Friday, December 28, 2012

a hard drive back to Virginia

As often happens, this will be a grand catch up entry. The second day at Disney’s Epcot was okay but the highlight was the special (18 dollars) visit to the interior of the greenhouses. That was interesting and the most practical was the system which used the fish water to fertilize the plants, with the water being constantly recycled. The main technique was hydroponics, which have been around for many years but I guess they are getting better. The guide had no specific figures. Much of the produce goes to the Disney restaurants but it is a very low figure, under 5% of what they need. The fireworks display in the evening was spectacular and my dinner at Flying Fish on the Boardwalk just outside of Epcot was terrific and I did have a piece of exceptional flounder. The animal kingdom was fun and I did get there early so I could be one of the first to go on the safari ride and that was decent but quick. It wasn’t a zoo but too close for comfort. After the ride you could walk through part of the savannah and I saw a number of animals and birds, with the highlight being a whole family of silverback gorillas. The Jungle King show was first rate as was the Bug show. I also decided to take the Kali Rapids ride and it was fun even though I did close my eyes at the 23 ft drop (at a 40 degree angle). The kids in my raft loved it but one ride was enough for me. I went back to the room for a nap and then I headed off to Downtown Disney again, and had a decent meal at Portabello, an Italian restaurant. Overall, I am glad I went—and everything was first rate if expensive--but I won’t go again. Tuesday morning found me driving toward Florida City and it was one of those days that get out of hand. After four hours of driving I finally found a place to ride my bike (by the Homestead YMCA) and changed my plans from a campground (the area looked rough) to a Best Western, which ended up being a very decent place. The next day I drove into the Everglades and stopped at Royal Palm but the Anhinga Trail was a disappointment with very few birds, a few fish and a handful of alligators. Further along I stopped to ride my bike for 40 minutes and then I headed to Flamingo to eat and take the boat tour since I wasn’t feeling at all like paddling. The tour was fine, with sightings of night herons and spoonbills, alligators and crocodiles, but I was really hot and had no energy whatsoever. After the tour I realized that things weren’t going well, so on my way to Homestead I called Dove Creek and thankfully they let me cancel both nights and I decided to drive as far as I could toward home (over 900 miles) and that turned out to be about 70 miles. The next two days and nights were awful but at least when I got to Columbia on the third night, I was able to stay at the Clarion and that was a very comfortable room. I was going to try to do something the next day but I was too sick so I simply drove home and have been slowly recovering for the past few days. The big news is that Rhonda’s house suffered extensive damage from a fire and I went out there on Christmas and gave her a nice check to help out. I have gotten back to weights and yoga, and today I also practiced for 20 minutes and that felt good. Later I walked in the New River Valley Mall for 30 minutes and was positive. Earlier in the day I found a cow out of the front pasture and called Dougie and helped him get it back in. My essay on Preppers is moving slowly but it is moving. Tracy did return my Birthday greeting e-mail and I was glad. I e-mailed her back and told her about my spot on the Ten Sleep. I am very glad she is doing very well.

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