Lost art: Writing thoughts down on a reporter pad that’s balanced on the right knee, while driving along a narrow two-lane country road.
I, ahem, wouldn’t know anything about that. But if I did, it would have come in handy Tuesday.
It’s difficult to wrap my head around any decent blog topic this week, though I have plenty of ideas: Littering, recycling, politics, roads, public confidence in commissioners, among a few.
But I’ll put those off for now.
My parotidectomy recovery time is expected to include a few weeks before I can get behind the wheel again. So that’s what I did Tuesday afternoon.
Some highlights, along with random musical selections from my Pandora library:
— Planned route: North on 41 to 488, west to 19, south to 480, east to 41, north home to Just Wright Citrus World Headquarters on the shores of Big Lake Henderson. Actual route: None of that.
— “I Want to Take You Higher” by Sly and the Family Stone. I'm bouncing in the front seat. We’re off to a great start.
— For all intents and purposes, the journey starts at Wawa in Lecanto. Armed with a large black and white shake, I headed west on C.R. 486 then right at Pine Ridge Boulevard. I’ve passed the “bird sanctuary” sign a hundred times that says no hunting in Pine Ridge. Who enforces that (I guess the state does) and has it been an issue?
— I headed past Holder toward S.R. 200 with the idea of turning around at Stumpknockers and returning the same way I came. Instead, I missed the turn and kept north on 200 to Marion County Road 484.
Heading west, the sign says, “11 Dunnellon; 26 Inglis.”
Hmmm. Inglis. Might be a while before I see the Yankeetown boat ramp again, so it’s coastal I go.
— “Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress)” by the Hollies. I know the words.
— Took a right to the Marion County Airport. Wow, it’s out in the middle of nowhere. Sort of what the Inverness and Crystal River airports would be if they weren’t in Inverness or Crystal River.
— Hitting U.S. 41 in Dunnellon, I resist the urge to head north out of Dunnellon toward Williston. True story: Deb and I visited the Williston Peanut Factory one day but were denied a tour. Reason? “Homeland Security.”
— “Wading Deep Waters” by Crooked Still. Haunting, soulful, bluesy and hoping. All four tied into one. You'll know Jesus came 'a calling after hearing this song.
— A friend recently told me, “Get lost.” She wasn’t being critical. Rather, it was her suggestion I get in the car and drive to someplace I’ve never seen before.
It’s a great idea and one I take quite often when driving the Greater Citrus County areas of Levy, Marion and Hernando counties. All three have exceptional drives to nowhere, and C.R. 40 between Dunnellon and Inglis is one of those.
First time I took that drive it reminded me so much of the rural fields of central Michigan. Until I saw a palm tree.
— Inglis/Yankeetown. So much history and small-town charm. Plus, I noticed while gliding through town, C.R. 40 is resurfaced all the way to the gulf. So, way to go Inglis/Yankeetown on the political spectrum!
— Heading back from the boat ramp, I take a left at C-40A. Look. If you’re driving the Florida hinterlands and run across a numbered road with an "A" attached, take it. They always swing back to a main road, so no chance of getting lost. This one empties out onto U.S. 19 just north of town.
— “Sin’s a Good Man’s Brother” by Grand Funk Railroad. This song always takes me back to 16 as does Tuesday's drive which, like my teen years, is also without direction or meaning.
— I headed back east on C.R. 488 where I stopped at one of my favorite spots for today’s photo. You’re a real Citrus Countian if you can tell me where that is.
— And south to Inverness on U.S. 41, which frankly, just isn’t the fun drive it once was. Here’s what my notes say: “US 41. Ugh.”
Then, once reaching Inverness: “Lost internet.”
About sums up the Inverness experience these days.
— Final song of our drive: “Rawhide” by the Blues Brothers. Nothin' here but the classics.
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Mike Wright has written about Citrus County government and politics for 36 years.