Sunday, April 21, 2013

Happy Earth Day 2013

Sarasota, FL       High:   83     Low:   64

We didn't do much today! It was one of those hot days, with a threat of rain, where you just decide to lay back and take it easy, so we did.

Sparky just got done reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a true story about a poor Southern black woman tobacco farmer back in the '50's who went in for a checkup for abdominal pain, ended up having ovarian cancer, dying and whose cells were taken from her without her knowledge. Scientists know her as HeLa, the most famous cells in the history of medicine. Her cells were the first human cells grown in culture that survived and propagated until there were enough of them to weigh more than 50 million TONS and they continue to grow and be cultured today. Her cells were used without her family's knowledge and contributed to studies for a successful polio vaccine, cancer causes, and helped lead to other important discoveries in medicine. Her cells launched a multi-million dollar industry that sells human biological materials. Her family never saw a penny of it. The journey from her illness to her family today is intertwined with America's history of the treatment of African Americans and medical quandries today involving human biological materials--the donation of body parts, DNA, etc. to medicine. It's quite the story!

We've been down to karaoke a couple of times in the past couple of weeks. Every Friday is karaoke night. The guy that looks and sounds just like Willie Nelson shows up now and then. He does a wonderful job and it's just great to hear him each time he comes. The talent here in the park is quite amazing! Sparky can sing, (I can NOT, admits E.) but she doesn't have the nerve to get up with all the great talent that comes to karaoke each week. It would take three or four glasses of wine, and the last five minutes of the evening to try and get her up there.....So she's gonna pass this season, and just enjoy the talents of others. In the meantime, she's compiling a list, "Oh, I could sing THAT!" and "That's one I think I could do!" while Eldy quietly remains politely silent and is NOT one to say, "Well, why don't you get up there and just do it, then?!"

Sometimes we just go for a drive around and look for spoonbills and gators in the Lakewood Ranch area. It's a beautiful area with lots of wildlife and where we've seen beautiful birds and gators in the past. They haven't been around lately, the birds or the gators, so we'll keep looking.

Sparky heard that Myakka River State Park has a place inside the main park called the Deep Hole, and there are supposed to be HUNDREDS, well maybe, if you're lucky you'll see that many down in this area. The park only lets 30 people go at a time to see them. You have to go into the state park to get a permit right when the park first opens at 8:00 AM, then you have to find the entrance to a dirt road that will lead you to THE HOLE.  You hike two miles in along a dusty, dirt path to get to the hole, and two miles back out. Or, we think it's possible to canoe or kayak close to the area if the waters in the area near the hole haven't receded or dried up. That's what another person has stated. Sparky and Eldy just don't feel like doing a hot, dusty, dirty hike in bright sun with no shade to see a bunch of alligators and it's been too dry for a river trip to get close. We see at least one gator every day, but this WOULD be cool to see a WHOLE BUNCH, like HUNDREDS (so they say) at one time! So for the adventuresome, hike loving individuals who tolerate the Florida heat just fine, GO FOR IT! and please report back after you've done it.... Here's a staff photo from the Herald Tribune of Sarasota to tease anyone interested in finding this deep hole....
Actually, after a little more investigating, you might see right around a hundred gators in the deep hole, depending on what time of year it is. Apparently, the hole, which is estimated to be about 140 feet deep, attracts gators like insects to a lightbulb, but the numbers fluctuate wildly. If there are a lot, it's probably because it's the best place around to find a mate with that many choices! Best time to see gators is February, March and the summer, they will be underwater trying to cool off to get away from the heat, just like Sparky and Eldo and the rest of us......

It's Earth Day and we are trying to do our part to conserve and save energy and recycle. Sun 'n' Fun has a huge recycling program here in the park. They recycle just about everything except hazardous materials. So, we hang our little bag in the motorhome, crush our cans, save our papers and magazines, and dutifully make trips twice a week or more down to the trash recycling center. Every little bit helps. It's amazing how much trash two people in an RV can generate! GEEZ!

In honor of Earth Day, here is an amazing photo of something Sparky and Eldo probably won't get to do in their lifetime for a number of reasons, but Linda and Howard of RV Dreams are...the North Coyote Butte "Wave" near Zion National Park in Utah...Isn't it beautiful!? You see places like this on your travels and until you see them, you can't really believe these geological formations exist they are so weird and wonderful and awe inspiring! So many beautiful, spectacular places in our country, waiting to be explored....And the RVing lifestyle is the perfect way to do it!


  1. That looks like an interesting book. I might have to pick it up.

    I was amazed how beautiful "the Wave" is. I'd never even heard of it, but it's definitely going on our bucket list.

  2. That would be fantastic to see. . .but ugh. . .a hot, two mile hike. . .hmmmmm?

    Maybe you guys could make it by Brazos Bend State Park while you are in Houston. . .there's lotsa gators there. . .I think you would love it!

  3. I loved that picture of the 'wave' too. Would be so cool to see it in person!

  4. Isn't it nice that we enjoy these simple pleasures? Even though we live on the road, we're not always tourists... sometimes, like you, we just enjoy the everyday "life" routine.