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March 7 - 9, 2016 From the Gulf to the Atlantic
Gamble Rogers State Recreation Area Edison/Ford Winter Estates
Flagler Beach, Florida
This was what the dawn looked like this morning just before sunrise.
It’s always thrilling to see the orange ball of fire seemingly ascend out of the water.
The golden light of the sun on this willet is probably my favorite picture of the day.
Each day I notice the birds are always flying in and out around sunrise but this morning they are here in unusually high numbers.
It’s just wonderful to see so many.
When they land it appears they are mostly terns and gulls of various sizes.
The Pelicans are here again doing their amazing flying so close to the waves.
Large groups of them fly overhead as well.
Big waves today. It really is a fabulous morning at the beach.
Winnona basks in the orange glow of the sun.
I know, a lot of bird pictures but it is just so fantastic with them whirling around and overhead.
It is just a spectacular morning!
You’d think we’d spend the entire day on the beach wouldn’t you but you’d be wrong. The winds are really too strong for that so I do my 10,000 steps walking down and back.
Then we pack lunches and head up toward St. Augustine. We’re on our way to The World Golf Hall of Fame.
Don’t be too shocked and don’t get too excited Bill. We don’t play golf and we are not even going to see the Hall of Fame.
If you recall, when we were in Disneyworld earlier this winter, we spent a day at the Hollywood Studios. While there we saw a nice lengthy preview of the new Disney Pixar animated film opening March 4th. It was a great preview and the film really was amazing and looked like fun. We both said we wanted to see it but it’s at IMAX and we weren’t near one on the 4th and wouldn’t have gone during opening week anyway.
Back on my post of February 28th I wrote about attending our 2nd movie in 5 years on the road. It had been 3 years since we’d seen a movie and I speculated it would be another 3 years before we went again. I’d forgotten about Zootopia obviously. Never make predictions.
Well it’s only 9 days later but we are headed to the closest IMAX theater which is at The World Golf Hall of Fame to see not only Zootopia but also The National Parks narrated by Robert Redford. A double header, it’s our lucky day.
The world Golf Hall of Fame couldn’t be more convenient. It’s right off I-95 north of Flagler Beach and South of St. Augustine. Seriously RIGHT off I-95. You can see the highway from the grounds.
We find a parking place with no trouble. I’m surpised by how few people are here. There is a tram going around and around to take you if you like but there’s nobody here to take. Or almost nobody.
On our way to the theater for the noon showing of The National Parks, we pass The Challenge Green. There are people, one at a time, hitting their balls across the water to a green. It seems that this is the “Hall of Fame Monthly Challenge”. And I quote: “Two shots for $5 (one free with hall of fame admission) or 5 shots for $10. Closest to the pin WINS one commerorative brick installed inside the Challenge Hole Gazebo. Plus, a random drawing will be held monthly to select a winner to receive a Golf Hall of Fame Gift Basket.”
We watch several men and women take a try at it but my eye sight is so bad that unless it lands in the water with a splash, which a lot of them do, I can’t see where they land on the green.
My camera can see though. Bill and Nancy Mills will be at Gamble Rogers with us next week. I think this is a Challenge for Bill who before becoming a Full Timer was planning to try for the Seniors PGA Tour.
For us it’s on over to the theater.
As for the movie, it was beautifully shot and the scenery of course was magnificient. Most of it takes place in the Western parks although some is during the winter in Pictured Rocks National Seashore and there were a few pictures of Acadia and the Everglades.
The emphasis in this movie on extreme sports was not at all appealing to me. That isn’t what I feel our National Parks should be about. I agree with the Native Americans that no one should be permitted to climb their sacred monument Bear’s Lodge (Devil’s Tower). The movie was mostly about climbing things in the parks. I have to say that I would not recommend it as I think it encourages behavior in parks that I would not want to see. We were 2 of 11 people in the theater for this noon showing.
Zootopia is at 2pm so we have time for lunch which we have on a bench just outside the theater under some of the flags of the countries who have citizens elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame. That’s David on the bench to the right of the theater.
Near the bottom of each country’s flag is the list of citizens who have been elected. The numbers are small. Except for Great Britain and the United States. Great Britain has maybe 20 names. Look at this US list. I know almost nothing about golf other than the names Gary Player, from South Africa, Jack Nicholson, Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods. The first 3 are the lists. Tiger hasn’t made it yet.
But look who is on the list. I had no idea. Judy Bell. She’s been incognito as the Bird Lady of Blogland all these years.
We walk around the horseshoe guessing which country’s flag is above us and then looking at the names.
Time to head back inside. We pick up our second pair of glasses, aren’t they a real fashion statement??
Zootopia does not disappoint. It is a grand good time and a must see on a big screen and in 3D. I’d watch it again if they wouldn’t charge me another $10.
Such a fun film with a number of important messages about following your dreams and making a cooperative society inspite of our differences. The latter is a timely message it seems to me. I recommend it highly.
The star of the show is Judy Hopp who dreams of being the first Bunny Cop in Zootopia a city where predators and prey live together in harmony. Currently the force is made up of wolves and gorillas and rhinos and well you get the picture. The Chief of Police, Chief Bogo, is a Cape Buffalo.
I’m not going to tell the story at all since it is so much fun to discover it as you go but I cannot help saying that the humor in this movie is not just for kids by any means. We nearly fell off of our chairs when Judy and her fox friend go to the DMV to have a license plate run. All the workers in the DMV are sloths. It just almost makes me laugh out loud typing this. Perfect casting for every DMV experience most of us have had all our lives UNLESS you happen to live in Bonita Springs Florida.
It was just amazing to find when the lights went up that we were the only ones in the theater for this showing of this wonderful feel good movie. Is it just that it is Monday afternoon?
The ride back is as easy as the one up until we hit Florida 100 going into Flagler Beach where we find all the motorcyclists as we head down the bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway and toward the wide blue Atlantic.
Today another wonderful sunrise even if it did just rise into that bank of clouds.
Another day of high winds and big waves.
On my morning walk this willet is resting by the shore.
This lone cormorant is walking down the beach in the waves. I’ve never seen anything like it.
He walks along the shore.
He walks out into the waves and when they are deep enough he just starts floating along.
Osprey and many many pelicans are over head.
Sure wish I could spread my wings and just take to the air but sadly my feet are planted on the ground or in the water in this case.
While I am on my walk, David begins making medical phone calls to get his targeted chemotherapy agent pills which are refilled monthly, sent to this address. Currently he has one oral drug daily, refilled monthly, and the Velcade shot weekly. Velcade is a second targeted therapy. In order to be able to travel freely for the summer he will need to arrange to have those shots in many different places, not an easy thing to do. Or he will have to change treatments and have two oral agents. Currently medicare pays for the Velcade under major medical. He is researching if we can get help to pay for the two oral drugs.
I really don’t know how people who have a serious illness and have not worked in the medical profession manage. There are so many forms and hoops to jump through and medications to keep track of. Luckily, David speaks the language. He spends an enormous amount of time on the computer, on the phone, keeping up with the medications and researching treatments.
I spend the afternoon reading The Allure of Immortality and after dinner we head over to catch another lovely sunset.
Day is Done, Gone the Sun.
Sundrise today is a very muted affair. All I can see are the rays behind the cloud bank at the horizon.
Today is Wednesday and David has gone to Palm Coast for his Velcade shot. I take my bike and set off South along Highway A1A to North Penninsula State Park in order to walk their Coastal Strand Trail. The trip is about 3 miles one way.
This park is involved in a very big restoration project to restore the historic salt marsh that was filled with spoil material during the dredging of the Intracoastal Waterway in the early 1900s. It’s a huge undertaking and I have read that it is in its 6th and final stage and scheduled to be completed this year.
What I hadn’t read is that the trail is closed.
Well OK then. I guess it’s another nice 3 mile bike ride back. Or the bike ride would be wonderful if it were not for SO many motorcycles on A1A.
So back I go and then on beyond the park another 3 miles to a trail I know of across from the Flagler Beach Library. This trail is a boardwalk through the Betty Steflik Memorial Preserve. Betty has become a real favorite of mine. She was born in 1917 and died in 2004. For the last 25 years of her life, She dedicated herself to preserving Flagler County's fragile coast line and wet lands.
It was her vision as a Flagler Beach City Commissioner that preserved the unique charm and character Flagler Beach by creating zoning and height restrictions. Flagler Beach would have a totally different look today if it were not for her vision and commitment. For the 12 years that Betty was a city commissioner she accomplished: Protection of Coastal Dunes by building dune walkovers; the acquisition of funding for the purchase of a 350 acre parcel of wetland known as Flagship Harbor and the saving of the Cochina Beach across from Washington Oaks Garden State Park among many other things. .
Betty was one person who made a very big difference in this world, to her community and to me as I visit this beautiful beach area and this preserve named in her honor which protects more than 200 acres of mangrove marsh, mud flats, and coastal uplands. Thanks Betty!
The boardwalks take me through the estuary and into the coastal scrub.
There are several spots overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway and at this one I see an unfamiliar boat coming toward the Route 100 bridge.
Ok Paul, what is this?
I thought it was a really tall boat until I looked at it in comparison with the bridge.
No problem at all getting under there. Goodness, do Giant Cruise ships come down this waterway? Looks like they could fit under this bridge.
Such a lovely place to honor such an important woman.
It’s been a good day. I’ve done my 10,000 steps and a 12 mile bike ride. Another beautiful sunset caps it off perfectly.
“Night is drawing nigh. Shadows of the evening, steal across the sky.”