tour around the city is nice.  And you really get to see a lot of the city in a short time.
    Found an olive oil and vinegar tasting store that also had small batch bourbon and scotch to taste.  Needless to say I succumbed to the demon and got a very nice bottle of single malt for tasting.  Then there was the King Street cookies with about 25 kinds to choose from...  I only get oatmeal raisin because they can count for a healthy breakfast.  (But no spinach or carrots)   I couldn’t resist the Swamp Fox Restaurant and Bar in the Francis Marion Hotel for dinner.  Some of my earliest TV memories are of the show Swamp Fox, outfoxing the British at every turn.  Actually Charleston is mostly about beautiful old mansions, being the first of everything in America, and FOOD.  Since the original land grant from King Charles was somewhere south of Virginia, to the Spanish in Florida to everything west, I think it was easy to claim being the first at a lot.

      Friday we took our tour in the morning with a Charleston native and got the “inside scoop” on history and real estate.  The really rich people had mansions   South Of Broad Street they were SOBs and the people Slightly North of Broad St were the SNOBs.  Unfortunately now only movie stars, rock stars and billionaires can afford any of the old houses, but they are being preserved.

We did get some history in between food stops.  This is a replica of one of the first submarines even.  It was powered by men bicycle pedalling inside and actually torpeodoed a Union ship.  then it sank, but Clive Cussler found it on the bottom of Charleston Harbor and they have it in a museum

After the tour I decided to let John off the hook for sightseeing and shopping and he went back to the boat and I went to the Central Market where they have lots of local crafts.  The real big deal was the sweet grass baskets that the Gullah ladies weave.  They are beautiful but the prices are pretty expensive.  One person told m you’re supposed to bargain but I hate that so all I ended up with was a trivet.  But at least I’ll use that.  And the food!  I had the most amazing Pimento BLT with pimento cheese (my new favorite) fried green tomato, and Applewood smoked bacon on toasted sourdough at one of the stands in the market.  After a quick visit to the Catholic cathedral, I caught the trolley up north (about 1.5 miles) to catch my culinary food tasting tour of North Charleston.   The area is just starting to revitalize and get too expensive for the locals but again the food was amazing, seafood, calamari and mussels, BBQ, etc., etc. and finished off with ice cream.
        I waddled home and sat comatose in the recliner for the rest of the evening.  Did I mention the Bloody Mary made with bacon infused vodka, with a piece of that great bacon and fancy olives?

Goodbye to a beautiful city and waterfront with a very full stomach.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

  May 3, 2017
               After two nights in Hilton Head we headed north and felt like we were really starting out loop, slowing down and little and discovering interesting off of the beaten path spots.

   The first one we encountered was Edisto Beach, a little marina just off of a river close to the beach.   This was the first time that there was no one to help us dock so I had to lasso the cleat on the dock to pull us in.  John got me close enough that I got it on about the third try.   We both have to get better at that with a name like Colorado Cowboy on our stern. 
        Pretty good bike path through a jungle like area and down to the beach.  We headed out together, but I found a Farmers Market and stopped while John headed on.   I stopped on the beach to walk out to the ocean.  The area really reminded me of Gearhart.  Reasonable homes sitting right on the beach, a small commercial area and back water sloughs.    I found a fresh seafood place and got a piece of Wahoo for dinner and we have a nice dinner on the boat.


  Next stop on Thursday was Charleston.  I had insisted that we stay two nights so I could get a full day in Charleston.

  On Monday we got going early, and go to Harbour Town on Hilton Head Island early in the afternoon.  John was really excited because he has been wanting to do this for years.  Bring his boat into the marina and then play the golf course.
         The marina had been destroyed by Hurricane Matthew but they had rebuilt it pretty quickly.  They just hadn’t gotten the power pedestals up so we were on the generator again, but I wasn’t going to cook anyway with restaurants all around.  We both set off on our bikes, me to a knitting store to get some needles I needed and John to cruise the area.  The island has really wonderful bike paths.

     Next morning we played golf at Harbour Town golf club and had dinner there that evening.  The course was great, but not too long and really tight.  Lots of sand traps.    I played well enough to post  the score on GHIN, which I really wanted to have for the record.

    April 29 and 30 were all one blur of sea grass and water as we headed out of Georgia and into South Carolina.  It isn’t very far from Amelia Island to Hilton Head, but since we really can’t go out into the ocean, the ICW winds like a pile of rope that someone just dropped. We decided to try anchoring instead of going into a marina on Saturday because there really weren’t any in a good spot for stopping for the night.  We try to make 50-60 miles a day when we’re trying to get somewhere and 40 if we want to stop and see something.  We managed to anchor without too much trouble.  John is going to do a guest blog on anchoring and docking at marinas.  I liked it because it’s lots easier than docking at a marina on my part.  Of course you can’t get off the boat, but we are really self-contained with and generator to run all the electrical (even air conditioning) and full bathroom facilities. 

      Sunday we got an early start, not much else to do and were planning on staying near Savanah.  So we could Uber into town.  It wasn’t worth going 10 miles out of our way since both John and I have been in Savanah more than once, but when I started calling around for a slip for the night I struck out.  All of them were full up.  (Made us realize we probably better start planning a little farther ahead.  So we found another nice anchorage in Herb River, just off of the docks of some beautiful Savanah homes.  That night we I grilled a great rib eye for dinner on our propane gas stove.  Great dinner for the middle of a river in the Georgia low country.  (More on food later) .

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Oops, correction, St Augustine was Thursday, April 27.  On Friday, April 28 we stopped on
Amelia Island, our last stop in Florida.  The Island had been badly damaged by Hurricane Matthew in the fall and the marina in the downtown area was still not open so we tried the Amelia Island Yacht Basin this time.    It is really easy to dock in the closest place to the town and then just walk around and not see much else of the area.  I from previous visits I had thought this was just another cute tourist town with lots of good restaurants,  but from our dock farther south we took off on our bikes and went all around the island.  John got a little carried away and it was after dark before he got back.  I headed home earlier and still had a hard ride to beat the sunset.  The island has some very nice old neighborhoods, beach areas, and is pretty much a middle class town, with parks and schools.
The marina itself was only partly dredged out from the Hurricane and at low tide we were sitting on the bottom, but our bottom is flat so we don’t tilt too much in the mud.
Leaving in the morning we saw even more of the real life of the town.  The far north end is still industrial with a port, some kind of mill and shrimping boats.  It was really good to see that all of that could coexist together.

John on the beach at Amelia Island.  Atlantic ocean in the background

          Our next stop April 28 was in St Augustine.  We didn’t do much on shore,  and we had eaten in the restaurant at the marina on our trip down, but Camachee Cove was a very nice marina with a pool so I could get in a different kind of exercise swimming laps.
       St Augustine is one of those places whose history is a record of European colonization.  The oldest city in North America, the Spanish had it first, then theFrench, then  English, then the United States, then the Confederacy then the Union.  We had seen most of the city on earlier golf trips to Florida, so we skipped the tourism and enjoyed a quiet evening and next morning on the boat.  And we could hear the music at the restaurant on the boat. 

Monday, May 1, 2017

     From  Cocoa Village we headed  up the endless Indian River passing  Titusville and the Kennedy Space Center which we had visited on our way down in the fall.  
     A note about the rivers and creeks that make up the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW) which we are following up the east coast.  Most of them are hundreds of yards wide, 6 feet deep and nothing up grass and a few scrub trees for as far as the eye can see. As we moved through Georgia they were interspersed with sounds off of the Atlantic that poke like fingers into the Low Country.
      On Wednesday, April 26 we landed in New Smyrna Beach and had our first real "Looper" party.  We ran into two couples who were just finishing their loops.  Both had purchased boats in the Vero Beach area a couple of years ago and taken them to New York and Rhode Island where they started the loop last spring.  So technically they had "crossed their wake" though they weren't planning on celebrating till they got back to their homes.
    We chatted on the dock for an hour and then headed to a great brewery for beer and more   conversation.  That led to pizza  and needless to say I didn't get the laundry done that night.  Next morning I wandered around another old Florida town trying to revive its downtown area along a river, and doing it quite nicely..Found a great re creation of the old Woolworth's stores with a soda fountain that really looked like a going concern.

April 24-25, 2017; Cocoa Village Marina

24th: Continuing north, running longer days since we are a month behind.  Got into Cocoa Village Marina early afternoon on the 24th.  Dinner w/ Caroline (Tootsie) and Charles Davidson at Chez Marquesa, nice restaurant in the restored "village".  The Davidsons own a ranch north of Yellowjacket Pass NE of Meeker.  Joan Savage met Carroll Carol, Tootsie's mother in the Women's Forum and I have done some legal and consulting work for them.  Charles and I mostly listened, Tootsie and Sally drank the wine and had a great time.

25th: Turned 66 today!  Guess I should be glad health is still decent and we are on our great adventure, but its still 66!!

Spent an extra day in Cocoa so we could go to dinner w/ Craig Macnab and his wife Diedre in Winter Park (north of Orlando).

Took  a nice bike ride in AM north on Riverside Rd.  Great residential street along about 15 miles of the Indian River.  No bike  paths or shoulders, but minimal traffic.

The Macnabs have a house in Steamboat Springs and recently purchased Oscar Wyatt's ranch on the White River (formerly Raley ranch and others).  They now own the ranches on either side of our White River Ranch.  Very nice dinner at Chez Vincent in Harbor Square in Winter Park.  Much different than I expected.  My only experience /w Orlando had been the airport, amusement parks and glitzy shopping malls along the freeways.  Winter Park is a modest, "old Florida" town, now swallowed up by the Orlando megalopolis.  Old downtown area redeveloped with several restaurants and shops.  Traffic in central Florida as bad as everywhere else and lots of construction going on.