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.



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



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



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






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.








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.









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







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.






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.





Further along the beach is solitary and beautiful.




It’s solitary except for this group fishing.




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.







But just as often, the pelican flies high


circles around the area and


then dives straight down.



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.




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.




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.




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




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?










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..





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.




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




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.




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




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?







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




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.








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.







Tomorrow is Wednesday, so it must be Key West.

New Motto: Older is Better

Monday November 23, 2015                                 Most Recent Post:
Bahia Honda State Park                                       We Should Definitely Get Points for Determination AKA
Big Pine Key, Florida                                              Dodging the Weather:  Neither Rain nor Wind nor ……..




It was a longer story about our rain dodging Sunday but a fun day.  If you want to read about it, the link is at the top of this page.  Today it’s a short story about my irritating Monday.

The clouds are black at sunrise this morning but there is some color.  Maybe these black clouds should have warned me.




I thought there would be a visible sun up but the clouds all pile on to cover it up. Just a rim of orange glow at the top edge of the mountain of clouds.






With a repeat of yesterday’s rainy windy forecast for today, I decide to head over to the Verizon Store in Marathon, 20 miles away but the closest one, to get the activation of my phone finished.

Here it is, the store in Marathon where they tell me “oh yes, they can move my contacts and get my pictures and find my favorites”  However, if I didn’t buy my phone from them,  it will be $30 please.

Are you kidding? The woman from Verizon left me in the lurch and then sent me somewhere to pay $30 to do what she should have done in the first place. I don’t think so. I am NOT a happy camper.  Worst service I’ve had from Verizon Wireless in nearly 6 years.




At one time, in a former life, I was the manager for IT systems in a Division of the hospital at UVA. When I left that job I lost all interest in electronics and have not kept up with what is going on. But today I’m going to have to get interested again since I definitely do not want to allow Verizon to screw this up any more than it already is by trying to deactivate and then reactivate anything. So I move the contacts by Bluetooth, 10 at a time. Take a look at your contacts and imagine how long that takes. Moving the pictures is a snap but finding my Chrome favorites through the hunt on the non intuitive settings seems to take forever.



FINALLY at least those things are accomplished and I have my daughter Carrie in her Tiger Halloween Costume as the home screen on my Samsung Galaxy 5 with the inferior antenna for which I paid far too much money even though it was about 40% off since it is not their newest model which I read is even worse..

Every single time I get new electronics it ends up being a serious pain in the neck and I swear it will be YEARS before I do it again and so I hang on for a long time before caving. My laptop is a 7 year old Dell.  

I was also thinking about asking for a Kindle Fire HD7 from Santa but then I read that a lot of folks say don’t bother it’s slow and apps are limited and the older ones are better.   Older is better in lots of ways me thinks.  <grin>


Walking out to catch the sunset I see this pair of interesting 4X4 RVs parked in one site.  Not sure if they were both using the site since their tops were up but they are definitely interesting.  Bet you could find some really fine boondocking with these rigs.







Tonight’s lovely sunset makes me smile and forget my irritations at least for awhile.