Today I got an early start because I wanted to make it to Crystal River. Since I slept deep in the woods, I felt rested and I made it into town without a hitch.
I came into town with one thing on my mind…laundromat. I found one on my GPS and headed there. However, as I reached the parking lot, a couple walking in the direction I was heading started up the usual conversation with me:
“That’s quite a load you’ve got there. Where are you headed?” the woman said.
“Well I’m headed to do some laundry right now,” I said and laughed indicating my shirt that I’d sweat through.
“But I’m backpacking all 50 states,” I continued.
“No kidding?” the guy said.
“Yup, been an awesome trip so far. Meeting lots of interesting people,” I said.
“Well, hey I have a few dollars I can contribute to your laundry,” the woman said and handed me $6.00.
“Hey, thank you. Oh here let me get you guys my business cards. I’m writing books and stories for each state I go too. Oh what were your names? My name is Seth.”
“Karen and this is Hue,” she said as they reached the entrance to a store.
“Well thank y’all again. Also I’ll put you in the story I write tonight so be on the lookout for it,” I said as we parted ways.
I went and set about doing my laundry and got talking with this guy named Chris in much of the same way.
“So Chris what do you do for a living?”
“Well I work in a salvage yard, but I also like to play my guitar and sing. My wife plays the violin and sometimes we get a going pretty good,” he said smiling.
Chris and I talked for a good while and I found out he was a big Stephen King fan too. He told me he was rereading The Dark Tower series. We talked about how a movie was finally in the works.
As I was switching my clothes to the drier Chris said “Hey let me hook you up with some dryer sheets otherwise your clothes will smell like hot dogs when they come out,” he said and I laughed.
I threw my laundry into the drier and Chris threw in the dryer sheets, then we talked about our love of outdoors and different survival guides we used.
Before Chris left he gave me his number and said “Hey if you get hung up in Crystal River let me know and we can help you out.”
Chris then left and the with my clothes dryer beeped. I grabbed my clean clothes and started packing them away, but then changed my mind. I’d been wearing the same clothes for three days, so I went the restroom and changed into the clean ones. After sniffing the dirty clothes and gagging, I set about washing them as well.
I then met Erythra who saw me setting down my pack after throwing my dirty clothes into wash. We got talking and I told her the usual stuff about my trip. Then I asked something I’ve been meaning to ask more people.
“So Erythra, what is your dream? Something you’ve always wanted to do or be?”
She took on the expression of one deep in thought and then said “I’ve always wanted to be a cop. I was an EMT for a while, but never got around to going for it. I suppose now I’m leaning toward being an evangelist. Everyone says God works in mysterious ways, but he’s everywhere and can do anything. So if we’re looking, we can see him everyday.”
I told Erythra about one of the reasons for my trip was to get stronger in my faith and told her some of the stories I’ve shared with you all about seeing God in action.
When I finished my laundry and headed out, I knew I had to hurry because a storm was coming in.
I made my way down to the Crystal River Park visitors center.
“Where’s the best place I can swim with a Manatee?” I asked.
I found out from Sally (Nice lady who works there) that March is about as late as the Manatees stay and that most of them had headed back to the Gulf because it was warming up.
However, another lady said she saw one and it’s calf today.
Sally gave me some maps and wished me luck as I headed down 44 right by the Crystal River. I found a spot in the woods and got my hammock set up right before the rain hit.
So tomorrow I go in search of Manatees, and if not, Alligators!
Forever your friend,