Captive no more

Just got back from a week with the family on North Captiva Island off the gulf coast of Florida.

The good: semi-tropical vegetation growing from soil created by millions of years of seashells washing ashore and being sun-bleached to a brilliant pure white.

The not-so-good: no paved roads, no cars, no stores to buy food or essentials. Like mounting an assault on K-2, you pack in and you pack out.

In deference to modern day expectations for personal mobility we were, however, afforded an electric golf cart for our adventurous wanderings by the rental landlord. We soon learned that our mobility extended less than a half mile in any particular direction  from our starting point. The roads were bumpy, washed out coral sand trails situated between the property lines of the few houses built on the island. What were we thinking?

We loaded up the golf cart each morning and set out to discover a gulf side destination for our daily encampment. Some days were better than others and in the end we enjoyed the experience. The tide schedules played a significant part in our adventures as some beaches on the island did not exist at high tide.

Having packed in to North Captiva with our ten bags of groceries from the Publix grocery store on nearby Pine Island where the ferry picked us up, we all-to-soon discovered that we had underestimated the amount of vittles required for this rustic experience. A lot.

We off-loaded what we thought to be enough adult beverages to keep most humans in a state of morning headache but that aspiration soon proved woefully inadequate.

Luckily, we found the equivalent of a Yukon gold rush outfitter’s store on the island where simple pleasures could be had for only twice or three times the going price on the mainland. When you taste Skippy peanut butter from a six dollar plastic jar, you know you are mining for gold and loving it. Let us not speak of the adult beverage costs.

In the end, we encamped, swam in the warm water and worked on our tans each day with the knowledge that we could watch Honey Boo Boo by the orange light of the sunset to our west that night.

We survived it and held our heads high on the departing ferry as we searched the horizon for Pine Island where we would transition from this Devil’s Island of deprivation experienced on North Captiva to return to the land of fast food, paved roads and grocery stores.

The American dream writ large.

©2019, JP New Media, LLC.

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