I was gifted an annual state park pass this year and have been trying to put it to good use. One thing that I learned from the friendly, and amazing, park employees, is that you can request a special pass to be able to stay a little after dark or to come in early.
I have just started to play with the photos but wanted to share a few. I recruited a volunteer to come on the adventure with me and I think it was a pretty good initial outing. It was certainly a fun way to spend a Saturday night.
The park was busy enough to close to new admissions during the day, but at night…Us, the raccoons, the glowing eyes from the forest, and some campers.
I recommend getting to know your parks. I lived in Florida a long time before I realized how many there are and some closer to home than you may realize. City, county, state, federal…enjoy!! And, maybe take some bug spray 🙂
Up the Lake Without a Paddle:
As the fog began to rise over the trees, I headed out, eager to embark on my next SUP (stand up paddleboard) adventure.
~ wait ~ I forgot my paddle…turn my steed around and head back to the homestead. Paddle now on board, off to the refreshing ambiance of the lake.
Traveling to the Canal:
When I pushed off from shore the wind was fairly calm. I decided to go for my longest paddle thus far, 3 miles round trip. I passed a few paddlers and a fisherman along the way. A beautiful morning, a fabulous workout. There were a couple of homes for sale along the way so I stopped and put in bids.
Florida’s Venetian Canal:
The canal is a beautiful, long and narrow passageway between lakes. It was used by loggers a looong time ago. The canal insists that you are in the moment. It has twists and turns that you you hope to not find a boat behind. I only had to pass one boat and, luckily, we met in an area that only required him to back up a few feet into a a small recess. It was a boat that gives tours of the lakes and canals in the area. Hopefully, the clients did not hear my colorful declaration when I realized we were headed for each other.
The Long Journey Home:
I had decided to see how fast I could make it back to the launch site. It took me about 40 minutes to get out there at a leisurely, take pictures, figure out where I am going, kind of pace. When I came out of the canal, I was blown back by the wind. I discovered that I make a pretty good sail. This prompted a decision to sit and paddle kayak style. That lasted about 15 minutes. By then my arms were crying and I had made it to the other side of that lake. There, the houses and trees provided a bit of a wind break. Two ladies were emerging from the short canal leading home and asked where something was. I did not know but told them where the Venetian canal could be found. I was thinking, “good luck with that in this wind.” As I made my way through the mini-canal, I heard them coming up behind me. They turned around fast…Am I going that slow? Ugh…I paddled and paddled but they still passed me with ease after we exited the canal. I blamed it on being tired at the end of a long paddle. Once we made it to shore (with a 30 minute time) I discovered that they run a SUP tour business in another town. I suppose it is okay for professionals to pass me with faster boards. 8)
How many dogs can you find? (Click photo for a slide show)
Shoot the canal
Can trees swim?
Lil’ Red has a cold. Let’s leave him to take a nap and go for a hike.
We arrive at the park and head out on the trail. We were warned by park staff to be out by 6, so let’s get to moving. The first half mile has some traffic. Once we get past all of the ruckus, I am sure we will see some wild life.
We cross over an access road and things begin to quiet down. Oh, wait there is some activity over to our left. Just some campers, but after one shot turns out like a surveillance photo, we move on.
This weekend Lil’ Red and I went out on the river. I renamed him to Lil’ Red because the board is so maneuverable and fun. Compared to the longer boards that I had been renting, he is just little.
It is a good thing that he is so responsive and easy to handle. We had to maneuver around a very enthusiastic Boy Scout troop, a kayak group, a volunteer cleanup group, and many more. Random fact of the trip: the cleanup group found a beer can from 1988. The water was the clearest I have seen there. A fabulous day that I hope will carry me past any stress of the week.
While I did see some turtles and fish in the water, I was not fast enough to capture them in good light. Here is what my magic Nikon was able to capture: Continue reading
A song I learned in the Brownies (mini Girl Scouts) was:
Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.
My old friend met one of my new friends this weekend. They seemed to take to each other. She would ask about him and he would serenade her.
Fred hangs out on my window to watch the sunrise. He likes to sing to me, especially when it rains.