I had a companion on the Myakka River, Friday March 7, 2008. Flat Stanley. Stanley appeared in my mailbox last week, arriving from Tuscon, AZ. Stanley has been on the go since November, when Anna F. put him in an envelope. Since then, he has been to Milwaukee, Key West, Tuscon, and perhaps other places I am not aware of. Being Flat enough to fit in an envelope makes travel easy. On the other hand, Stanley has a hard time turning around, so I had to tell him about the alligator in the background in the picture above.
We went to Myakka River State Park as Sarasota was the only place without 60% or more chance of rain. I had the day off, and my first choice was the Ichtucknee. 100% chance there. As I drove home, I heard a tornado had hit nearby, in Lake City. I made the right choice.
No tornadoes, but it was windy. Very windy. For the first hour of paddling, trees, and then the grass banks protected us from the worst of the wind. Here we are entering the Wilderness Preserve.
It was much to windy to paddle across Lower Myakka Lake, so we turned around.
The Myakka River has hundreds of alligators, seemingly around every bend.
Stanley was a little scared, but after I told him alligators don't like the taste of cardboard, he was showing me where the alligators, and turtles, were.
We stopped, for lunch, Stanley wasn't hungry, then walked around and took a few pictures.
We saw more than alligators. Birds, including hawks and wood storks.
Stanley liked the alligators best, especially the big ones.
Sometimes we saw birds and alligators. Here are a great egret, anhinga and two alligators.
You can see more pictures of our trip here:
Stan and I paddled until we reached Upper Myakka Lake. It is on the other, right side of the weir.
We got out of the kayak, and read on a kiosk that wild alligators do not reach fifteen feet long. A few we saw had to be at least 10 feet. Back in the kayak, paddling to where we began was tough. Into the wind, and the River is wide in some sections, with few trees to block it in an area called Big Flats Marsh. Flat Stanley thought it was funny he and the marsh have the same name. I told Stanley to stop laughing and start looking for where we parked.
He found it.
We had time after our kayak trip to have a short, 4.8 mile, bike ride, then visited the canopy walkway.
If Flat Stanley could talk, he would have said.
"Top of the World !"