Well friends, it’s happened. The guys started north this morning. Georgia is a long way away, but we will be there this evening (Al is writing this on the road as Mike drives, somewhere around Ocala). Though we are headed north, the adventures are not over yet. Crooked River State Park near St. Mary's is the next stop. As our campground friends from Collier-Seminole, Chuck and Eloise said, “it’s hard work having fun”.
Launching on Rookery Bay
For our last day in south Florida, we paddled parts of Rookery Bay, a National Estuarine Research Reserve akin to our own such reserve on the Hudson River. Magnificent Frigatebird was the critter find of the day – two of them soared over the bay.
Osprey nest on a manatee sign
Pelican hits the water at Rookery Bay
Paddling back to the launch, we ran into two education staffers from the reserve, who just finished leading a public kayak trip. Once again, we found friends in common – they know the education staff from the Hudson River Reserve that both geezers worked with at DEC.
Dinner was at Marker 8, a small waterfront joint in Goodland recommended by one of the reserve educators. Chatting with a guy at the next table, we found he was from Woodstock, NY, and lived in Gallupville for a time. Another “small world” situation. Geezer Mike had the fish special, grouper done with Cajun spice, served over avocado with key lime sauce on top – ummm! Al had the shrimp Creole, black beans and rice – spicy.
We made a note to return to this small out-of-the-way town. Though we only saw it after dark, it looked like an authentic place of modest homes and interesting restaurants, a big contrast with nearby Marco Island with its condos and golf courses.