We all have highways & by-ways that we travel on a consistant basis. No need for maps or GPS. All the landmarks and exits are all too familiar from years of back & forth. That's how I am with I-75 & I-275 in Florida. I have navigated them for so many years that I can put myself on auto-pilot and end up wherever I am heading north or south. These days I travel north to St. Petersburg to the Bay Pines VA Hospital where the Hubbs has all his doctor appointments. I know exactly how long it will take us to get there at any given time of day barring any unforeseeable circumstances.
Crossing the Sunshine Skyway is a spectacular drive. The views of the Skyway Channel & Tampa Bay grow panoramic as your vehicle reaches the 431 feet at the peak of the top span. There are birds and boats and people fishing and Kite surfers and cruise ships and barges and lets just say you must keep your eyes on the road. I remember teaching my niece Pookie to drive when she was 16. The Skyway was our first big highway drive together. She did fine as I watched her hands turn white from gripping the steering wheel all the way over the top span. I on the other hand put a good show of support for her but was happy I did not have the panic attack I so desperately wanted to have.
So today, as Hubby & I crossed the Sunshine Skyway I was my usual on-a-mission self to get him to the VA on time. The tide on the Skyway was the lowest I've ever seen and you know how I love low tide. There were sandbars as far as the eye could see. Lets see, stop & walk on the sand bar or get Hubby to his nuclear stress test on time? Ratz! I hate being a responsible adult. But, 9 hours later on our way home the doggone tide was still way out. I felt a potty stop was in order at the south side rest area. My sweetheart took a little time out in the truck catching up on emails while crazy me donned 2 coats & my scarf to walk out on the sand bar in 40 degree blustery winds. Beach combing is about "the moment". You have to be ready to grab an opportunity when one presents itself. I climbed over the rail, down the rocks, and slogged through the muck and it was awesome!
|The winter tides are the lowest as seen on Tampa Bay at the Skyway Channel today.|
|I am about 100 yards out facing the rest stop. I've never seen the tide out this far.|
|I found out that this is the destination of quite a few shelling clubs in the area. Sand bars are a fun place to explore because the majority of what you find is alive.|
|There were lots sunray venus clams & lightening whelks. The live shells always stay to make new shells and it is against the law to take live shells.|
|This family was so fun to watch while they explored the beach. Some of my best vacation memories are impromptu rest stop exploring with my family.|