Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Silver Palm Trail

Tuesday November 24, 2015                                                       Most Recent Post: 
Bahia Honda State Park                                                              
New Motto:  Older is Better
Big Pine Key, Florida

 

 

This morning’s sunrise is ORANGE with lots of it before the sun peaks through those ever present dark clouds amassed at the horizon.  It’s almost like a chase. 

Step one - the sun throws his orange all  over the sky and tries to peek out through that slant in the dark horizon clouds.

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Step two -  the upper clouds move in to give aid to the diminishing horizon clouds.

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But to no avail, the sun moves above the horizon and begins his take over.

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El Sol burns white hot and turns those dark clouds a lovely pink.

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With winds of 23 mph predicted for today, and knowing that the winds increase by the hour, morning is the best time to do what you can on a windy day.  So we set off just after nine to bike to the end of the road, past the Sandspur Campground for tents and popups and walk the Silver Palm Trail.

Interestingly, although the Sandspur campground is right on the ocean just behind the dune with easy views of the water, there is no walk way down to the shore from the campground.  The campground is full and so we don’t stop for pictures.  It’s a great place though if you have an extremely small footprint with only ??? sites.

We park our bikes and walk down the beach of the day use area to the last set of steps so I can get my feet in that warm Atlantic.  The steps take us up to the end of the parking lot where the entrance to the trail is.

 

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The trail is named for the Silver Palm which here grows in one of the largest concentrations in the state.  They are becoming increasingly rare as people illegally remove them from their natural habitat to be planted in residential areas.  The undersides of their frons are silver although despite my efforts, they don’t look that way in these pictures.

 

 

 

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The trail goes through a hammock, mangrove area, dune and along the beach.   We picked up a self guided walking brochure at the beginning and there are many signs identifying the trees and talking about the various habitats we walk through.
Lots of Dragon flies were all over the trail

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As we walk, there are several spur trails that lead over to the beach.  We take each one of them to see that section of the beach.

 

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From here we can still see the day use area.  Some folks have carried their gear pretty far down the beach to claim their spot.

 

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Further along the beach is solitary and beautiful.

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It’s solitary except for this group fishing.

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There seems to be a game going on here.

 The pelican goes up in the air, comes down for a fish and the gull follows.  He’s looking for scraps I guess.  Usually he just lands near the pelican.

 

 

 

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But just as often, the pelican flies high

 

circles around the area and

 

then dives straight down.

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He comes up with a fish and gulps it down as the gull tries to intercept the fish.   Personally I’d smack that gull into tomorrow if he kept bothering me like that.

 

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Before getting back to the Silver Palm trail I snap this picture of my favorite maritime plant, sea oats.  Aren’t they just beautiful?  Especially today as they bow low in the wind.

 

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The forest is very dense except for the path through it.  I wouldn’t want to try making my way through this habitat without a path.   Amazingly we find ourselves walking up hill.  Well OK it’s a tiny ascent.

 

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David is king of the mountain at the highest spot around.  Not enough for views though.

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The trail ends at a path to the beach.  The trail was described as a loop so we figure it must be that you walk back on the beach.  But rather than turn right to go back, we turn left to go on up the beach.  I have to know where it goes.  Do you have that problem too, always wanting to know what’s around the corner, over the hill or down the beach?

 

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We’re amazed when we see the evidence of a couple of people set up this far down the beach with two chairs, matching umbrella and a blow up boat in camouflage..

 

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On and on we go.  Notice the channel cut in the next two pictures.  This is a very long beach and is really wonderful to walk.

 

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We come upon a fallen palm.  It’s so fresh I’m pretty sure it hasn’t even been in the water 24 hours. 

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When I come to the end of the beach where my next steps would be into the water and the sign is for boaters, I turn around and look for David.  He’s coming up behind me.  He stops too often for my pace and I’m a relatively slow beach comber.

 

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There isn’t any more beach but here is a trail leading back up into the hammock.  I take it to see where it goes and end up in someone’s front yard.  Oopps!  Back I go to the beach

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On our return trip  we find a kite surfer is going out into the water so we stay and watch his launch and a few jumps before heading on our way.  He sure has come  a long way down the beach from the day use area where I assume he have left his car.   Come to think of it, I’ve never seen a woman kite surfing.  Is this a sport where women don’t have the upper body strength to do it or is my experience just too limited?

 

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Oh my does this look like beautiful fun!  Wishing I were younger just at this moment.

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Back on the silver Palm trail we are glad for the shade.  Despite the wind, the sun is very hot.

 

 

Once back home we have lunch and spend the rest of the windy afternoon noodling around until sunset.  All of the waterfront campsites  are taken so we head over to the bridge for our view.  The old Bahia Honda bridge makes a wonderful “front drop” (is there such a thing) for the sun to set behind.

 

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Wish I could get it centered in the middle arch as it drops into the sea.  To do that, I’d have to be in one of those coveted water front campsites.   Maybe some day.

 

 

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Tomorrow is Wednesday, so it must be Key West.

20 comments:

  1. Wow....what an opening photo, Sherry! :)

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  2. We may have to try that fishing hole of the Pelicans next time we get to Bahia Honda;o))

    When we were at Curry, we did see two women kite-boarding. Of course, they were MUCH younger than the two of us!!! Watching them, I do not think it is about upper body strength. Many times, we saw both men and women actually leave go of the kite or just hold on with one hand and just scoot along. I believe the harness they wear is the key to managing the kite. Now, the balance part is another story;o)))

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  3. Great pics as always, your photo talent sure has come a long way. I seem to be photo handicapped except for an occasional lucky shot.
    There are female Kite surfers that use the Indian River in Cocoa, never noticed until I was there and they were folding up their kites. They wear a body harness and the main cords from the kite connect to it, so all the pull goes directly into their waist. The bar they hold in their hands turns the kite by releasing air from end of kite. It is what my training kite teaches and is supposed to be used for, I just fly it as a kite.

    Fun post

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  4. We always chuckled at the antics of the pelicans but were in awe watching a group flying in unison just above the water at dusk. They resembled a bomber squadron in precision flying. Then they would swing up in a high loop and all dive into the water. Not one was without their dinner when they resurfaced.
    The gulls are just a pain and will eat anything and everything including your food if they can.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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  5. What a beautiful day, sunrise to sunset. In my mountain world....it is know as...OK, just one more switchback...

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  6. Great pelican shots! What a beautiful walk in such a gorgeous tropical area!

    We've watched dozens of kite boarders and wind surfers on the Columbia River at Hood River, OR and I am amazed at the upper body strength these folks must have. I remember watching a bunch of older folks doing it and thinking how sore they feel the next day!!

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  7. Such a colorful sunrise - you captured it all so wonderfully. I smiled at "we took each one them...." of course you did! I'm still amazed at how narrow the beaches are there - so different from our expansive Pacific beaches! Love David's glee at tackling the great mountain :-) How empowering to "harness" the wind even for just a short time, I too would love that adventure! I laughed when you said that about the sun under the arch of the bridge, as I was thinking the same thing. Still, a very lovely sunset "just right of center".

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  8. This post makes me want to burst into song... "Sunrise, Sunset..."

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  9. Beautiful pictures, the cloud cover always makes for some interesting sunrise and sunset pictures.

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  10. Yes, I always feel the irresistible pull to see what's around the next bend! Beautiful sunset photos -- the old bridge does make a wonderful "front drop". :-)

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  11. In the last photo the cloud looks like a bird.

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  12. Yet another gorgeous, even if cloudy, sunrise. And a gorgeous sunset too. It is a narrow little beach, good thing it's long. So fun to watch the birds. I spent hours photographing the pelicans at the Salton Sea last winter. I saw women kite surfing in South Africa. Sure I don't have the upper body strength. I envy your warm weather.

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  13. So good to be out and see so much life thriving in such a difficult environment. I continue to be surprised that this Atlantic Beach has no waves (due to the coral reefs) and apparently, little natural sand of its own, Still makes for a beautiful place to just be and wonder.

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  14. Now that was a spectacular sunrise!! Of course, I am partial to sunsets (they come at a much better time fo day...haha). Love the photo of the palm frond and the sea oats:) Neat hike! Gotta love those Florida "hills!" Yes, we also have to keep going just to see what is around the next corner:) Makes hiking so much fun:) I enjoyed your pelican photos. I could sit on the beach all day and watch them fish.

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    1. What's around the next corner and what's just over that hill is the mark of a good explorer or adventurer. Keep it up. :O)
      Bob

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  15. I dunno, you being a mere wisp of a lass, kite surfing might just take you a little higher and further than you'd want to go! ;c)

    Love those pelican shots, amazing picture of the gull trying to get the pelican's hard won dinner.

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  16. An orange start and an orange end ... with lots of fun in between.

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  17. I never tire of your sunrise and sunset pictures!

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  18. Gorgeous photos! The colors are just beautiful! Lovely trail with a nice beac despite the lack of waves. Great king of the hill photo :) I like the sea oat too! Gulls with Pelicans...trying to steal a meal...! The pelican does all the work! Annoying gull!

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