It's hard to believe it's been over 8 months since we lost Dave. Still missing the goofball genius adventurer. As happens it's gotten easier to accept he is not here, but it sure is not any easier knowing there would have been more adventures to be had, and life to live, and I still can't get over not being able to watch his life play out with his wife and the family he would go on to have. Dug up these couple of entries from an old diary. They are pretty mundane to anyone else, but still glimpses of the offbeat adventures we had. I had completely forgotten many of the details recorded. It was great to stir up the memories and have a few "haha, that's right!" moments reading through it.
2/29/2000 Dave and I went to Florida for the weekend. To sum it up, the highlights included a night in Miami (The Beach Castle Hotel) by the ocean where we wandered around the lavish and uppity Lincoln District and had seafood in a Spanish soccer cafe. The next day we drove down to Key West, fighting our way through a terribly traffic jam caused by a flea market festival. We stopped along the way to swim in the ocean and set up our tent in the state park. At the state park where we went swimming we could walk out into the ocean more than a quarter mile. We went swimming until sundown. That evening we went to the active and strange city of Key West for seafood and wandered the streets until we found the Southernmost Point Marker. On the 27th we went back to Key West early and waited at the marina for our snorkeling trip to depart. Snorkeling was amazing. Among the various fish we saw, I was amazed to see so many huge barracuda, and even more amazed that it alarmed no one. Dave commented how odd it is to experience the duality of snorkeling. Simply by lifting your head out of water you go from the bubbling quiet isolation surrounded by the colorful swimming sea to the wavewashed wasteland of ocean waves, scattered with bobbing heads and boats in the near distance. After snorkeling we went back to the main strip in Key West and at dinner at The Mobster Lobster. It was a nice restaurant, but I also had the best seafood platter I have ever eaten. It consisted of crab, crawdad, muscles, scallops, shrimp, and clams. We woke up the next morning to biting sand fleas and after trying to sleep through it we got up and left for the Everglades. Canoeing in the Everglades was both peaceful and slightly scary. We paddled up a wide canal, through a large lake, and then through a series of narrow mudways surrounded by trees standing on stilts of roots that reached into the murky gloom, covered with cobwebs that filtered the sunlight to create a mysterious aura. At times we had to push the canoe over the thick mud to get to deeper water, and while exiting one passageway into the lake, one crocodile left the mud beach it had been sitting on and perched for a short while in front of the canoe before sinking eerily into the black water. We finished the canoe trip sprinting back down the wide canal to return the canoe in time to avoid a late fee. That night we drove back to Orlando and stayed in a Days Inn to await our departure the next morning.
1/12/2000 At about 10pm Dave P. came over and we went snow shoeing to the middle of Lake Harriet trailing a sled full of firewood. After a rough time of trying to light the paper to start the fire, and a precarious fire start even with fuel, we did have a nice bonfire on the ice in the middle of the lake. While we were talking two skiers stopped by to chat. A lady from Texas and a guy from New York. After a few shots of rum we headed back home, and when we were just about there a young fellow stopped us to tell us a tale of how he saw our fire and fought his demons 3 times about the fear of going onto the ice. The second time he said he was about half way out to us when he turned back, and the third time he noticed us leaving, and that is when he caught up to us to tell us of all this. What a beautiful night it was out, and a unique series of events to make it stick in our memories. When we got back we had a bite to eat, some cocoa, and talked a bit before Dave left, and now I am heading to bed. Stacey and River are still in Red Wing today.