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

Henry David Thoreau

Lost in the Palmettos

Tuesday January 26 -  Thursday January 28, 2016                                    Most Recent Posts
Palmetto Ridge Campground                                                                         From Disney to Flooding
Myakka River State Park                                                                             Hollywood Studios
Sarasota, Florida



Tuesday is just a lovely warm day high in the mid 70’s, low predicted to be 63 and NO rain! But rain is also predicted for the next two days. Just what we need, more rain.  

We need to make a produce run and luckily Detweiler’s Farm Market is not too far away so we head over there in the morning.  They have an entire back room of nothing but citrus.



Everyone was back in the citrus room when I took this picture.


Everybody was up at the checkouts or in the section to my left when I took this picture.  The entire room is lined with boxes of citrus on both sides.  The room is perhaps twice as long as what you see here.  Lots of citrus.  Local and California depending on what’s in season where.




They also have the largest selection of Bob’s Red Mill products I’ve seen anywhere in the East and yummy locally home made fruit salsas and relishes.






Back at the rig, we put away our purchases and decide to take advantage of the warm weather to see if there are any of the trails we like to hike in the park that aren't flooded





For that I’ll need to put on my faithful hiking boots.  These are Vasque boots that are over 20 years old and have seen a lot of miles including the 105 of the AT and nearly 100 miles of other trails done in Shenandoah National Park this summer.

The bottoms and tops of the books are still in amazingly good condition. But the neck has just recently started falling apart. I love these boots and just can’t imagine buying another pair – not yet. So when David says he can fix them with Eternabond. I know Paul Dahl recommends eternabond for lots of things, wonder if he’s ever repaired boots with it?   I guess we’ll see how long I can put off the inevitable need to replace them. 




All fixed.  Thanks David!   Now to give them a trial run. Fingers crossed I won’t be heading out tomorrow for new boots.




On our way out of the campground, we walk over to Nancy and Bill’s site to see what they have planned for the afternoon and find that the hair stylist is providing Flobee cuts. Bill has already had his and it’s Nancy’s turn.  She’s really brave I think.







We leave them to their work and bike down the road.  The first trail on the possibilities list is the one that goes along the river.  Now you would think we should skip this trail since it is right along the river which is flooding but it is one of our favorites and the banks of the river have always seemed fairly high to us so we check it out.

At first everything looks fine. Trail is dry.


Then it gets muddy with pools of water ahead but we can walk around this.



It gets more muddy and more wet and now there are some small lakes but we can skirt just around to the left of them.


We just keep going left and left to avoid the water.





Hmmm, where are we now? I’ve never seen a lake this big over here.  This is where the river is supposed to be.




Well we definitely can’t walk through there even though that’s the direction I think we need to go.



Things are looking impenetrable.  Time to give up and turn around.



Guess we’d be called explorers now.We have no clue where we are.  And without knowing that it’s tough to know which way back.






Let’s just find some dry ground and get our bearings   All that green out there is marsh.





The jungle explorer tries to find her way.



Still not dry enough.







OK then, success. Dry ground. The intrepid explorers rejoice.



The jungle though dry is just a tad too thick. 


We’re obviously not the only ones who’ve been by here lately.  Fresh wild hog?  Or?



Which way now?






Is this a sign?  At least one half of this duo thinks we are lost.   Time to make sure we are waking toward our goal rather than away from it.  

We think we want to go north. We have a compass so we can know for sure which way is north but for extra assurance that North is the way, we call the Mills Map Checking Service on our cell phone.  Luckily,  the master map maker answers and assures us that yes, from where we went into the impenatrable Florida interior, we want to go north to get back to the road. So we do. We go around and through and North.

In an amazingly short time then we hear voices and then see a trail.  We’d been heading the right way all along.  It’s the trail to the Canopy Walk about half a mile or so east of where we went into the woods. All we have to do is follow the trail back to the road and walk the road back to the bikes near the bridge.




Not so fast. The canapy trail is also under water.




The canopy information sign is knee deep in water. 

But the nature trail that joins it is visible in the other direction and we can walk through its not too deep water and mud to the road.



Back out on the road at the bridge we high five for being lost and found with a little help from our friends and it’s only 4:00.




After yesterday’s exciting exploration, as promised it rains nearly the entire day which means the flood waters will only rise.    Wednesday is Clinic day anyway so I drop David off at the clinic for his shot and drive into downtown Sarasota for a visit to the Whole Foods there.  Usually I really enjoy Whole Foods but this one is just too small for the number of people in the store.  I’m disappointed in their bulk food section which is much smaller than any Whole Foods I’ve been in.  They actually have no bulk flour. 

It just keeps raining all day.  In the evening we watch another episode of the Television production of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.  Those who follow us regularly know that we had read the book aloud. All 900 pages of it.  So far I am very impressed with this adaptation.  Usually I really don’t like the things done about books I’ve enjoyed but this one is quite good and the 17th century Scottish period costumes are fantastic not to mention the Gaelic and the Scottish brogue.



The results of all that rain are clear as I walk out of the campground for my morning walk down to the Canopy Walk, scene of our exit from Tuesday’s lost and found hike..  This is the entrance to the Campground road and the river hasn’t even crested yet.



The ground just can’t absorb all this water and it continues advancing toward the road




At the bridge the birds have retreated to the trees. I’m surprised to see that these are not the Ibis I was expecting but cattle egrets. I can tell by the golden patches on their foreheads.




I don’t see anything along the banks except this lone gator.  Tthe water is as gray as the sky.







At the first turnout, the water continues to encroach even more on the benches and picnic tables.  Today only the snowy egret is in the water but the woodpeckers are working out on the trees above my head.  While I’m here I hear an alligator bellowing.  Must be mating season. They sound like a someone trying to start a motor.






I couldn’t identify this juvenile yellow bellied sapsucker until I returned home and could consult my Sibley Guide to birds.
We had them at the farm but I’d only seen the adults who have a red crown and neck.


There’s no mistaking the Red Bellied woodpecker who scared the young sapsucker off to another tree.  Rather a bully I think.  There are lots of trees.  I see  the distinctive horizontal holes of the sapsucker that often encircle a tree.


In a recent comment my daughter Carrie hoped I’d find a roseate spoonbill for her.  On my way back to Winnona I definitely spot the pink.  But on the road??


This giant roseate is probably the only one I’ll  see here in Myakka this year.  Nancy Mills in her roseate rain coat is getting pictures of the limpkin by the road.  Good thing she has it on since she’s just come out when we pass each other and  shortly after  I get back to the coach, the rain begins again and continues all day.




Boy can these Limpkins scream.



It’s not raining yet when I walk by my neighbor’s decorations.  Reminds me of Disney – It’s a Pirate’s Life for Me. The palm tree and parrots are lit up at night.




So we spend the rest of the day eating and reading.  We had a tempeh scramble and hash browns for breakfast and these delicious wraps for dinner.





After dinner, we finish off the evening with dominos at the Mills’ where Bill of course wins.  Poor Nancy with all those tiles and there’s Bill with his last one.  She’s still smiling.



You can’t tell it from this picture of Bill protecting his dominoes but although he won 5 games, Nancy won 3, Davied won 2 and I managed to win one.  That was a serious miracle.  Actually I won the fist game and it was all down hill from there.
But lots of laughs none the less.



  1. I too enjoyed the TV adaptation of Outlander, although it can get a bit too graphic for me at times :-). Did the lower campground at Myakka get all flooded out? Last time we were there it was so wet and I felt bad for all the tent campers whose stuff was underwater.

  2. I had two pair of Vasque boots that I loved. Then I bought a pair of Lowa's and will never wear anything else. They felt broken in right out of the box and are always comfortable. My opinion of the Outlander series is that a good writer could have condensed those books into way fewer volumes. A good writer would have made considerably less money on the series however. I got really bored with the whole thing by the end of the 1st book and couldn't get into any more of the story. "He's free. Oops, he's captured. Wow, he got free. Oh darn, he's in captivity again." On and on with the same old story line.

  3. Noticed you email alerts, do not have a link in them anymore. Started a couple weeks back, I then find the post in my blog list. Just letting you know. This has been a very heavy rain afternoon and night here today.

    Glad you found your way out of the jungle.

  4. I've been meaning to write to tell you about a reading from my college art history class, Art and the National Parks. But first, I must say I had to replace my boots last week -- we're going to hike in Texas next month and the last thing I wanted to do was to break in a new pair before a big trip. Alas, I had to buy new boots because, upon close exam, I had lost too much sole. I was able to find the model I'd had for the past six years (Keen Targhee II). In the last week I've put nearly 20 miles on them and could not be more pleased. They feel like my old boots with a stiffer collar but larger toe box.
    Back to the reading. This reminds me of you, and you must keep writing with passion about nature and its beauty. Thomas Cole, American landscape artist, wrote in 1836 in his Essay on American Scenery: "It would seem unnecessary to those who can see and feel for me to expiate on the loveliness of verdant fields, the sublimity of lofty mountains, or the varied magnificence of the sky; but that the number of those who seek enjoyment in such sources is comparatively small." When I read the "varied magnificence of the sky" my brain went to your blog full of magnificent sunrises and sunsets. Thanks!

  5. Boy have you had enough water already! You definitely need to dry out with some sunshine, light breeze, and low humidity. Hope you see improvement soon.

  6. I recently looked very seriously at a new pair of Vasque boots, $200. Hope your boots survived all that water and mud.

  7. I just recently bought a new pair of Vasque boots and it survived our water crossings in Sabino Canyon. If yours lasted for 20 years, well I guess mine should too.
    I sure hope the sun comes out of the Sunshine State soon. But then you guys do know how to entertain yourselves even if you are cooped up inside.

  8. Once again, love all the pictures and the story you tell! Always wondered what those horizontal holes in the tree trunks were, now I know!

  9. Even in the rain, it was fun hanging out with you two. Just really would love to get back on the trails without fear of drowning;o(( Certainly has been another strange Florida winter!!!

  10. Why is it that good shoes and boots seem to wear out the insides before the outside? I've had to toss a few favorite shoes over the years just because of that. Silly me, why didn't I think of Eternabond tape? :c(

  11. I think I need some of that Cherry salsa. It will go nicely with many things in our diet - especially wraps & scrambles.

  12. What is Mills Map Checking Service? I googled it and couldn't find anything about it. Love your blog!

  13. You've definitely had a lot of rain! Glad you were able to find your way out of the palmetto thicket. Pretty soggy looking on those trails. Funny you should mention the Limpkin screaming -- we heard one for the first time a couple of weeks ago while we were kayaking on the Wekiva River and it took us awhile to figure out who was making the racket!

  14. I'm glad our cold temps helped make you feel warmer :-), but I'm pretty happy we're not having all that rain here! That Farm Market looks wonderful. Love the intrepid hiker pics - what an adventure in the wilds. I'm guessing the boot repair at least survived all the mud! Nice to have your own map service so close by - and that you let them win so many games in return :-)))))

  15. Lol, better than bread crumbs in your pack, try some neon tape to mark your off trail directions. I have numbered the markers so I am sure to pick them all back up on the return trip. I sure wouldn't want to leave them in the wild. The mud seems to be surrounding you! Hope you have many more happy miles on your boots.

  16. Getting lost can be an adventure!! Glad the Mills helped you home. Great selfies! Love Nancy's roseatte jacket! So much water, but still you got in a good walk and good food and dominoes :) Bravo to those boots...hope they continue to go strong!


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