Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Caine Mutiny and Other Snowbird Pursuits - The Wakulla Kid

Florida 2008

A friend sent an email with just one link: A Hotel Built of Ice and Snow

Just for grins I nibbled and landed on:

ICEHOTEL (YouTube video) is situated in the village JukkasjÀrvi, 200 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden. The heart and backbone is the River Torne flowing freely through the unspoilt wilderness. Covered with a meter thick ice layer winter time the river is the source of all our art, architecture and design. The pure water and the steady movement of the river creates the clearest ice possible.

I have only been in Sweden twice. Once in Stockholm and that was basically civilized and the other time was in Lulea, in Northern Sweden, about 70 miles from the Arctic circle. That was a party. I went in June when it was daylight all day.

My friend has a warped sense of humor I suppose, especially since I had sent Valentines greetings from the sunny state of Florida...

The Kid and I have been kayaking in Florida, while temperatures in Ohio dipped to the teens and below. One of my good friends moved to Tallahassee and invited us down with the lure of a Manatee sighting in the Wakulla river. The Wakulla is situated near Tallhasse and is an intersting place. There is an awesome lodge that is on the National Register of Historic Places, a spring and a river that are crystal clear and an assortment of wildlife I thought was only reserved for the Everglades.

We launched kayaks in 90 degree weather with the hopes of seeing Manatees and after an hour paddle upriver, saw incredible birds, plantlife and alligators, each one bigger than the last one and no Manatees. Now as gators go, they really don't mess with you much because they'd rather sit in the sun - like us snowbirds, but this big fella was one I'd have tossed a beer as a peace offering if I had had one. Instead I told him if he posed real nice, I'd get him on Hollywood squares(a tale I reserve for really big gators).

Needeless to say The Kid didn't stick around for the photo opportunity.