Weekend of Discovery

The end of the weekend brings time of reflection –
Two weeks and two adventures after snagging a pair of brand new RollerBlades(TM) for Melissa [ $25 @ Salvation Army ]; we explored more of our surroundings. Our last two outings look us to Orange Ave, a nice up-scale neighbourhood just outside of downtown. This time, however, we wanted to explore our local area. Heading towards McD’s for ice cream we found this walking trail heading away from the main road … so being the risk takers we are enter we did.
Was a quiet trail that made its way to the front entrance of a 45 hole golf course. This is where Melissa met Mr. Pavement for the first time. Though I must say he was a lot nicer to her than he ever was to me, she came away with only a minor road rash. Moving along, we eventually completed a huge circuit surrounding our apartment complex, weaving our way back home. It felt like an incredible amount of distance for only one hour of relaxed blading, though we will have to drive it to get a better idea.
We rode down trails, passed creeks and communities, by parks and schools, and through neighbourhoods. The heat finally brought us home to the pool where we relaxed before heading to Walmart with Krishen for a movie rental. “Walmart rents movies ?”, you ask. No, they don’t – but they do have a $5.88 bin that is great for the treasure hunter. However, we ended up leaving with the latest James Bond adventure to add to our collection; since none of us had not seen it yet we figured “what the heck!”.
Not so early to bed … but early to rise. Waking about 2 hours earlier than planned I managed to get some time in on a personal project that has been neglected over the last few months, something I hope to get more time on in the future. However, our 10 AM wake-up call came soon enough and our day began.
Our packing of the cooler and gathering of our gear was delayed as we went to pack Krishen’s air-conditioned vehicle and noticed the doors locked and the keys … well they were on the front seat. Oops! However, a quick call gathered the spare keys and we were soon on our way.
Myakka River State Park lies about 20-30 minutes East of our place. Our first stop was for lunch at what they called “The Bird Walk”; a boardwalk that stretched out into the march of Myakka Lake. There we sat and ate lunch watching a Snowy Echel trying to catch some lunch of his own. And leaking in the weeds out in the marsh was a more ‘interesting’ creature that decided to stay the distance.
Moving on further, Krishen enjoyed an ice-cream while we strolled through the woods near the river tours boat dock. But what we found at the end of the trail brought and end to doubt and worry. Looking over the edge of a pear at the end of the trail we saw our first gator – in the wild and enjoying the company of the fishermen. We were starting to believe it was something Floridians made up to keep the tourists away. Joining him was a large Heron, who kept his distance from our new found friend, trying to play catch with the fishermen as they through back their catch. The marsh was packed with fish … the lines were not in the water a few seconds before a fish was snagged … though don’t reel too close to those eyes poking through the waves !!!
After heading on from there we stopped at a nature walk and decided our day would not be complete without seeing more of what the Florida wilderness had to offer – though we were sure to stick mostly to the trails! First stop on the hike … the canopy walkway. Moving up tower one, you walk across a suspension bridge about 20-30 ft in the air – about the same height as the tree tops allowing you to see first hand the life living in the tree tops. The second tower headed to about 80 ft providing a view of the area like no other. Rising a good 30-40 ft above all the trees you were able to see to the edge of the horizon … no mountains obstructing your view.
Climbing down (surprised I managed to get up there in the first place) we headed out for a nature walk of our own … looking to find a path less travelled on I soon came face to face – eye to eye with a red and black spider. Though not too big, it did manage stop me in my tracks. I had just looked up from watching where I was stepping and there he was – 2 inches from my nose. Melissa decided that it was best not to be moving in that direction and we soon were back on the designated path.
Salem Palms and Sawed Palmettes lined the walk ways as we travelled through the Hammock. Spying birds, insects, plants, and assorted animals we studied the fresh wildlife of the area with the fascination of an excited cameraman. Over bridges and meadows; through tress and shrubs; it was finally the misquotes that finally drove us out. And back home to reality.
Further relaxation in the pool and a quick trip to the “Main Bookstore” downtown ended out the weekend. Now, as I sit here typing this, Melissa sleeps peacefully on one of our new couches. All in all, we seem to be settling in here just fine.
Until our next adventure …

( I will post pictures of our weekend adventure as soon as I can steal some from Krishen – the more we explore the more we find a need for a digital camera of our own. )

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