Today was an incredible day. Although it started bad. (But maybe the fact that it didn’t stay bad contributed to being incredible.)
The bad was the bugs. The bugs were SO bad that we resorted to peeing in a coffee cup inside the tent so we didn’t have to go out. The bugs were SO bad that we poured our morning coffee into our empty water bottles so we could drink our coffee while out on the water in our boats. SO bad that our breakfast was a shared granola bar while out on the water in our boats.
But after that, it was all uphill! And we DID wake up from a good night’s sleep, which was much better than our sleepless night under the bridge.
The wind was refreshing instead of yesterday’s battering ram. And today’s waterfront homes were smaller, more varied, more country, on larger lots with trees cloaked in Spanish Moss. One modern home had a live tree growing through it and a loveseat swing on the flat part of its roof. One trailer-looking home had a huge platform treehouse verandah in its front yard.
By 6 nm of paddling, we were hungry, not having eaten breakfast nor being able to enjoy our morning cup of coffee. So, boy were we happy when we paddled upon The Bay restaurant and landed on its beach. John ate a steak sandwich and I ate a lobster roll. The waitress kept refilling our iced teas and coffees. We didn’t even eat dinner tonight. That lunch was enough for our entire three meals today.
We paddled another 4 nm to the far eastern end of Choctawatchee Bay and the start of the ditch that cuts inland and will deliver us to Panama City in a couple of days.
We are now back on the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail now, after having deviated from it for the past four days because of the winds. And as such, we’re camped behind the Choctawatchee Paddling Club building at Washington Point.
This is such an awesome place. Next door is the gorgeous Eden Gardens State Park with a renovated Antebellum Home and stunning huge trees.
Fountains and sculptures. Porcelain toilets too. And rocking chairs on the home’s side porch, of which John and I availed ourselves for a good half hour.
Back at our camp behind the Rowing Club building though we had a great surprise. Fisherman Jerry from yesterday had popped by for a visit.
Tomorrow the weather’s supposed to take a turn for the worse. We’re glad we got today. A beautiful day to be paddling. A great meal. Rocking chairs at an antebellum home. A legitimate place to camp. And a visit from a new friend.
We are alive.
We are healthy.
We are adventurers.