While driving through west Texas and in particular through New Mexico I was totally unprepared for how stark and spare that region of the United States is. When looking at a map there were dots and names for towns, but as we drove past we typically found the ‘town’ to primarily consist of a small sign declaring the town and in one case (as we desperately needed gas) a single building declaring ‘Fresh Water’ and nothing else. There is an empty vastness to New Mexico that I didn’t understand until driving through the state.
We stopped in Roswell for food and gas. We were hoping that there would be some attractions for us to waste some time at (I’ve heard of the cheesy alien museum, but we had no idea where it was), but didn’t run into anything while driving through the main strip. Roswell didn’t seem that much different than most small towns aside from the requisite large eyed aliens outside of every shop (every fast food joint had a little green man outside).
I’m going to stop belaboring my lax writing schedule. Maybe this will all be retrospective. I got to sleep through Georgia while Jacob was driving which was amazing. Arriving in Tallahassee felt a little bit like arriving back home. Being in Florida again felt good. One thing I didn’t realize though, was how hilly Tallahassee was. Hills? In my Florida? Anyways, we pulled up to our friend Matt and Katie’s place. And they came out to greet us. It had been a long time since we had seen Matt and Katie. A 7 year reunion? We had talked about coming up at some point when we lived in Tampa, but we were lazy jerks and never drove up. We had worked with Matt at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing years ago. Where we served banquets and worked shitty hours (who doesn’t want to do a 6am-7am shift, and then show back up for a 11-2pm lunch and then serve a wedding?).
One of the most amazing things about the trip so far has been our friends’ hospitality. The first day was a relief to be in warmer weather for me. I really love Florida in spring time. Warm during the day and cool at night. It feels a lot like my favorite weather during Michigan summers.
Phil was driving up from Tampa when we were driving through Georgia to meet us in Tallahassee (sorry Jess, we were just driving through!). He brought some of his clothes and music gear for us to store so he can join us later on (stuff that would be a pain in the ass to take on a plane). We hung out and just chatted and had an easy night in. Phil stayed the night and we went fishing the next day down on Wakulla beach in Crawfordville FL (side note, Katie was telling us about how Wakulla county goes by WeKillYa county and has shirts and stuff, unbeknownst to us when we went down there). It was about an hour drive out of Tallahassee and down to the Gulf. 40 minutes out on paved road then 10-15 minutes on a dirt road dodging holes through Florida panhandle overgrowth. Driving through the area, with the sickly sweet smell of decay, really brought back Florida for me. Eventually we made it through and out onto the beach. It was a little beach, and I had some trouble figuring out exactly where I should fish. I had read some fishing reports about shore fishing, but we had a fair amount of wind and recent rain.. so the water was murky. We started out through some flats and caught some fiddler crabs to fish with. We gathered up far more than we needed then started getting our lines wet. I had left my phone in the car, so I don’t have much in the way of photos, but it was nice to just wade in a bit and cast. We ended up not catching anything or even get bites but we just wanted to get out and be outside. As we were heading back to Tallahassee we were listening to UofM win their game and advance in the tournament. We also stopped by a BBQ place called Wildfire that was open on Easter Sunday! We all ordered far too much food and pigged out on deliciously smoked meats.
We rounded out the day watching the Game of Thrones season premier. We skipped on the Walked Dead (Rick: “I’M A GOOD MAN”) and called it a night after that.