Positive Vibes

It’s the Keys, mon. The sweat rolling off my back doesn’t turn into ice cubes before it hits the floor.

I had a mostly uneventful trip from North Puffin to South Puffin last week. I bought half a sailboat and didn’t buy a motor home.

Half a boat conjures a Wiley Coyote image of a bald guy hanging onto the mast, trying to keep the chewed off after end out of the drink. That would be a small error. Rufus bought the other half, so we’re probably safe as long as I can keep him away from the chainsaw. We spent a couple of days completing the purchase, getting the trailer tags, making sure everything would stay connected. He fed me well.

Speaking of chewed off after ends, my neighbor Joe went fishing yesterday and almost boated a pretty nice mackerel. Except he had reeled the fish in to withing spitting distance of the boat when a much larger mackerel saw dinner on the hook and chomped off the back half. No shaking, no rending, no tearing. Open wide. Bite down. Swim away. ‘Nother reason I pefer fishing for cow.

I tend to listen to podcasts and talk shows while driving so I discovered a surprisingly conservative broadcast about a news media watchdog’s 40th anniversary on C-Span, of all venues. Of course, C-Span is kind of the public access television for inside the Beltway, so perhaps it is not so surprising.

The trailer towed easily at all speeds and neither the tires nor the bearings got hot. The traffic cooperated. I even drove right through D.C. and, other than the G.P.S. scolding me about “better routes,” had no tie-ups. Even the rain wasn’t too bad to drive through. The motel yard cats liked the boat at each stop.

Gas gas price war prices climbed through the entre trip. I stopped for gas at a 7-11 in Port Charlotte, Florida. The road signs advertise a $2.589/gallon price for regular. The actual price at the pump was $2.739/gallon. The store clerk told me no manager was at the store but one would “probably” be available on Monday.

Later, I checked in to a Red Roof Inn in Naples. The Florida Roomsaver ad promised “It’s all new under the Roof” with gourmet coffee, a free USA Today, and WiFi Internet access through T-Mobile.

Not every motel in the Florida Roomsaver offers Internet access but all that do offer it just as they do a complimentary hot breakfast or the towels — included the cost of the room. After I checked in, the clerk told that the WiFi Internet access through T-Mobile would cost me $8/day. I could buy the T-Mobile card then, he said, and ask for a refund in the morning. I spent the evening without any ability to check mail, plan my route, or download porn. I never saw a paper, either.

I’ll write the usual nastygrams. I can pretend that 7-11 will sanction the franchisee and Red Roof will give me a free night somewhere. I can even file deceptive advertising complaints with the Florida Attorney General and, as an ExxonMobil shareholder, I will ask that company to pull Exxon and Mobil gasoline from all 7-11s nationwide. It certainly leaves me not liking what’s “all new” under the roof. Or at the 7-11.

I ‘spect the most I’ll get is this blog entry.

Running the Tamiami through the Everglades in daylight was the best part of the trip. I stopped at the Collier-Seminole State Park just to see what is there this week and discovered the 1924 Bay City walking dredge. It is on the National Register as the earliest remaining dredge of that type. Designed to work in the swamps that bog down traditional wheeled or tracked construction equipment, it dredged the canals for the roadbed fill that created the Tamiami Trail at a rate of 80 feet per 18 hour day. There are several heron rookeries along the way, so I stopped a couple of times. The herons in the Glades are less trusting of people so they flushed as soon as I walked along the shoulder. On the other hand, the observation deck of the Oasis Visitor Center at Big Cypress National Preserve gives a bird’s eye view of eight alligators, plus active fish, herons and cormorants, and other wildlife such as tourists.

The Styrofoam “Omaha” meat cooler still had northern ice — I did not refresh its ice during the trip. That may not make the record books but it sure worked for me. On the downside, I can’t pick my nose any more. A neighbor is sitting in his living room across the canal, looking in my living room at me looking in his living room at him.

Good thing I didn’t tarry any longer on the road, though. I ran out of clean underwear.

Ah, heck. Who needs underwear? It’s the Keys, mon.