Day 17: Old Cypress

Seventeen days sounds like quite a long time. It makes me realize that the time has been going quite fast. I haven’t posted much about my progress the last few days because, well, nothing really has changed. Until Monday I’m very much in a holding pattern. The weather has been pretty crap the last few days which has made it less pleasant to be outside, but also means that I haven’t been missing out on too much by being stuck inside.

I was very, very ready to go out today. It was overcast and gloomy but not cold. The woods are a great place to be when it’s cloudy and dreary so we headed out to some trails that are on the University of North Florida campus. I’ve run these trails before but haven’t been there for several years. The knee scooter does not do off road surfaces well at all and the iWalk is not exactly designed for that either but there is a boardwalk loop there which I had never really paid attention to before. It turns out that it is both beautiful and the perfect length for exploring in my current state. Until my recent temporarily disabled status, I had always dismissed the short paved nature trails and boardwalks you find at national parks and the like as a waste of time, and anyone using them as missing the point. I now realize how enjoyable these paths and boardwalks can be and how they open up natural spaces to the mobility impaired population.

A rare online sighting of Husband.

It was so nice to be out in a little patch of woods after the same view from the couch dominating my last few weeks. Birds seemed to be out in force, or perhaps my ears have just grown unaccustomed to them from being inside so much. The highlight of the excursion though was coming across this beautiful 120 year old bald cypress.

Hard to capture this beautiful tree from so close up.

Florida used to be full of these majestic trees. They flourish in swamps and wetlands, can live for hundreds of years, and reach almost 50 meters in height and 6 meters in circumference. Logging in the early 20th century destroyed almost all the old growth trees although young cypress still abound in most wetlands. There are still a few small and isolated old growth stands scattered around the state, with some trees around 700 years old. Today’s tree was therefore a relative baby but it was impressive all the same and has inspired me to make the trip down to visit the best old growth stand a couple of hours south of Tampa. I won’t be able to do that until I can drive again but ironically there is a 2.25 mile boardwalk there so I could knee scooter all around there too.

Tomorrow we head back to Tampa. I feel bad that Husband has had to do so much driving back and forth. It’s a tiresome enough drive when you only do it once every couple of weeks. Unfortunately there are still several more weeks of this ahead. I got a little anxious this evening thinking about the week ahead. It’s going to be a change being on my own and dependent on Uber and friends to get around. I mentioned at dinner that we hadn’t had a day apart since the day before the surgery, to which Husband replied, “And you’re still not sick of me?!” The fact of that matter is that I most definitely am not.

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