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

Henry David Thoreau

Lover’s Key State Park

Wednesday February 11, 2015
Koreshan State Historic Site
Estero, Florida


Yesterday a couple of comments were concerned about our using WD-40 on our jacks since they’d been told not to.  One person was told to use silicone.  Perhaps those are different jacks.  Ours are made by HWH who told us directly when we called not to use silicone as it can cause some seals to dry out.  We follow their instructions in that we clean the jacks each time we move and then we wipe them with WD-40, wipe off the excess and then immediately retract them so there is no dirt on them when we retract them.  It has worked great for us so far.  The problem with the jack that won’t go up is periodic and has us stumped since we’ve replaced the springs on it which are supposed to pull the jacks up.  Every time we think the problem is gone, it comes back.  With a little persuasion, it always lifts back up but that’s a nuisance.  I am happy to report that the solenoid seems to have fixed the sneaky withdrawal of the right rear passenger jack so that it now stays completely down as it should.  Or it has for the past 3 days.  Don’t want to be tooo optimistic here.  LOL   We just have to send the old one back for our $50 refund on the $197 price and we’ll be finished with HWH at least for a while.




Now back to the best part of the day.   We leave for Lover’s Key while the boys are still working on filling in the hole.  The numbers working on the problem have dropped to two. 

It’s an easy drive to Lover’s Key where we pay the $8 admission for cars with up to 8 people.  There are 3 parking lots depending  on what you want to do, beach, hike, boat.   But none of them are that far from each other.





We brought our bikes rather than our kayaks since biking was listed as one of the things I read that you can do here and we like to check out the paddling before doing it.  The map makes it  look like a terrific place to kayak which means a return trip.  What a shame!  Now we wish we’d brought the kayaks.  The map shows cool paddling.  Sorry for the glare on the map.  It was the best I could do on this sunny day.   It also shows you can hike all around the land areas of the freshwater inlets.   There are two trails for that.  One of them is listed as  bikeable but we aren’t sure if that means bikes that can do sand or bikes that can do hard pack only.  Ours are the latter.

With that information in hand, next up is to check out the beach so we take the bikes off the car and leave them under the protection of a tree near the parking lot.



There is a tram to take you down to the south end of the beach.  We just follow the path out to the center area.   The path leads to a bridge which crosses over one of the kayaking trails.








On the beach we find there is a chilly wind blowing.  Kite flying is a good thing to do today.  We don’t keep one of those with us.

The beach is wide and sparsely populated.  Amazingly there is at least one person in the water swimming along the shoreline.  He’s probably visiting from Canada!   The winds have dropped the temperature at least 10 degrees from what we were expecting.   They are higher than predicted.  For most of the day, the red caution flag flies.







Cold water doesn’t bother this swimmer.  He’s just gulped a big fish into his pouch before swallowing it.


But the cold does bother this bundled up non swimming reader.  Yes that’s a coat and heavy beach towel over long pants.





I look up and longingly see what appears to be the World’s Greatest Beach Umbrella blocking the wind for these folks.  At least if the wind picks it up, it will blow it down the beach and not out to sea like happened to ours.




After a couple of hours we determine the winds have even increased and it’s time to get away from the shore. So that means we would not have kayaked even if we’d brought them since there are several large water areas that you have to paddle through, not everything is a narrow channel.

We leave our chairs for a hopefully warmer return.  On the way,  I get a picture of this sign showing some intelligent beach restoration.  Perhaps they bring in sand too, which in my mind is a losing battle, but they are also planting sea oats and other native beach vegetation to help hold the shoreline.




Once we are off the beach, the winds die down and the temperatures warm up.  Not enough for us to want to create a breeze by biking, so we choose to hike the longer of the two trails through the mangrove forest.






At the beginning of the trail is a planted butterfly garden with a great identification board.  As if on cue, a Gulf Fritillary comes flitting by.  Don’t you love when nature does cool things like that?   He won’t stop for a moment so my shot is a quick one.








The path is nice and wide and very bikeable for us.  But I’m afraid I would be getting off my bike all the time to see the overlooks and spend some time on the nicely placed benches along the way.









This is the first time we’ve been far enough south this winter to see the coconut palm and being a serious coconut lover I would love to be around when those guys decide to fall off the tree.  Not underneath the tree of course, just near enough to grab one when it hits the ground.










We see paddle boarders and kayakers out and they all seem to be digging deep to paddle against the wind.







I always laugh when I see the lengths the red mangroves will go to get their roots into the water.





We see birds we are familiar with and one we are not or at least I don’t think I am.  Anyone know who this guy is?






We can see the sun is dropping lower in the sky as its light begins to sparkle across the water. 




There is a short spur up to a small pond where a pair of little blue herons are hanging out.  They are on the other side of the pond straight back to the left of David in the undergrowth.







But I have to say, the coolest thing on this walk is at the end when we come to three Century Plants about to bloom.  These pictures are taken directly into a dropping sun so they aren’t great but the experience was.  When the stalk begins it can shoot up to two inches per day.  You can see how tall they are.  Even the leaves at the bottom from which the stalks rise up are as tall as David and the spires tower over him.  Amazing!   I would love to be able to return when they flower but sadly we won’t be here.







Before leaving the trail we enjoy a quiet time on the edge of the water after which we head back to the beach to consider staying for sunset.




The sun is dropping as we walk back to our chairs.  The wind hasn’t let up but this is our last day at the beach and our last chance for the sunset over the gulf so we wrap up and stay put.



Our wait is rewarded with some fiery orange and deep purples.







One last look as the colors fade and we’re headed for the parking lot where, as is not unusual for us, Ruby is the last car standing.  





  1. A wonderful day! Always enjoy your fabulous descriptions of the FL parks.

  2. Our motorhome manual says to use transmission fluid to clean and lubricate the jacks. No wonder I'm confused! We are bad about lubricating our jacks. We had trouble with a jack slipping last summer. There is something in the manual that if the jacks are not holding pressure, or won't retract there is a manual emergency valve to retract them. You open the reservoir valve and it will also work if one is slipping. You probably already know this, but just in case you don't. If it happens again, I could send you the info from our manual. Ours are HWH also.

    We thought Lovers Key SP was one of the nices gulf coast parks. It's too bad it was windy and cold. It's sure been a cooler winter here so far. I'm hoping it warms ups soon.

  3. There's a reason we do't have either slide outs or leveling jacks.

    When I worked at an RV dealer, they were the number one and number two most common problems in the service department.


  4. A blanket on the beach? I should have used one and not have the sunburn I got. Great Pelican pic. I can watch those guys for hours, they are entertaining. Still very warm and nice in Coronado California.

  5. "sneaky withdrawal" - love it :-) Glad it's working again. I've not done much kite flying myself, but am always delighted when others are doing it for me to enjoy. The original sea grass was probably removed to make "more beach" before they knew it would do the opposite......at least someone has seen the error and is attempting to correct it. Love the mangrove roots - life will find a way. Thank you for hanging in there in the wind for the sunset - I especially like the end of the bridge. Hope your site was cleaned up when you got back :-)

  6. its a shame that southern Florida is getting so much cooler than normal weather but glad to see you out enjoying it all anyways

  7. Another pretty day with white sand and beautiful blue water:) Love the sunset! Stay warm as the cold front sinks your way:)

  8. You make it look chilly out on the beach! I am so like you when it comes to that - the only one snuggled in even when others think it's warm :) I like the pictures of Dad in the cute hat surveying the scenes. Very nice walk and beautiful sunset - great pictures, as always. Wonderful that the butterfly landed right there as you read the sign - perfection :)

  9. Hard to tell what your mystery bird is. Maybe a ruddy turnstone??

  10. I have no idea about that bird.

    Beautiful shots, particularly those sunset shots.

  11. Sitting on that beach you looked like you were dressed for Boston and not Florida! Crazy weather for sure.

    WD-40 always seems to cure my jack ills. You'd think HWH would have figured out how to make reliable jacks by now. Somebody knows how, just think the problems airliners would have with their hydraulics if they were of the same quality as HWH. :cO

    Nice sunset shot, you once again packed a lot of fun into one day!

  12. a great hike as always. . .love the natural tunnels formed by the trees. . .just looks so peaceful and calm.

  13. Love the Nemo kite :-). Lover's Key looks awesome, on the list it goes.

  14. You can have my coconut when they fall. That's one taste I've never been able to tolerate, and even hesitate to use coconut oil in cooking, although it's being recommended a lot lately.

    The birds are beautiful, as always.

  15. Just getting caught up after not having much in the way of internet on the road. See you've had some adventures, glad they fixed that water issue fairly quickly. What a mess! Love a secluded path on a windy day, those butterflies probably like one too.

  16. Do you know how hard it is to get into a coconut? Tried when in Mexico. That windy waterway looks great for kayaking, too bad the wind was so strong. Better to bundle at the beach.

  17. I have used hack saw and power drill to open a coconut, but there must be a better way. I believe I have seen native people use a large machete, but I left mine back in Virginia. Great park with much to offer when the weather is right. Looking forward to that paddle next time.

  18. We haven't been to Lover's Key, but it looks wonderful! The beach is gorgeous, and the kayak trails look like fun. Another one for the never ending list…..

  19. I bet that place was packed yesterday on Valentine's Day. What a lovely place to paddle in the future. Nice sunset :)

  20. What a lovely day at the beach. Even the cool wind doesn't spoil your day. That's great! Loved all the photos. Too bad the Century plants weren't in bloom. That would be neat.

  21. Lover's Key, how appropriate. What a gorgeous beach and sunset. The Gulf side was always our favorite. Spent a marvelous week on Grassy Key. The Century plant is one we often see blooming here in the desert.

  22. Kite flying -- now that's something I haven't thought of or even seen in quite a while. We've sure had plenty of windy days here for some kite flyers to take advantage of. Love the picture of the pelican floating in the sparkly water. Kind of sad to look up and see someone else's World's Greatest Beach Umbrella. . . sigh.

  23. It was windy here, too -- very, very, very windy with below 0 wind chill. Wish I were there!!! Have fun!


Your comments are the best part of this blog for me.
I LOVE hearing from you!