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November 14 and 15,, 2015 A Real BEACH in the Keys!
Curry Hammock and Bahia Honda State Parks
Today is mostly about the sun and the clouds. The sunrise is a real beauty beginning at dawn with the first colors. I would rate this as one of the best sunrises I have ever seen. The colors seemed to start at first light and go on and on until the white hot ball would allow no further photographs.
At 6:10 am.
Still pretty dark looking north but the white heron really stands out.
By 6:22 the pastel colors have arrived.
Turning my back to the sun I see the clouds have been colored pink.
After this great color show, the sun breaks the horizon right on time, 6:41am.
Within 5 minutes the sun has moved up behind the low gray clouds.
In another 5 minutes we have celestial skies.
I look over to the north west and what a beautiful sight.
Normally when the sun is red hot white, the show is pretty much over. But not today. Look at these clouds coming in from the north.
The subtle changes are by the minute. I took 25 pictures of these clouds. They were just fantastic.
Slightly to the right and out of the picture is where the sun goes down. This morning the clouds are putting on a show.
We try to lay low on the week ends to avoid the crowds but today we do go over to the day use area in the afternoon and do some snorkeling in the water to make sure our gear is still OK and to see what’s out there.
In a word, nothing but grass. The area for swimming/snorkeling isn’t large if you aren’t willing to go out into the boat channel which on a Saturday I am not. I do see one fish but take no pictures of the pretty much nothing we see. Saturday is not a kayaking day for us either, too much traffic, so we pack it in and head back to Winnona. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to sit out the week-ends?
Another reason for packing it in is that we see the clouds have massed. It’s about 4:00. Looking pretty ominous. But aren’t they impressive? They day use area where we have come from is just out of sight along the shore beyond the trees on the left of the picture below. Yup, right under those big dark clouds.
And here’s what’s in front of us as we return to the campground along the shore.
The very dark area at the horizon on the left is rain coming down in sheets.
Doesn’t take too long for the rains to come across the water to us and it rains all night long. We’re moving tomorrow but luckily the rain stops just before dawn.
Today is the day we move but not too soon so I have a chance to go out at dawn again. Notice how different two dawns can be. Saturday and Sunday look nothing alike. This morning it really looks like we are in for the predicted all day rain. But it’s not raining yet thankfully.
When the sun gets up in the sky, the clouds are still around but they don’t look nearly so threatening. We’re thrilled that they’ve pushed the rain back a few hours. I take this picture of Winnona in her sweet spot on her last day there for at least this year. You can see the red and blue kayaks on top of Ruby parked next to her. I’m up on the deck of the campground bathroom on stilts.
We are packed up and ready to go but since we are only moving 28 miles down the road to Bahia Honda State Park in Big Pine Key, we don’t want to get there too early and have to sit around in the day use parking lot.
Our last morning in Curry Hammock is a memorable one since it is the first time we have been able to open all the windows and the door and not have to have the air conditioning on. The temperature is perfect. And it’s NOT raining right now. The humidity isn’t even too bad. So nice to feel the breeze blowing through the coach. I’ll bet this is what it’s like for the lucky people who win the January and February lotteries for the Keys state parks.
We’ll be back here to Curry Hammock in two weeks and we’re hoping maybe these sea grapes will be ripe but not gone so we can taste them. I’ve never had sea grapes and wonder how they can be sweet like their name sake growing in such salty areas.
During the morning Nancy Mills and I keep each other appraised of how the packing up is going for the folks in the sites we are each moving in to. We are moving to Bahia Honda where they currently are and they are coming here for a week.
About noon both sites are empty and so we head south and they north. We pass each other on the 7 Mile Bridge.
But, when we both get to the parks, we are told the sites are not “ready” so we both end up amusing ourselves for about 30 minutes in our case and over an hour in theirs. Seems the folks in their site claimed they thought it was only 11:30 when the camp host came at about 1:15 to see why they were not gone. I had seen them packing up the last of their things at noon before we left. Something’s fishy here.
But given that check out time is 1:00 and check in is 3:00, we’re both pretty happy to be able to move in early since it still looks like that rain is going to show up. We don’t set up anything with that in mind. Notice the water at the front edge of the site. Luckily sandy soils drain fairly quickly from last nights all night rain.
Looking down the street of the campground. Bahia Honda has two separate campgrounds one is for tents only and is on the water. The RV campground has 49 sites about a dozen of which are on the water. Ours, obviously, isn’t one of them. Just getting a site in Bahia Honda is quite a feat. You have to have the charmed life of Nancy and Bill Mills to be on the water which they have been twice this year.