A warm breeze, sea oats rustling in the wind and sounds from the beach greet us this morning. It is a lovely, sunny Father’s Day. Jim is spending it lazing away, just the way it should be.
We spent the morning drinking coffee and eating my famous Crescent cinnamon rolls (Jim’s favorite.) Outside of our camper window we spied the resident iguana. Perhaps he spied us? We watched him awhile, eating our rolls and wondering if mosquitoes were a real problem back in Henry Flagler’s day. Our guess is probably not. We believe that with development the creatures that ate pesky mosquitoes became less while unfortunately mosquitoes still manage to reproduce in the thousands.
Fortunately, with the ocean breeze we are not swarmed with mosquitoes, just a few and a few no see-ums. As it is rather warm we did forego our planned morning bicycle ride and are seriously thinking about swimming time. Perhaps! Or maybe we will just continue to sit here and laze away. After all isn’t that what today is all about?
We arrived at Long Key State Park mid afternoon on Tuesday. Today is Friday and I’m wishing I never had to leave this park. It is truly amazing. Our camper butts right up to the water. The water is shallow for yards and yards out. It is warm and clear and underneath is a world that I would never had guessed was there.
Snorkeling seems to be the prevalent past time here and for good reason. Because of the shallow warm water even young children can safely swim and snorkel. Myself I have always had a deep fear of going under water. I watched Jim last year go under in his mask and snorkel and was so jealous. This year he talked me into going to a dive shop and trying on prescription masks. The guy at Discount Dive in Marathon, the first shop we went to, was very kind and helpful. I explained my situation and he told me how to ease into it. We didn’t buy from him however only because the mask he had didn’t fit quite like the one I ended up buying from Tilden’s Dive Shop / Hawk’s Cay Resort Marina.
Once I became comfortable with the mask and snorkel I truly fell in love with this place, because not everything is visible to the unmasked eye. I will hopefully later be able to post some pictures I took with Jim’s underwater camera. I will save that for a later post.
I would recommend this park for anyone looking to really relax and have fun. There are about 50 sites, some just for tents and others for campers. They aren’t extremely deep but we had very little trouble backing in and setting up. Be aware the sites are sandy.
Anyone that knows us also knows that we love biking. There is a bike trail that runs off and on throughout the keys. The one that runs in front of Long Key State park is a little run down but from what we could tell they are working on repaving the trails. At least in parts of the keys they are. Hopefully the one here is on the list. We have only ridden in the park so far but perhaps we can ride later today and have a more positive report on the trail than what we can see from the road.
The only other real negatives are sand spurs and no see ums. Definitely bring some Avon Skin So Soft as that does work. Bring a fan to set up outside too to help deter the little buggers. Otherwise ENJOY!
Haircuts done. Shopping done and then some.camper packed. fridge emptied. Watering system for plants set up. Lights on timer. Parents visited. Daughter visited. About to go to bed. Why all this nonsense? Because tomorrow we begin our real vacation, a much needed vacation. Tomorrow we head for a one night stay at Jonathan Dickinson State Park, and from there a several day stay at Long Key State Park.
May 6, 2013 What an absolute gorgeous day for a ride. We had a very nice time riding the Withlacoochee today. It was amazing how many people turn their heads to check out Jim and Kaelin’s trikes. Even though Kaelin is being tandemed he got quite a workout. Sound asleep!
We ride the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenways Trail, a 5 mile, 3 looped trail behind our house. Jim and I like to ride there when we can’t make it to a longer trail elsewhere, but Kaelin likes to ride there when he can play on the playground.
We were keeping a watchful eye on our 4 year old as he played and ran amok through the play area. As we were watching him a lady approached us asking if we belonged to the 3 recumbent trikes sitting near the fence. We said yes and she introduced herself as a free-lance photographer for the Ocala Star Banner. She said she wanted to take some photos of us as we rode our bikes. We agreed.
It was a lot of fun doing this and we felt like mini-celebraties for several days as we shared with friends and families that our pictures could be seen from the Star Banner’s website and then, of course, when we found out that our photo was being featured a week later.
It really is our hope that more and more people see us riding recumbents and stop and ask us what they are like. We find that there is so much benefit in riding them that they are worth the extra cost over a life time.