14-Sep-2007 -- Florida 2007 continued - ...and so it comes around full circle, I join the very small group of people who have logged visit number 100; and back to where this little adventure started off way back in August of 2001 when the world was a much simpler place to get around.
Lynn & Rachel are going shopping again at the Florida Mall and once I have dropped them off I am free to explore. Having been here for the second time in September last year I knew exactly how to get to the parking spot where you can pull off the road by the gates.
Previously I hadn't found the gates open and they weren't this time either, but I wasn't going to let that put me off. Park the car right next to the gates, clamber up onto the car and jump over the gates. Getting back out would be worked out later!
I decided first to go to the far side of the pond, walking around the end of it revealed that the back end of the pond had what looked like grass hummocks in it and I wondered if it was possible to walk on them? The problem would be to get on them as there is a gap of 12-18 inches to jump over!
Walking through the grass brings you to exactly 28N, but tantalisingly close at 81d 59m 59.2 s West it isn't possible to get any closer. I was tempted to try and jump onto the little "grassy island" but what if it wouldn't take my weight or what if like my visit to 55N 5W stepping on them would mean plunging straight through?
While on this side of the pond and to make sure they were different I took the cardinal pictures and then made my way around to the other side of the pond. This time I got even closer, spot on at 82W but only at 27d 59m 59.6s N. Very very close...and at this point I was leaning out over the edge.
Not knowing how deep the water was or even what might be in it discretion won out and I didn't go for a paddle...
The WAAS signal gave me an indicated accuracy of just 10 feet and doing some maths indicates that I was within about 50 feet, maybe someone could go back with a small inflatable and nail this one or take a chance on the water depth and pond inhabitants with sharp teeth.
Time to reflect on the past 6 years, I have crossed the Atlantic over 25 times, rakcing up nearly a quarter million miles, in that time with my job I have probably driven close to 150,000 as well.
My highest point was over 7000 feet at Dinkey Creek 37N 119W back in May 2002 and the lowest being my three water visits to 51N 1E in April 2004 with Joseph Kerski, just two months later I went to 54N 3W with Captain Peter (227 visits and counting) and Werner Furlan. Another year would pass until in June 2005 a visit to 53N 1E was arranged.
Weather varied from freezing horizontal winter rain in December 2001 at 53N 00 to a light dusting of snow on the ground at 52N 1E in Janaury 2002 through to baking hot at 27N 82W in September 2006 when even the locals thought it was "too hot", it was only 96 when I visited. Lastly I encountered thick fog or low clouds if you prefer at 53N 4W in March '07; contrast that with this visit in November 2003.
What will the next hundred visits bring? Who knows but it's going to be fun finding out!>