Broward vs Brevard
Apr 14, 2008
|On the road at last! - Sunday, April 13, 2008
We got off to a slow start, with Madolyn still not feeling good. Our warm and gracious family came out to see us off, and Austin ran down the sidewalk waving goodbye, then we turned the corner and were on our way.
Normally we avoid the interstates but we decided this time I-95 was the best way to get out of town. Madolyn hung with me for a while, then finally went back to sleep off her cold. She slept the rest of the way to our destination, but fortunately she had programmed 'Scottsmoor' into the GPS so I had the disembodied voice of ‘Lucy’ to keep me company and tell me where to get off the highway. And Lucy's a decent traveling companion - when she’s not copping an attitude.
I-95 is an official Hurricane Evacuation Route, and everywhere along the way you see formerly forested areas that are littered with broken stumps - evidence that the threat is real and the season will be here soon.
Lucy did a good job of getting me off the freeway at Exit 231, but Madolyn had programmed her to take us into the town of Scottsmoor and not the RV park. So we went a mile out of our way, but that mistake took us to Highway 1 and gave us a look at what Florida might have been like before the state was ‘developed’ to death. Here we’re in Brevard County, 200 miles north of the Dade/Broward madhouse, and here the country is open and beautiful again.
We found the Crystal Lake RV Park tucked in behind a BP gas station and situated on a nice little lake, which serves as a reflecting pond for the tall trees on the other side. There are mocking birds and mourning doves flitting through the trees, and flowers thrive at the edge of the water. There is no swimming in the lake though, unless you like swimming with alligators. They say they have several!
We paid for two nights so Madolyn can recuperate, and we may stay longer. There's no hurry now that we’re finally on our way.
Crystal Lake - Monday, April 14, 2008
We took it easy today - so Madolyn could get well and rested up. I took a quick dip in the unheated swimming pool, then unloaded the bikes and took off on a ride to Highway 1. It’s a mile from where we’re camped, and the 'early Florida' feel of it is attractive. After the craziness of the south I wanted to see it again. The pictures above give a feel for the countryside, and for how this state must have looked years ago.
In this part of Brevard County we're 350 miles north of Key West. We're not far from Daytona Beach which is 33 miles north of us, and we're even closer (28 miles) to Cape Canaveral. There was a time when Highway 1 probably looked like this all the way to Miami - and that must have been nice!
I rode north on Highway 1 and a mile later I crossed the line into Volusia County. I rode another mile enjoying the scenery, then finally turned around. On the return trip I came to two signs telling me I was back in Brevard County. One a new metal sign that was all business and no art, and a stately stone pillar beside it that had 'Brevard County' carved into the east side facing the road, 'Welcome' on the north side facing traffic, and 'Come Again' on the south side for people headed north out of the county. A friendly reminder of another age.
Back at the RV park people were looking at the sky, and I discovered they were looking at the contrail of a rocket shot off from the Kennedy Space Center. By the time I got my camera and took a picture the winds had pretty well dispersed it.
One of the lookers pointed out a big gator sunning himself on the bank across the water and we got to talking. It turned out he was from Wisconsin, and he was born and raised in Milwaukee. He worked for a brewery and he's a 'friend of Bill Wilson', with some 20 years of sobriety. It's a smaller world than we think sometimes.
This was a nice day and very relaxing - but still full of interesting things!