Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Lido Key

After  a breakfast of waffles, scrambled eggs with cheese and salsa, and a Danish, I checked out of the Spring Hill Suites.  Looked at the breakfast bar as I left, to grab an apple for later.  One left, with a few holes.  I declined.  The buffet now had sausage patties.  That chaffing dish had potatoes when I had breakfast. 
 I headed to Ted Sperling Park at South Lido Beach. Which, you guessed it, is on the south end of Lido Key. One of the barrier islands that protect Sarasota proper from the Gulf.  Access is via the John Ringling Causeway.
 On the water at 10:35.  No launch fee. Mangrove islands on one side, homes on the other side of Sarasota Bay
Condos behind the mangroves

Three spoonbills flew overhead.
 This being my first time paddling here,  I made the effort to follow the marked trail

The mangrove tunnels are wider than others I have paddled.  Caladesi Island and the Key West Salt Ponds come to mind.  Did not have to take the paddle apart to fit.

Taking bird photos distracted me from the trail.  This bridge seemed a likely spot.  Until 2 other kayakers came out.  Low and no current, was the report.

They were not sure where the trail went, either.  I took some photos, they disappeared.  
There it is

I went looking for more of the trail.  Entered a mangrove tunnel, and recognized it was the first one.  So, I turned around.  The trail is short.  Basicly from one lagoon to another.
 I headed into Sarasota Bay

I wonder if this thing is a relic from the 1920's land boom. From the Sarasota County Web site:

 Once known as Sarasota Key, the island was renamed Lido Key as part of the 1920s Ringling Isles development. The project created modern Lido Key from several small islands enhanced by millions of yards of cubic fill. Neither Ringling nor subsequent owners commercialized this fragile point.

The  "fragile point" being South Lido Park

Paddled to the John Ringling Causeway.

Where traffic just beyond the trees did not seem to bother roosting pelicans, cormorants and great blue herons.



 I was going to land, but the fleet was coming in.  No problem, just stayed on the water longer.

The sunlight really was dancing on the water when I took this picture.

 Landed at 1:25.  South Lido Park is a busy place on winter Sundays. 4 or 5 commercial rental operations on site.   Cars parked on both sides of the entrance road.  Late arrivals, I thought my 10:30 start was late. Turtle Beach, were I tried to see the sunset on Saturday, and kayaked last year, is less crowded.  At least in my experience. Yet, I had one of the best parking spots.  When I arrived, the vehicle next to me did not have Wisconsin plates.  The van owner had good timing.  .
 I paid a visit to the home of another Wisconsinite, John Ringling.

Who as you know, is one of the Ringling Brothers. 
 I visited the Ringing Museum of Art many years ago.  At the time, his home, the photos above, was undergoing renovation.
 This entryway gives way to a modern glass building.
The Art Museum is beyond it.  Tickets for the entire complex, Art Museum, mansion, Circus Museum, are 25 bucks.  The museum is free on Mondays.  Perhaps I will visit the Monday after Easter.  I will be checking out of a Myakka River cabin that day.  The modern glass ticket building was built in 2007.  Which explains why I did not remember it.

I did the Yakdave free tour


 Not a bad little home for a kid from Baraboo, WI.

 I left Sarasota about 2:45.  Thought of hanging out for sunset, but I was pretty tired.
Besides, I would have missed Snoopy over my house.  Close enough to hear the engines.  I'll just have to catch the sunset this weekend at Sanibel.  One of my brothers will be in Fort Myers on business. 
John Ringling is not the only Badger with a Lido connection.  As you know, Boz Scaggs was in  a band with Steve Miller and Ben Sidran in Madison in the early '60's.  If the boat were a kayak,
Lido may not have missed it when he left the shack.

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