September 22-23 Crossing America
Two fantastic days on Skidaway Island a little, piece of paradise, visiting CLCHS classmates Jack and Connie.
I had a great night of sleep in a nice comfy bed. After dragging myself out of this luxurious bed, I walked into the kitchen where Jack was getting ready to go for a morning walk. I declined to walk with him but later wish I had as the beauty and tranquility of this little village relaxes the body and mind. Connie and I visited
about where and what we would be doing today until Jack returned from his walk.
While eating a healthy breakfast, Connie spotted a deer grazing in the wooded
lot next to their home. It wasn’t just a deer it was a mature buck sporting a nice
trophy rack. I was enthralled to be able to observe the beauty and grace of the buck as he was totally unafraid and leisurely wandered right up next to the large picture window, allowing me the opportunity to take a nice picture of him for you to view. I later learned the deer are so thick here on Skidaway Island the home owner’s association hired a professional hunter to cull the herd down to 8 deer per square mile from the 16 per mile currently living on the island. Now, I wouldn’t mind having that hunter’s job as I could envision of few of trophy racks hanging on my wall at home.
This nice Trophy racked buck was within 20 feet of the O'Dell home
After breakfast Jack and I headed out on his golf cart to check out the varied wildlife in addition to deer residing on the island. First critter we discovered was an 8 foot
alligator sunning itself on the bank of one of the many lagoons.
8' alligator sunning itself in a lagoon near Jack and Connie's home
Jack said there is at least one alligator in each of the many lagoons. Our next stop took us to the island’s marina where we spotted no less then six wild boars grazing on the shoreline across the channel. In addition to the four legged critters we spotted numerous Blue Heron, Egrets, Ibis and various other exotic birds including a horned owl. This is definitely a bird watchers paradise, too. What an enjoyable morning.
Pelican at Tybee Island
In the afternoon we had to scrape plans to walk around the historic downtown Historic District of Savannah as it was raining. Instead Connie drove us to Tybee Island to check out the sights there and give me the chance to put my toes in the water, ass in the sand and a cold beer in my hand. Our plans were pretty foiled again as it was unbelievable to me how much the island was flooded with what I would consider a light rain. We actually had to detour around a number of streets which were covered with up to a foot of water over them. Finally we were able to stop at a local’s favored bar where we waited out the last remnants of the rain storm allowing me the opportunity to at least get my toes in the Atlantic. Since the rain stopped we also went into the Historic District but had only enough time to drive around the area getting a quick overview of the rich history of this beautiful old town. I must come back to Savannah one day.
Tonight I laughed myself to sleep reading a hilarious story “Dave’s Chronicles” Jack wrote recounting his recent back surgery and recovery. Jack creates fictional character Dave whose name is derived from a cadaver’s bone which was used in the reconstruction of Jack’s spine. Jack and Dave struggle both mentally and physically to merge into one giving Jack a renewed quality of life free of constant and progressive pain. Though the story is humorously written it is also an amazing account of how far modern medical techniques have advanced over the past decade to allow folks with spinal injuries or degeneration to regain mobility and enjoy a quality of life they would otherwise be denied.
The 23rd first up Jack and I did a few video shots of me riding Spirit around Skidaway Island and doing an interview for a video he plans to put together for me. I got to view a couple videos Jack has done and have no doubt he will do a fantastic video highlighting my journey across America. A bonus Jack will include in the video a plea for folks to donate to National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) on my behalf. I have not been able to generate many donations while on the road compared to the hundreds of cards I’ve passed out and the requests I’ve made. Though while
with Bike the US for MS group I’m confident there were folks who did make
donations but it was credited to the entire group and not directly credited to my effort which is OK as the goal is to defeat Multiple Sclerosis.
In the evening we went to a Charity Quilt Sale Connie is involved with. Connie suggested I wear my NO MS bike jersey which I did. She and Jack introduced me to many of the folks there and I can report to you, since this journal entry is written several weeks after the fact, several folks did make donations. Plus the video Jack
did is awesome and has had over 200 hits in less than 10 days of going live on
YouTube. Here is the link for you to view it yourself.
Jack you are quite a multi-talented person.
My brief stay with Jack and Connie was one of the highlights of my adventure Crossing America. Like so many other fantastic friends and folks I’ve met while on the road they have made the adventure so much more than I ever envisioned it would be. Thank you Connie and Jack for your kindness, generosity and friendship.
Dinner last night with the O'Dells L-R: Front Dot, Matt, The Old Guy, Connie and Jack