Sep 05

Mission accomplished!

by in Nature, People, Photography, Travel

Having reached Jacksonville Beach I have accomplished my mission to travel across the States coast-to-coast from the Pacific to the Atlantic! :-)

I still have a couple of weeks left on my trip, though, before I must depart from New York, and I intend to make the most of the remaining time.

If you have followed the blog, you will know that I spent my birthday August 31st by myself in Destin, Florida. I loved the pearly white beaches and the emerald green waters there, but the nightlife was really not much to speak of. The season was ending, and there were not many people in town.

I could have stayed throughout the Labor Day holidays and hoped for more activity, but as a front approached, I headed east, which turned out to be a good choice.

The beaches of Jacksonville Beach (Jax Beach) are not pearly white. They are more grayish. But there is a nice fishing pier, volleyball nets, lots of restaurants, cafes and bars in a good layout as well as a very nice atmosphere. There were also more (local) people around. In addition quite a few came into town for Labor Day.

So, I enjoyed the gray beach, playing in the smashing waves and tried to make up for my mediocre birthday celebrations in Destin by exploring Jax Beach at night.

Rush Bar was the place to go, and it turned out to be quite amusing.

On the first night a girl came over and introduced herself. She informed me that she was celebrating her 21st birthday with a bunch of girlfriends. Yes, I could see that… She went on to explain that it was on her the to-do list to have a shot with a redhead – and I while I explained that my hair is “golden blond” – it was close enough.

I did not get a shot, but the other girls shot a bunch of documentation photos of us together for Facebook or whatever. Made me feel like my 15 seconds of fame as all the flashes went off. And hey, girls if you are reading this – where are the photos you promised to send me?

Next, one of the girls was kind to compliment my attire consisting of a short-sleeved shirt, jeans and sneakers. She knew what she was talking about, because she had just graduated as a fashion major. I, on the other hand, did not know what I was doing, because I was stupid enough to reveal that the shirt was a 10-year-old rag. Then she asked about my age – since she probably figured that I did not buy the shirt at the age of 10 or 11. So, I admitted that I just had my 33rd birthday, which turned out to be another mistake. She thought I was around 25. Doh!

When will I learn to be more dishonest, and play my cards better?

OK – I am just kidding here – about playing my cards. But in any case, somebody knew how to play his cards, because a while later the fashion major had retreated to the shadows of the corner with a dude – and her girlfriends fired away again to get a documentation shot for Facebook.

On my second night in Jax Beach while I was having a drink by myself – as usual – I could not help noticing three girls tearing up the dance floor doing a dance or something together. And I was not the only one watching their antics. A whole bunch of guys were lined up with their jaws dropped to the floor.

When the three girls finally took a break from the dance floor, one of them walked past me and complimented my glasses. She thought they were hot. Well, so was she.

We had a short chat about the glasses, this and that. Then before moving on she suddenly turned her back on me, bent slightly forwards and started grooving like an earthquaking, hipshaking, soulbreaking machine – to quote a song I heard on the radio the other day. What could I do but step up to the challenge and join the dance?!

Hey, that girl knew how to get down on a dance floor – as if I did not know already. It was great harmless fun. God bless America! ;-)

Before leaving Jax Beach the following day I went for a walk on the beach, while I attempted to catch a bit of the atmosphere with my camera.

As I did not have a big tele lens with me, I could not photograph the dolphins that was jumping off the coast but I hope that the photos below gives you a good idea of what Jax Beach is like on a cloudy day!

There is a lot of acivity around Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier, but I managed to snap this shot of it in a quiet moment.


I headed out on the pier to see if the sport fishermen had luck.


I did not catch a fish this big. I was just happy to have completed my journey coast-to-coast.


It was also close but no cigar for Grandpa, if he had not brought the tobacco himself.


But this guy got lucky.


And this guy was even more lucky catching a nice trout.


A couple of younger fishermen agreed to pose for a picture.


In fact, this little dude could not get enough of being photographed - and he wanted to be just by himself in the picture!


Someone hooked a sea turtle. Crocodile Dundee to the right (with the knife between his teeth) was there immediately to handle the situation. He took the knife and - a break for drama here - set the turtle free (after unhooking it of course).


As the fish is also a Christian symbol it was not totally off that this group of friends studied their bible on the pier.


There was a need for prayers that day on the beach. Behind this rescue vehicle a mother was weeping, as she had lost track of her 4-year-old son. Fortunately, he was found sound and safe. If the tears were not already flowing, they poured as they were reunited.


So there was something to celebrate and nobody did it better than my new friends from Puerto Rico. What a beat!


As I walked back for a pizza and a sweet tea before hitting the road, I came across this classic and beautifully restored Volkswagen.


A girl was taking a nap inside. Probably she had also had a night on the town. Notice the reflection...


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12 Responses to “Mission accomplished!”

  1. From Maria-Louise:

    Hej Erik

    Sød skildpadde :-) Mon den overlevede?


    PS! Kristine kom glad hjem fra skole i dag – de havde været på opdagelse i skoven. Hun havde selvfølgelig spottet en frø og kunne glad fortælle, at hun havde lært den at svømme :D

    Posted on September 5, 2011 at 18:21 #
    • From Erik Thrane:

      Hej ML

      Tja, follow the blog to find out! ;-)

      Lyder godt med Kristine. Hvordan skulle den ellers finde ud af det? Hehehe…


      Posted on September 5, 2011 at 23:34 #
  2. From jacob klausen:

    Hello ET.

    Thats a job well done!!.
    I know you still got some ways to go, but coast to coast is still the big milestone.

    Posted on September 5, 2011 at 19:15 #
    • From Erik Thrane:

      Hi Jacob

      Yes, it is really the milestone.

      I also have to say that I have been on the road for a while now, so I am starting to be filled with impressions. Maybe I should have taken it a bit easier along the way, and maybe I should just stay on the beach now. Maybe-maybe-maybe, I am taking it nice and easy from here. And I certainly enjoyed Jax Beach – be sure to read the full post once ready. ;-)

      Best regards

      Posted on September 5, 2011 at 23:37 #
  3. From Ole:

    Congrats… I envy all your fantastic experiences on your way from coast-to -cost. It is indeed admirable that you lived out one of your wildest dreams. That is something we all can learn from.

    take care


    Posted on September 6, 2011 at 07:44 #
    • From Erik Thrane:

      Thanks, my friend

      I picked up two great quotes from different people along the way across the States: “always remember your dreams” and “the key to realizing your dreams is persistence”.

      I believe it is correct. Now, I just have to settle on the next dream… ;-)

      Best regards

      Posted on September 6, 2011 at 07:56 #
  4. From Thomas Mikkelsen:

    Amazing story – but where is the video of your dancing :-) I really love the picture of the girl’s feet sticking out of the open door in the Volkswagen; super shot…

    Posted on September 14, 2011 at 18:09 #
    • From Erik Thrane:

      Hi Thomas

      Thanks my friend – yeah that video would have been great! ;-)

      Glad you like the shot of the feet sticking out the Volkswagen. When I saw the girl sleeping with her feet sticking out, I slowly moved in on the target and snapped the shot. It was not as easy as it may seem, though. There was a restaurant with a terrace full of people watching me, and she was not sound a sleep. I was a bit worried they might attribute the wrong motives to my sneaky behavour. But I got her (photo)!

      Best regards

      Posted on September 15, 2011 at 01:20 #
  5. From Lis:

    Hi Erik

    I wish to know; “What is your next dream”?????????
    Crossing Australia, or coming home to SEAS-NVE?

    I miss your compagny so much and I´m looking forward to tuesday next week, when you´ll be back.

    You can by the home of your boss in Roskilde. He is selling and he wants to move to Ringsted to be old.
    Or maybe you want to by my parents home in Holbæk. It is a sharinghome(andelsbolig) designed by the famous danish arkitect Henning Larsen, a very nice little home for man like you. It is free in 2012 and it i s very cheep.

    See you friend

    Posted on September 19, 2011 at 19:32 #
    • From Erik Thrane:

      Dear Lizzie

      Oh, I have plenty of dreams – it is for me to know and for you to find out – as a priest once told me in Westminster Abbey…. ;-)

      But I may share some of them with you, when I return next week… And I do look forward to seeing you too – and the rest of my dear colleagues. And I am sure that are a few tasks waiting for me as well. :-o

      See you soon!

      Best regards

      Posted on September 20, 2011 at 05:51 #
  6. From Carsten Friis Clemmensen:

    Hi Erik.
    Tillykke med den velgennemførte tur.
    Glæder mig til du kommer hjem … hjem kære hjem… og kan fortælle om dine bedrifter .. in real life.!!
    Der står en fadbamse og venter.

    Gi’ et kald når du får tid.

    See you… Carsten

    Posted on September 24, 2011 at 23:00 #
    • From Erik Thrane:

      Hej Carsten

      Tak for din hilsen.

      Jeg ser skam også frem til vi ses derhjemme i andedammen til en drøftelse af verdenssituationen. Og det gør bestemt ikke noget, hvis det bliver over en fadbamse. ;-)

      Jeg giver dig et kald!


      Posted on September 25, 2011 at 00:09 #