Tuesday, December 7, 2010

More Highs and Lows (Hobe Sound and Long Key, FL)

Dec 1-2 we were at Jonathan Dickinson State Park.  Dec 1 was the evening of the malfunctioning slide etc.  The camp ground was neat, clean and easy to get in and out.  It was recently rebuilt after having been leveled by a hurricane sometime in recent years.
Duane and Bo at Jonathan Dickinson State Park  

Our Site
The park was great for riding bikes and there were lots of natural settings to enjoy. 

This included a wonderful observation tower.
A Mountain in Florida!

On the Way to the Tower 

View from the Tower
The terrain is a bit plain but it was so good to be in a non commercial setting after leaving the campground in Homosassa Springs. 
Dec 2 we drove up the rode to Hobe Sound.  En route we stopped at a U S Fish and Wildlife site that included a surprisingly nice nature trail. 

Trail at Wildlife Preserve
Any excuse is a delightful opportunity to be outside enjoying the Florida weather.  Finally we arrived at a beach park at Hobe Sound. The drive just getting there was beautiful!
Loved this Tree Canopy
We hadn't been there more than a few minutes when a 70ish woman and her sister offered to take our picture.  This led to a highly animated 45 minute conversation. At the last minute they told us they had departed NAZI Germany (I imagine as small children) and how nice for them to be in paradise.  We had such a wonderful time with these ladies and departed with big hugs!

On the Beach at Hobe Sound
A Beautiful Beach!
Dec 3 we headed for Long Key State Park in the "Keys."  It was to be a 3.5 hour drive.  Took about 6.  We started out on the Florida Turnpike.  Within the distance of one exit traffic came to a standstill so we exited and found our way to I-95 South.  That proved to be a big mistake.  There were opportunities to return to the Turnpike but one of us - moi - thought we should stay on 95.  We did all the way through Miami and on until it became US 1.  The drive was hectic, Friday afternoon traffic and included 10,000 signal lights once we hit US 1.  As we were leaving south Miami the truck starting pulling to the left.  I smelled something burning but assumed it was the heavy traffic.  A lady pulled up beside me and said there was smoke coming out from under the truck.  I then could see it!  I radioed Debbie (we carry little walkie talkies) and told her I had to get off the road.  I found a parking lot.  I was thinking "get positioned so I don't block traffic and can be towed if necessary".  I'm thinking the bearings are seizing up.  In my haste and panic while making a turn in the parking lot I clip the branches of a tree with the camper AND TEAR THE ROOF OF THE CAMPER!!!!!!!!!!!  I get stopped, slide under the front of the truck to locate the source of the SMOKE and there are small FLAMES coming from the brakes.  I run, grab the fire extinguisher from the camper and kill the flames. Debbie departs to go to the bathroom somewhere and I pace the parking lot howling like a mad man!  How frustrated can I be??  Debbie returns and we're "discussing" what to do next.  Frankly the neighborhood's not looking good and then a stereotypical hooded character is coming our way. We're thinking we need to be on our toes.  The fellow passes, probably a saint, and I tell Debbie I think the truck will drive.  She didn't like that idea at all, but I prevailed.  I take a couple practice turns around the parking lot and all appears to be well.  We drive on another 60-70 miles to the campground without incident.  Yesterday morning I took the truck to a brake place.  They pulled the wheel and, to my surprise, said there was no damage and nothing to repair/replace.  I might be skeptical but how often does an auto repair place turn down work, especially when they know I'm at their mercy.  They charge me nothing, I leave a $10 tip and depart.  All these "mishaps" have left my attitude in the sewer but I'll get my head right and focus on the many examples of how things could be worse. Amen.
Long Key State Park is way cool.  It's really just a sliver of land off the highway, thus lots of roads noise, but the setting is magnificent.

First View of Our Campsite - Oceanfront Property!
The large rear window of our camper is full of an ocean view.  It looks like we're on a cruise ship.

Sunrise View Out our Back Window
Anywhere you drive up and down the keys you have an ocean view.  Last night we sat outside with a fire and the ipod.  We are too hip!

We also took a hike on the park's Golden Orb Trail with the dogs.

Named After the Golden Orb Spider 

Debbie and the Boys Along the Trail

We were disappointed we didn't see the spider the trail  was named for, but we would later - read on.  The trail mostly took us along the ocean and we had terrific nature views.

We recently ordered online an inflatable kayak and had it delivered by to us at FedEx in Big Pine Key, 38 miles away. Saturday I retrieved it and assembled it (that means inflated everything-it comes with a great foot pump).
Our Sea Eagle 370 Kayak
Getting our Seats Blown Up

All Done
The directions say (lord knows we follow the directions) that the boat must sit for 24 hours after the initial inflation.  We did that but now the weather is windy and cold (60's) so we haven't been on the water yet. While we were fooling with the boat a fellow came by who had spent the last 30 years in Alaska.  He told us the inflatables were very popular there.  That was encouraging.  We bought life jackets yesterday.

We took the boys to a dog park yesterday. I found an old dog tennis ball.  I threw it hoping Laska would retrieve it.  But the wind caught it (I swear) and it hit Debbie squarely in the middle of her forehead.  It was funny in a preverse way.   She cried, we got over it and then played catch.  It was great.   Plus we stopped at Windley State Park.  It's an old, shallow limestone quarry.

Interesting.  The biggest highlight though was seeing the Golden Orb spider we didn't get to see on our previous hike.

Today's a new day!



No comments:

Post a Comment