Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day From Myakka River State Park and Cedar Key

Last photo of the day, 9:54 PM. After fireworks at Cedar Key.
First photo, out the Cabin door, Myakka River State Park, 6:48. AM.  I did take one more photo after the kayak, will post that in  proper order.   Out the door briefly, really out at 7:10. On the bike.

Sun dappled
 Off the bike, walk to the canopy walkway

Donor.   Not me.

Nice to be here before the Park opens at 8.


You can appreciate the vastness of the Park from 76.1 feet. Plus five feet, ten inches. 


I could be wrong, but I think this majestic live oak is one reason the walkway is where it is.
 Loop nature trail

 Last visit, saw a deer in this clearing.

Today, "only" flowers

 Back on the bike


Back to the cabin, 8:20

CCC cabin construction detail

Decision time after breakfast and check out.  Do I get another paddle in at Myakka, or do I head to Cedar Key, 200 miles north.  I had a reservation at Park Place.

Headed north. Across Tampa Bay on the Sunshine Skyway
 And, the not as scenic, Howard Franklin Bridge
Two hours later, arriving in always scenic, Cedar Key

A Blueway Community.
 I stopped at the place I stayed last time, Pirate's Cove.  I had left a shirt.   It was now clean, and the owner said she liked my blog.  I had mentioned it in the room log book.  And told her next time, I'll leave more laundry;
 My room was not ready when I arrived.  I was able to load the fridg, then go kayaking. Which I am about to do now, on Sunday morning.
 The dolphin gave the young girl the thrill of a lifetime.  Speeding to within a few feet of her, sea frothing in its wake.


Brown pelicans and roseate spoonbills in the Number Two Channel
 First spoonies on the other side of the wreck. Too shallow for a close up.
 These two were further down the Channel
 Oyster catcher
Snowy egret


 Have to post Old Glory on the 4th.  There will be more flags.



 Cemetery Point.   I headed back.




A manatee surfaced in front of me. Only the third time I have seen one at Cedar Key and by far the closest. I turned around, in the direction it appeared to be heading, but did not see, or hear, it again. 


Landed at a flag draped City Park at  4:30

17 minutes later, from the balcony of Unit 327, Park Place
I think this is my first time in this unit

I say "think" because some things are vaguely familiar

Of course, all the units are the same, but individually owned and furnished.
 A little lunch before going to buy dinner.  The City Marina had a $7 chicken dinner for the 4th.
I hoofed it.

 Grass grew fast under the USPS Jeep on the holiday

Got to the Marina. They had run out of chicken dinners.  I should have stopped when I went by in the kayak.



I walked past Sandy's Produce on the way to, and from the Marina.  I did not want to cook today, so that was not an option.
 I decided to check out the Pelican Railroad.  A new place, off the beaten track. Which in Cedar Key means not Dock Street or 2nd St, but 3rd.   In the building that had one of my favorite signs.  Live and Frozen Kayaks.  I ordered a Locomotive Meat Lovers.  Cold, giving me the option to eat cold, or heat, later.


No place celebrates holidays better than Cedar Key.  I took flag pictures.
 And, bunting.




 My shirt. I have a plaque from this run. Actually placed in my age group.
Dinner, which I put in the fridge for later.

Time to head out for the fireworks. 7:44 PM
 I got this flag at the Winter Park Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration many years ago.
 Preview of coming attractions

The fireworks were set off from Cemetery Point.  I did a web search on kayak fireworks Cedar Key, and found nothing. I asked Jed at the kayak rental concession where the best place to watch from the water was. He said in the channel near the Chevron station. (only gas station in town, just switched to Marathon).  I had read that Highway 24 was a good spot, and at the Marina there was a sign that said there was no parking there for the nearby viewing spot from the Cedar Key school ball field.



 People on the Number 2 bridge near the gas station.

Paddling past the Marina
 These people thought they had a good view.
 I gently backed into an oyster shell islet to hold my position, and waited.
For the man made fireworks.
Two boats just off the Cemetery Point overlook. Not sure if they were part of the event. Saw no other boats from my vantage point.
 Only a pair of ducks had a better seat than I 8:55 PM
9 PM. Boom!


 Say it with me, ooooo!



I am happy with how the pictures turned out
 Always good to try something, and it works. Reflection.   I tried to get the bow of the kayak in a photo. Did not work.


 When I write about bioluminescence, as I did a week before the 4th, I state a school of mullet scattering looks like fireworks.  The white kind.


Last fireworks photo. 9:29.  Not the last blast.  I thought the grand finale went off, and was beginning  to paddle away, when another salvo went off.   So, the show was longer than 30 minutes.  And started on time.  Other than what I heard about the fireworks display in those other, South Florida, Keys. Here are some videos.




I am glad I did a night time paddle last Friday, and more important, know the route through the Number Two Channel well enough to be able to do it in the dark. Would not want to do it in the dark at low tide. Also glad that the last time I went camping, my big lantern was not working.  So I picked up a water proof flashlight.  I had one, which never needs batteries, but the light is very dim.  The new flashlight shines a beam and has a red light at the bike. Perfect for nighttime.   I had the dim light with me as well.
 Landed at 9:54

And this, is the last picture. Happy Independence Day!


Luis said...

I always say the same thing after reading your posts from Cedar Key and Myakka River...do really have to paddle there one of these days.

Dave said...

Please do, Luis. I can't wait to see your and Mary's photos.