Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter, Myakka River State Park

Easter Sunday began at 7:13 as I strolled down the Cabin Road

I like this


My Protect Florida Springs tag is good until November, 2015. Unless a kayak is added to that plate, I may be changing.

On the Park Road, headed back toward the cabin

Cotton tail close up.

Just made the rounds at the Palmetto Ridge Campground


Campfire circle

Black crowned night, riverside.

Juve black crowned

The adult black crowned had been sharing the tree with the great blue heron

Rest rooms

Read this, and you know why there is an Honore’ Street and Palmer this and that in Sarasota.

Almost home, 7:43.
Easter breakfast was the usual. Steak, potato, onion and cheese.
Put the kayak in at the same spot as Saturday. Carried it empty, and kept my sneakers on for better footing. Went back for gear and aquasox.

Underway at 9:38. Down stream, as that is the only way you can go for about 50 yards. Around a spit of land and up River towards the bridge.

Alligators began to appear before I reached the bridge

There are two channels you can paddle up the Myakka from the bridge. I choose the wider on, on the left

 Limpkins near a small parking, picnic, fishing, launch spot.

This is a dead end. Deep down, I knew it was, but there was a huge alligator at the correct route.


I have seen it before. Or else two massive gators watch this narrow space. A curve, too.

Another gator

It seemed an alligator, or two, was at every junction on the River

But, the only thing I saw eating another creature was a cormorant


 I saw swallow tail kites, but was unable to get any photos




 Spoonbills and more at the dam

 Gators, of course
 Dam.  I got out to stretch my legs and take a picture of dam stupid people.

The Upper Lake flows through these culverts
 Back in the yak, headed down River. 11:30





 Turkey vulture


I was not sure if the distant bird was a bald eagle.  Powerful zoom.
 Great blue heron flying low





 Landed for a moment or two
Park boundary



 Back to the big guy



Limpkin family






Landed at 1:30
 Went to the Outpost to download a few more pics. I told myself, "it won't be too crowded, Easter is not a big boating, outdoorsy holiday"  Wrong, parking lot full.  Had to park down the road.  But, picnic tables available.  I began outside, moved to one under the building.  Spent enough time in the sun
Inner view of the rental kayaks.  Downsized canoes, if you ask me. Kayaks don't have thwarts.
 A Myakka River State Park bike ride should begin with a gator photo. In the canal at the concession.
Ranch House Road

At the first junction, I took the trail to Powerline Road


 Osprey Alley would be more poetic.

Alligator along the bike trail? What a surprise. ;)
 Another gator
 Back on the Park Road

 Back home

Fired up the grill
 I was not going to eat all three of the chicken Italians.  They were short, and I had large buns. (insert joke here)  I was going to put one and a half in a bun, the other half in beans and rice, and save the third for breakfast.
The fire was down to hot coals, no wind, so I thought it was safe to go for a short walk
 A trail led away from the cabin

 Short walk to a picnic area. That has restrooms built, like the cabins, by the Civilian Conservation Corps.   The plaque at the cabin reads, Built By The Men of The CCC, 1933-1941.  The kitchen and bathrooms in the cabins appear to be of newer vintage than the living/sleeping area.  I wonder if lodgers had to walk to the facilities for the first 8 years.  Or does 1933-1941 refer to the life of the CCC?  In 1942, young men were needed for something else
 Wait a second...there were two sausages when I left.
Prime suspect
I had to go inside, so I lay an empty beer can over the remaining food
 And then there was one.  Coming out of the cabin, the crow was on the grill. Hey!  It flew off, sausage impaled on beak.  It did drop less than a quarter of it.  Victory!  I rinsed it and put it in the rice and beans.
No paper towels. I used a coffee filter as a napkin. Usually, its the other way around.
 Post dinner bike ride was delayed as I looked for my wallet.  Did not find it.  Thought it may have fallen out of my backpack earlier in the day at the Outpost.
It appeared I was not the only one to have food stolen.  A group playing soccer should have left a goalie at their table.  The vultures ignored me.
 Meanwhile, I looked around the two tables I had sat at in the afternoon.   Rapped on the door of the closed Outpost as I saw someone, the manger, I assume, enter.  Asked if anyone returned a wallet.  Not that he knew of.  Said to check at the Ranger Station.
I would. After sunset. Or, in the morning, as the Park closes as sunset.  But, I knew from my night time pay phone call Saturday, the ranger does not leave until well after dark.
 From the dam


The truck is a Park vehicle.  Two workers were putting the days trash in the bed.  I asked if they had found the wallet. No, but they would call the Ranger station.  Or, rather, radio.  My wallet was there.

 I pedaled faster than I had in a long time.  But, I did stop for photos, because that's what I do.
Got the wallet.  The finder helped himself to a reward.  All the cash. $50-60 bucks.  All else intact.  Good way to end the day.

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