14 February ~2014

Lindsay in her thetraveluster.com blog was writing that she is torn between the desire to travel and the wish to stay put and enjoy her nice home. I am right there with her, and don't seeing myself going anywhere except the Rocky Mountains for a very long time. (my home ground)

Anyway, that is what I feel now after being worn out from a spur of the moment getaway to the Dry Tortugas, which I set up after seeing the flatwater forecast for the Florida Keys last week. It paid off - 3 1/2 of my four days camped out on the island were perfectly calm, with swells only a half foot at that.

I kayaked out to Loggerhead again, and snorkeled out on the west side for four hours. Pretty amazing experience being one of only three people on the island, and the only person in the water. The two other people were Park Service workers. Unfortunately the one period of wind during my stay on the Dry Tortugas came with a weak cold front that hit when I had paddled 2/3's of the way back to Garden Key. It took twice as long to get back because of the wind and the tides. I was absolutely exhausted, and slept for 11 hours that night. When I checked in with the ranger I commented on how the wind on the way back made it a tough paddle. He said 'you made it, and that is all that matters.' Four years ago this month a kayaker did not make it back.

I had mixed feelings about the impulsive nature of my trip, combined with how darn hard it is to get ready to go with all the gear I take (kayak, paddles, snorkeling and camping gear, food, water, sea fishing rod and reel). When I set up camp though, and saw that the site right next to mine was occupied by three classy and bikini-clad ladies, I felt much better about the trip. They were roughing it like me, but were smiling and happy the whole time, and seemed like just about perfect women. The beaches of the Tortugas are beautiful, but were more so when my camping friends walked across them.

Life is good.

(go to drytortugasreef.org to see more of my photos from last week)




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