2009 Spring 2 Fall travel blog

Kielyn's gymnastic practice

and the little athlete herself

keeps in training with an ice cream cone

while brother Austin enjoys a shake

Movie Clips - Playback Requirements - Problems?

(MPG - 1.86 MB)

Kielyn jumping for the High Bar

(MPG - 1.86 MB)

Kielyn's Handstand

(MPG - 1.24 MB)

"Pit" Jumping


Back to Parkland in a Monsoon - Thursday and Friday, April 2 and 3

We got our motorhome back Thursday afternoon, the slide out now working perfectly. With everything mechanical in order, we spent the rest of the day organizing and getting ready to travel.

Friday morning we left Lazy Days early and got on the road. The sky was dark and they were predicting five inches of rain for the Panhandle. We’re not on the Panhandle but we’re not far from it, and a storm that size is bound to dump some rain on the rest of Florida too. And so it did.

The first fifty miles we drove through some of the hardest rain we’ve ever seen. Madolyn was following me in the rental car and sometimes traffic on Highway 75 came nearly to a stop. When the big rigs slow down to a crawl you know it’s bad.

Finally the sky lightened and the rain slowed, but then the wind came up. In the space of a few miles we went from hydroplaning down the freeway to parasailing. Soon even the trucks were weaving and traffic began to look like one giant conga line. At one point a boogie board lifted up out of the bed of a pick-up truck ahead of us, and it immediately became airborne. It rode the air waves to 20 feet or more above the traffic, then tumbled back to earth and landed harmlessly at the side of the road.

We pulled off and had breakfast at a Bob Evans restaurant, and when we returned to the road conditions gradually got better. We traveled Alligator Alley again, this time from west to east, but the wind and weather conspired to ground a lot of the birds. Nothing grounds the vultures, and we did see one crane and a few ibexes but most of the birds were not out over the glades on this blustery afternoon.

We are used to seeing egrets fly, but cranes fly much differently. Where egrets fly with their necks retracted and their heads back against their shoulders, cranes fly with their necks stretched out in front and their feet stretched out in back. They look like long white sticks with wings, so you know you’ve seen a crane but we weren’t close enough to tell what kind of crane it was. Sandhill cranes are most common, but a small number of the increasing population of whooping cranes do winter in Florida.

We drove through Fort Lauderdale and finally reached Pompano Beach where we returned our rental car. Then it was back to Parkland to watch Kielyn at her gymnastics class, dinner at Lefty’s and a round of ice cream cones with the McCrights.



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