After all the traffic drama of The Keys I was ready to get back to the middle of BF nowhere; to the roots of my camping past and head to the woods. The last time Finnley and I camped in the woods was last November in the Grand Canyon, so you could imagine I was quite excited to go and to be doing something different from the beachy norms of late. We were headed to Alexander Springs; one of many of the Florida Springs in the Ocala area. Previously, Finnley and I had been to Juniper Springs and Blue Spring and loved it.
It was going to be a 4 hour drive this time so we attempted leaving earlier than usual and were able to get on the road around 9:00am. In comparison to the Keys, the drive was pretty boring. The turnpike isn't meant to be scenic I suppose, but that always makes the drive feel longer. When we finally got off and onto local roads was when it got slightly more scenic and hilly! I forgot how hilly it can get in central Florida. I don’t know why, but for some reason rural Florida freaks me out more than any other rural place I've been. I just get weird vibes that I have yet been able to explain.
Anyhow, about ten minutes before we were supposed to reach the campground we ended up getting in an accident. When will the traffic horrors end!!! Oh yeh I live in Florida... sooo never. A motorcyclist hit my car from behind and we were basically stuck at the scene for 2+ hours. Thank goodness the guy was ok, but there went all of our good weekends. I guess some people would say this would be a good story to be told; how Finnley lifted the motorcycle off the man and dragged him from gasoline gushing toward him, how I was the only person dialing 911 out of the 10 tards that just stood around looking, and how all the poor man cared about was how everyone else was doing (even my car!) and his bike of course, but beyond that I rather not. I don’t want to have to relive it and I don’t want anyone else to either.
Honestly I don't even feel like blogging about this entire trip because when I think about it all the feelings of "why" flood back. For a lack of better words, that experience basically mind fucked us for the following 2 days. I tried to find reason, maybe this is a lesson? For me? For him? For Finnley? I don’t know. I almost felt betrayed by the vibes of the earth because lately more than ever have I been throwing the most positive and pure vibes out there only to be shit on for wanting to camp in the woods? For wanting to camp as much as I do? For escaping my zombie grind barely a day and a half a week? I never found a reason and sometimes I still get anxiety about it, but I have to remind myself I cannot keep that kind of defeatist attitude towards life, because that is all it really is. From a page out of Forrest Gump it all really boils down to "shit happens".
Luckily for us my car was still drivable. We made it to camp around 5:00pm and set up. The site was super big and we had our own little section of woods next to it. After relaxing and trying to get ourselves together we headed over to the spring to check it out. On our walk there we ran into some giant bumble bees and a family that were also in the cross hairs of these radioactive looking creatures. We were both looking for the spring and started talking. It was a mom, her daughter, and her family friend. The mom seriously looked like, talked like, and laughed like Kendra from TV, but like a normal mom version. It was so weird. I'd put money on them being related. She was so nice and cute. Her daughter, Isabella, who probably wasn't over the age of 6 was also adorable and I spent the next hour or so with her making nests out of the Spanish moss from the Oak trees. They were also with a young boy about high school age who was their family friend. He was really into ecology and taught us some cool things about nature.
We stayed there and walked around taking pictures until almost sundown. I was starving so Finnley made us dinner when we got back to camp. We had a nice big fire again and spent the rest of the night staring at it and talking. At one point we went to take the trash out and on our way back passed a site with about 15 people standing around a big fire, all with their wrists crossed towards the fire and gazing in. Told you rural Florida was creepy. However, doesn't really compare to our travelling friend Katie's way creepier, but similar story. Two big differences with hers: Mormon Utah and they were all naked! Anyway I tried to keep a positive attitude about it and/or ignore it. We went to bed soon after. I was really tired so I started falling asleep good, but then was jolted by the thought that I didn't remember where I put my keys. I tried waking Finnley up, but that never does any good. It always takes more man power then it’s worth to wake him up. So I had to go find them. I apparently left them in one of the camp chairs.
When I tried going back to bed I just kind of ended up laying there is a trance for the rest of the night. We woke up kind of late and made breakfast. Afterwards we only had time for one activity before we'd have to start packing up. We decided we would take our new blow up kayak out for a run. I wanted to swim in the spring because I had also just bought a new wetsuit, but Finnley won that battle as per usual. We had to carry that damn thing so far to the canoe drop. I was under the impression that it was going to be like regular water, but to my pleasant surprise it turned out to be a whole river that looked like a spring. It slightly took the sting of not getting to swim in it away (slightly!). It was a really gorgeous day out. The sun was shining and there was a slight wind. The water all around us was glittered with sun crystals. It was so beautiful and peaceful everywhere we looked. We rowed around for an hour or so before we headed back.
We packed up and headed out. There was one spot we drove by that was so hilly I was thinking in my head " wow, looks like Tennessee" and literally like .5 seconds after that thought Finnley said the same thing to me out loud. It was a very nice spot, hills and valleys, very non-Florida-like. I drove the first half of the way home before it was Finnley's turn. We got home around 6:00pm feeling exhausted; mentally, emotionally, physically. While the camping bug bites on, we required a much needed break from the road. Never thought that would come out of my mouth/fingertips! :-X