There have been a lot of great explorers throughout history. Brave, Courageous and sometimes fool hardy folks with a thirst for adventure! Without them, the world would have been very different. If everyone on the planet had been content to remain within their own familiar borders and never step out into the unknown, what a different world this would have been.
Fortunately there were people like Leif Erickson, Lewis and Clark, Vasco DeGama and Amerigo Vespuci who challenged the status quo and thereby changed the world forever. Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, Jacques Cousteau explored the world under the seas and Mike Horn has travelled from Pole to Pole. The stories about these intrepid souls have fascinated, inspired and delighted millions and will continue to do so forever.
Tim and I do something we refer to as "going on an explore" now and again. We are well aware that we not in the same league as Dr Livingston or Mr. Stanley. Heck we aren't Josh Gates or Indiana Jones either. But now and again, when we feel a little itchy from complacency, we get in the car with absolutely no destination in mind and set out. When we come to a road where we would normally turn right, instead this time we turn left. If it's a completely unknown area, we take turns deciding which way we should go. All decisions made arbitrarily. Sometimes we select roads simply because of their names which is how we found Sesame Street, Burnt Store Rd and I Dream of Jeanie Lane all here in Florida.
We are never seeking anything in particular, we are just looking. What's around the next corner, over the hill, around the bend? We want to learn new things. The results were sometimes really surprising. For example, when we lived in New England sometimes our explores would have us ending up in entirely different states!! But of course that was back in the days before GPS and Nav systems. If you want to truly have an adventure on a car drive now, you have to make it a point to turn those things off and then see where you end up. And of course see what you see along the way. It really is more about the journey than the destination.
That said, on our explore on this past Sunday, Tim and I ended up, somehow, in Bradenton Florida, a town somewhat north of us at Coquina Beach. We had actually driven past it before but this was the first time we stopped. The beach lays on both sides of the road, one side is more about fishing and launching boats and the other side seems to be geared toward sun bathers and frolicking in the surf. It's not a spectacularly wide beach but it is very very long. Plenty of room there for everyone and whatever beach activity they have in mind.
There were people throwing footballs, kids building sand castles and reading books. Their were boats and the remains of a dilapidated pier dotted with signs warning everyone off that the birds utterly ignored and families laughing and talking over their picnics. The sun was shining, the breeze was soft and cool and there were a surprising number of nice tall trees creating shade for when the temperature gets too high.
Further down the beach there was some sort of event that, according to the sign is a regular thing every Wednesday and Sunday. It involves a Very Long Row of white tents and lots of people. I think is was a market of some sort and a popular one at that.
As destinations go, it was not a bad one at all.
Here are a few photos:
It was a terrific way to spend part of a day and I'm glad we went. We will go on another explore another time and discover something else that we never knew before. And that is always the perfect indicator of a truly great explore.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.