15 hours of work on Tuesday. That's right, 15. That's like two whole normal days squozed into one. Bleh. I came in for an hour or so in the back office, to make sure everything balanced. One crisis led into another, and I ended up staying until my regular shift began at 3. Bleh I say again.
I had to get the hell out of town after that, so I headed for the hills. Or the sea, actually. Or the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway, to be exact. I have been craving some kayaking recently, so I decided to indulge. At $25 for 4 hours, it's not a bad deal.
It was amazing. Even though it was a sunny, clear day, there was no one else on the water on a Wednesday afternoon. I paddled my way around marshes, just feet away from herons and pelicans. I only beached myself twice, which is not too bad, considering I started at ultra-low tide. I ended up paddling all the way down the creek to the St. John's river, and over to Kingsley plantation, where I had visited on Saturday. I noticed then that it was situated to face the river, and it was pretty amazing to come coasting around a corner and see it looking at you.
Winds on the St. John were a little stronger than in the marshes, and I found myself short of time and energy. Why is it that anytime I do a physical activity I overestimate my endurance and end up going way too far? If I ever rockclimbed (heaven forbid!), I would be the type of person to call 911 at the top of El Capitan 'cause I was too damn tired to get back down.
Tired as I was, I ended up just charging up the river. I was sure I was going to get stuck out in the swamp as the sun went down, lost and wandering. I guess my endurance was better than I expected, since I ended up back at the dock 45 minutes early. Rather than take it in, I just floated with the tide for a while. Lovely. And surprisingly, my arms aren't even sore today. Last night they were killing me every time I moved. I almost cried, because I have only a few more lines left on my low-tech, and I was gonna bust them out in the light of a motel or hostel. Oh well, one more cafe session won't kill me.
Since I was already south, I decided to put in another night at the Pirate Haus. It was not quite enjoyable as the first time. They were packed, so I was stuck with an upper bunk. Something I came to appreciate, as I was woken in the morning by another top-bunk denizen vomiting over the edge of the bed. Ah, the hostel life. How I shall miss thee.
This morning found me passing by the first ever Ripley's Believe it or Not. I couldn't pass it up. I marveled at all the things made from human skulls, weaved my way down the swirly tubes, and stood a little too long in front of the skinny mirror. Much fun.
I came out of Jacksonville on a bridge I hadn't seen before. Its lines were glowing in the light, and two men on Harleys in front of me were snapping pictures like mad.
I had one more juicy tidbit that you would have loved, but I forgot to write it down, and it is lost forever. How many of my memories are like that, I wonder? There is probably 97% of my life that I have forgotten to solidify into memories. They say that it's all still in there, though. 80 years from now, I may smell a whiff of apples and swamp and car funk, and remember a detail from today. Then I'll whap myself on the head and say, damn, I never did return that library book.