Sunday, December 27, 2015
Back from Jax
Well, that was a quick Jacksonville jaunt. Dave and I are back in the Tampa area now, having driven down yesterday.
And a tedious drive it was! Normally we take the older highways, like U.S. 301, to get up to Jacksonville, because from where my mom used to live they were the most direct route. But since we were coming back down to Bradenton, I decided to do it all via Interstate. I knew it would be less interesting but I hoped it would be faster.
As it turned out -- no. Five hours later we rolled into Bradenton, having endured several mysterious stop-and-start traffic jams between Disney World and Tampa. I was reminded that in Nigeria, traffic jams are called "go-slows," and that's exactly what these were. We all just went slow for a while, for no obvious reason, as if held back by a giant magnet or Star Trek tractor beam.
We thought maybe the kiddies were flocking to Disney for the Christmas holidays, but the Disney exits themselves didn't seem all that busy. So who knows what was going on.
We did see one accident, involving an overturned horse trailer, on I-95 just south of Jacksonville. Fortunately the horses were standing and grazing by the side of the road, their reins held by a woman, next to the battered trailer. Everyone acted as if it were the most normal thing in the world to graze horses on the shoulder of I-95. I don't know how the horses took the wreck so well. I told Dave, "Thank god they're OK, because if I'd seen injured horses, I don't think I'd ever get over it."
Anyway, now we're with Dave's parents in Bradenton. They live on the water in Cortez, an old fishing village, and I spent about an hour yesterday sitting by the bay trying to get a picture of a jumping mullet. They were coming out of the water all around me, but of course when one jumps, there's not enough time to aim and shoot before it's back in the water again. So I tried simply aiming my camera at a patch of water and waiting. So far that hasn't worked, though I had some close calls. I may resume that challenge today. (It's like fishing with a camera!)
(Photos: An abandoned motel near Hawthorne, Fla., on U.S. 301, from our drive up to Jacksonville.)