Days on cruise: 254
While home for the holidays we got back into exercising regularly, with Bob running and lifting weights, and friend Phebe and sister-in-law Lynn dragging Cathryn off to yoga classes several times a week, interspersed with aerobic work. We’re trying to keep the trend going now that we have shorter and less frequent travel days for the next two months. We need to put a dent in some of the damage the last year has done to the fit of our clothes! So this morning found us doing a 3-mile jog on the island trails.
After showers, saying goodbye to Gulf Crossing friends Buddy and Phyllis on Sea-N-Red who left for Clearwater, and lunch, we took off for a leisurely walk of the 2.5-mile trail around the island. Wildlife abounds, including some of the variety we were happy NOT to see!
The Nature Trail is mostly sand, hard-packed dirt and some broken shell. It has interpretive signage along the way and varied landscape.
Sabal (cabbage) palm, saw palmetto and wax myrtle are common along the first half.
We saw three armadillos foraging for bugs in the ground, and loads of birds, all too far off or too quick for our camera.
The Hammock Loop is shaded with live oak trees dripping with Spanish moss. The “Twin Pine” or “Harp Tree” is unusual because of its’ double trunk. There’s a photographic record of this tree dating back to the 1800s.
The necklace pod tree has yellow blossoms and distinctive seed cases that resemble strings of beads.
Crossing a bridge through a mangrove creek leads past Cat’s Eye Pond and then to the beach on the Gulf side of the island where a one-mile walk takes you back to the marina.
The State Park even has beach wheelchairs with balloon tires for use by folks who can’t walk in sand, and we saw two in use.
Mid-afternoon saw us back at the boat where late Monday finds us as one of only five boats in the marina, two of which are occupied by Park Volunteers for the winter.
We love this place!