"Wizard's Wild Weekend"...There's not much better reason to turn around two weeks later and head east, back across I-10, to Florida.
I was just in Florida two weeks ago, and now I'm heading back east...again. But Wizard's Wild Weekend - an event that has become an annual tradition - was being held the first weekend in December. As always. Kevin Healey and his wife Deborah put this event on every year and it usually draws an interesting group of riders. It's held on Cedar Key, a quaint island just off the gulf coast of Florida, up near Chiefland, where the state of FL takes a bend and becomes the part of the state referred to as the panhandle.
In the years that this event has been held, I've only missed one year, and that was two years ago when I was in Hawaii visiting son and family for Thanksgiving...definitely a good reason to miss it. But not too many other reasons could keep me away. It's so kicked back and relaxed.
I arrived Friday afternoon, early, and checked into Seaspray, a small apartment building with just a half dozen or so two-story condo units...two bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths, full kitchen, living room, dining room, and a nice second story balcony with sunset views. I was in need of a run, so got changed into running gear and headed out for a 5+ mile run before the others starting to arrive.
Friday night group dinner was again at the Rusty Rim, a neat place on the dock, sitting out over the water. The group was noticeably smaller than in previous years, but no less enjoyable. A group were gathered outside at "Richard's Corner" on the dock. One member of our group is named Richard and it couldn't have been more fitting that this corner be named as such.
While the rest of the group rode over to Horseshoe Beach for lunch, I stayed behind with friend Ray and had lunch at the Pickled Pellican, on their outdoor deck overlooking the Gulf. I ate here last year and knew it was the place to go for lunch this year, as well. I wanted fresh oysters, but had to settle for fried oysters, which were a little disappointing...dry and overcooked. But the red velvet cake ice cream from the ice cream parlor down the street made up for it.