I have wrestled control of the blog content back from the truck, and we have arrived safely (more about that later) in Clearwater, Florida. The natives and the snowbirds are all griping about the chill here. But as I suspected, the lack of snow and the need for little more than a sweatshirt for warmth has a certain appeal for weary northerners.
After setup for Saturday’s show was completed, I threw caution to the prevailing wind and decided to head over to Clearwater Beach anyway. Just in the five miles or so from the Matheos Hall to the beach, the temperature dropped from 63 to 58, and the beach was pretty much deserted except for a few hardy (and bundled) walkers.
From my perspective, this is the coolest thing about Clearwater Beach. I have problems parking the truck in any popular place, but here there are three parking spaces along the main drag reserved exclusively for oversized vehicles. Popped in four quarters for an hour, and off I went . . .
You can’t tell from the picture on the left, so I cropped part of it and blew it up – these people are riding around on Segway rentals. I want to try one of those sometime.
I walked about a mile down the beach and then made my way back around some of the buildings along the main drag. Most of my walk along the water was shared with the natives.
The sun broke through the clouds a couple of times, and I tried to get a quick shot of the breathtaking colors. I’m not a photographer, but pictures don’t do justice to what I was seeing.
Toys for oversized little kids to play with at the beach?
You’ll note from the pictures from the parking space above that there is no trace of the White Death left on the truck, so it’s wish from Tuesday came true . . .
But this was as close as my “little tootsies” got to the surf. And this was my first effort at one of those self-portraits with a cell phone camera. If you look closely around the neckline, you’ll find three layers, which kept me quite comfortable.
Unrelated note – Perhaps the truck really did get even for being covered with snow – today, I spent three hours at the International Truck dealer in Tampa, getting it fixed. I noticed last night that the headlights were flickering – sometimes almost going off completely. I was only about 50 miles from my destination when I noticed, but it scared me to death. I called the International dealer in Dayton and got some suggestions based on my amateur diagnosis, but nothing helped. I got behind a semi truck going the same direction I was and followed it most of the way to Clearwater to make sure my path was well-lighted.
And this little rascal was the culprit – part of a connector in the electrical system, and not much more than an inch long. I was assured that the problem is fixed. It was a simple $10 part – along with $140 labor . . .