I heard scratching sounds during the night. Mice, I thought. Turned on the light, did not see any. Went back to sleep. Woke up, looked out the windows to see what was there. Nothing. But outside the door.
Maybe it was pigs I heard. 6:42 AM, might as well start the day with a walk. Who knows what else is out there.
My turnaround point
Likely one of the same two deer. Same area. On a .03mile walk, its all the same area.
Path from parking spot to Cabin 4
The cabins will close for renovation in August. They will be raised even higher to limit flood damage.
I went to the ranger station to get my Wilderness Permit. In a light drizzle. To the Park Bridge to launch. A gentleman with a kayak on his car drove past, than came back. His first time at Myakka. He also had a Wilderness Permit. I answered his questions honestly. Told him I never have had problems with alligators on the Myakka River. But there was the time on the Silver River..... I also mentioned the channel can sometime be confusing, but as it would be light until 8:45 PM he would have plenty of time to back track. Not the most reassuring answers. He asked if he could join me. I told him I prefer to kayak alone. He said that was okay, maybe he would see me down River.
Maturing blue heron
Chimney swifts. I think.
Entering the Wilderness
I had been looking back for the guy at the launch. Did not see him. Maybe he went up stream. Or somewhere without alligators. I would feel bad if I had kept him off the Myakka.
I think it was last summer when these pink blossoms were everywhere south of the State Road 72 Bridge. I forget what they are called. Can’t cheat and look it up as no web access in the Cabin.
I saw very few alligators. Heard, but did not see. Water level is fairly high, so there are no banks. It is also hot, so they are in the River. No reason to be in the sun when the water temp is probably over 80. Of course, as soon as I thought I am not seeing any gators, one came out of the reeds right in front of me.
Tri color heron
Dave is the guy’s name. Easy enough to remember. From Akron. He let me paddle with him across Lower Myakka Lake to Deep Hole. Where, when the River is low, alligators congregate as is, as the name implies, deep. Lots of water.
No gators on the banks as limited banks. Several on the surface.
Only third? I turned around, he kept going.
A windy paddle back across Lower Myakka. Fortunately, it was at my back.
Strong current. The ranger suggested turning around once I got past State Road 72, take a few strokes to make sure I could make in back. I told her I would. I did not turn, but made a few backwards strokes. I’ve paddled stronger currents. Not saying it was not a challenge. My arms would slap me. If I could lift them to my face.
Landed at 1:16. 4 hour paddle. 30 pictures which has to be an all time low on the Myakka River.
The launch/landing site, which had big, hard to get your footing rocks, my last visit, is now covered with small stones. Much better footing.
Fine spot for a sandwich and internet access. I was there 75 minutes when it was time to make a decision. The food service operation closes at 4 on weekends. I decided to have seafood gumbo and a local brew.
Went back to the cabin, which does have AC, and composed Yak Tales. Then, as long as I had a Wilderness Permit, I decided to go for a walk in the Preserve.
Did not plan to go far, the wet trail made it shorter.
A little gator was in the water above. I kept going. Turned back at the next trail pond.
For Florida Dry Prairie, it sure was wet.
Or as I like to call it, Osprey Alley
Last pic from the balcony
Walked to the dam as the sun was setting. A group coming back said there was huge alligator nearby.
Plus two more
15 yards, and a short stone wall between us