aka The Grand Adventure Experiment covering over 200 miles and 6 counties.
Note: Plans originally were to go to Cedar Key where we always go to fish. But last minute, Johnny decided he wanted to go somewhere new and researched Steinhatchee. He read about a large pier there to fish off of and so that's where we decided to go.
The day began with the hopeful excitement of ignorance - of not knowing what was soon to come. I woke an hour before the alarm clock did. And this was good because I hate that annoying little thing. I showered and dressed, and found I had plenty of time to kill on G+.
Then I noticed something.
The charger for my Kindle that was so proudly connected to the Kindle on one end, was lying limp on the floor on the other. I think I may have squealed out loud in disappointment.
The plan was for a 50 mile drive, one way. How will I entertain myself?! I cried as if I hadn't bought the contraption a mere week ago.
This should have been the first sign of doom.
Somehow I pulled myself together and woke Johnny up for the 5th time (how the man sleeps sitting up, I have no idea). We ate breakfast and were on the road to my dad's house. I called my dad, notoriously never on schedule, to tell him we were on our way and to be ready the moment we arrive.
No such luck. They were still cooking breakfast and the kids were watching cartoons. It's only a 15 minute drive from our house to his. Grrrr After ordering him to turn off the damn cartoons I hung up and relayed this information to Johnny who laughed. My father is nothing, if not predictable.
We arrive at my dads right on time at 10am. (We're not early morning fishers... least I'm not anyway). Right on schedule to arrive at Steinhatchee at noon.
Only we didn't leave his house until almost 11. When we finally did, we still had to stop and get ice for the coolers and get gas. This is when minion 2 informs us that he never ate the breakfast he was given.
Cue lots of cursing.
I found him some pop tarts in the gas station and on we went.
Around 12:30 we finally make it the general area of Steinhatchee. We make it to a fork in the road, in the middle of which is a gas station.The directions in my phones GPS are misleading, so we stop to ask directions to the pier and use the restrooms. I ask the cashier which way to the pier. She tells me, and tells me where we can buy bait. I say, we can fish off the dock, right?
"Oh yeah," she says.
My dad informs us he needs more gas. Apparently he didn't fill up the first time but he doesn't want to get it here because it's too expensive.
The womans directions suck, but they get us much closer to where we need to be. After a couple wrong turns, we end up at the bait shop. We get the bait, and then the first of the domino's begin to fall.
We're told there is no pier.
After more cursing, wondering how could this be, and why no one else has told us this, we're given directions to a nearby area we might be able to fish from land from. If not, then we should head to Keaton Beach 17 miles down the road.
Well, we never find this place to fish from, and head to Keaton Beach.
I almost scream in happiness when we finally see water.
Cue the photos below (This is when my phone's battery dies, leaving us GPS'less)
Keaton Beach, in all its tinyness, is gorgeous. With a long pier. We walk out to the end of it, to make sure it's good to fish from, before lugging all our crap out there.
Turns out, it was low tide. The water was a mere 3 feet deep. The one weathered old fisherman out there fishing informed us the tide wouldn't be back in until 6pm.
6pm?! And it was cold. And windy. And by 6, it would be dark, and cold, and windy.
At this point, it's past 2pm and no one has eaten since breakfast. So we drive another 10 miles into Perry, bemoanng the fact that the gaslight has come on, spy a Huddlehouse, and finally eat some lunch. At this point, we've all but decided to just go back home. But we ask the waitress if she knows of a good place to fish. She suggests a freshwater spot, which was no good since we only have saltwater fishing licenses. So she suggests where we just came from, and then one other spot... sounds like it's just down the road, so we give it a shot. (Thankfully, by this point, my dad had gotten more gas).
We begin driving farther and farther into the wilderness, past a prison, and eventually onto a dirt road. We're surrounded by typical Florida wildnerness, with palm trees mixed in, which is kind of odd looking.
Then I get a creepy feeling and remark, "Suddenly, this feels like a scene out of Wrong Turn. If we see any disfigured inbreds, just keep driving. Run 'em over."
We finally hit a dead end and yes there's water, but it's hardly fishable. And the old man sitting next to his camper is creeping me out.
We leave, saying screw this. We're going home.
And that's where we head.
But when we're almost back to my dads house, we cross the Suwannee River and decide, What the hell?
We want to cast our poles at least once!
And we do. With the wrong bait. Wrong licenses. And a low river.
With the events of this day, we were totally expecting to get ticketed for not having the correct licenses, but finally some bit of luck came our way.
Granted, not enough to land us a bite.
All we caught was a log and tangle Minion 1's line beyond saving.
After that failure, it was dark and the fight was knocked out of us. We drove back to my dad's house, grabbed the kids stuff, and headed home.
But one benefit of staying in the van all day?
This is my first fishing trip I didn't get a sunburn.
And next time?
We're going to Cedar Key.