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Monday, April 2, 2012

Swamp Tour - Thursday 3-22-2012 - Waiting out the wind, Abby's book carried in the Cypress Gift Shop!

There was a small craft wind advisory in effect until this afternoon, so we made the decision to stay put at Five Rivers and try to get across the bay on Friday.
The Five Rivers dock provided a safe harbor for the day, sheltered from the 30 knot winds on Mobile Bay.


Abby was content to walk the nature trails and visit the museum and nature center, taking a break from all-day boating. We took a walk to the Cypress Gift Shop, which is about ½ mile from the dock, where I bought a great book about the history of the Delta area called “Gone to the Swamp”.  The gift shop manager, JoAnn Hocutt, told me that she was interested in seeing Abby’s book and possibly carrying it for sale in the shop.  This was exciting for Abby (and me), and we promised to bring JoAnn a copy later in the day.

We walked across the street to Maeher State Park, where we explained to the ranger that we were stuck due to the weather and needed a place to get a shower and wash clothes. We were offered the use of showers and the laundry, just by paying the daily entry fee of $1.00 each! With the rain threatening just to our West, we walked back to the boat and got all our dirty laundry and shower supplies and headed back to Maeher Park. We stopped by the gift shop again and Abby left a copy of her book. When we were all showered and our laundry was in the dryer, Glenda and Abby headed back to Five Rivers while I waited on the clothes to dry.

It was sprinkling rain when Abby and I walked back to the gift shop for a souvenir that she wanted. As soon as we walked in JoAnn said “I need 20 copies of Abby’s book”, and went on to explain that the copy Abby left earlier had been sitting on the counter next to the cash register, and several people had picked it up as they were checking out, asking if it was for sale!! Needless to say, Abby and I were delighted to hear that, and I promised to send her 20 copies as soon as we returned home.

Jay Gordon, our former Small Group Pastor, called to say that he and his wife Liz were going to be coming through the area on Friday and would stop by our house in Gulf Shores.

As the rain subsided, we decided that another meal at the Oyster House sounded good, so we motored up the Blakeley and back down the Apalache once more. When we finished eating and started toward the boat, the owner of the Oyster House was standing near our boat. He said he’d been wondering who owned it, and asked lots of questions about it. The news that the Oyster House was Abby’s favorite restaurant and that she had mentioned it in her book brought a big smile to his face. As we were about to cast off he reappeared and asked Abby if she wanted an Oyster House t-shirt, and he let her pick one out and gave it to her!  We should have given him a copy of the book, but it didn’t cross my mind until we were gone. I’ll try to remember to do that next time we are close. The round trip was 10 miles, which was the only mileage we put on the boat today. (I think we walked almost that much too, though.)

Just before dark we untied from the Five Rivers dock and anchored out again in Sardine pass. We made plans to get an early start across the bay the next morning and try to get as far as possible before the winds picked up. The weather forecast was calling for scattered thunderstorms, which we hoped we would be able to dodge as we headed back to Gulf Shores.

From Glenda:

Ok were back at 5 Rivers and I really do like the place but I’m feeling a little tense about the weather situation.  I’m uncertain about when we are going to be able to get back across the bay.  But I know Tom knows better than I do about what he thinks he and the boat can do so I guess we will sit here for the day.  It was hard to tell if we were going to get caught in the rain or not but we took the chance and walked from the boat to the gift shop.  I suggested we cross the street to Meaher State Park and see if we could take a shower.  You know I’m not one to appreciate the solar shower like Tom does.  The park ranger was very nice.  We showered and washed clothes all morning.  Abby and I hurried back across the street before the clothes were dry because it looked like it was going to storm.  It only ended with another small sprinkle.  I worried I was going to gain weight on this trip, but with all this walking I think I’ll be fine even with “Buddy Bars” for breakfast J  The employees at the facility have been wonderful.  Full of useful and fun information that Abby and I both have enjoyed.  You know you don’t have to look really hard to see God everywhere, you just have be expecting him!



From Abby:
Today is Thursday and we woke up and watched the ospreys. We went back to Five Rivers and a little later we gave the lady at Five Rivers Gift Shop a copy of my book, and I signed it for her. She was going to read through it and see if she was going to sell it. We came back later to get a key chain that I liked and to see if the lady wanted copies of my book. And she said that two people have already asked if it was for sale, and so she ordered 20 copies of my book!! She also gave me the key chain free!
Abby in front of the Cypress Gift Shop at Five Rivers.


Today we also needed a shower, so we went across the street to a place called Maeher Park. The man there, instead of making us pay $30 for a camping spot, he only made us pay $1 for each of us. Since he helped us out, we gave him a copy of my book too. We took a shower, washed our clothes, -- took care of that stuff.

For lunch today we got to go to my favorite restaurant, The Oyster House. We met the owner. He had been walking through the restaurant, trying to decide who owned the little red tugboat, and he just kept walking by us. Obviously we didn’t look like we owned a little red tugboat! He just asked us if our food was good. He didn’t ask us if we owned a little red tugboat. Finally he found out it was us, and GG and Papa told him this was my favorite restaurant, so he bought me a t-shirt from The Oyster House!  And ………. that’s it.


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