01/26/19. Englewood, FL

DAY #98

When the four of us went to lunch a few days back, we noticed there were pontoon boat cruises at Snook Haven. It was one hour in duration, cost $18.50, and would take passengers up and down the Myakka River. It was something that interested me as a way to see areas not accessible by car, so I had made a mental note to come back.

Bummer…The weather had begun to change, gone was the blue sky’s and comfortable temps and in its place, cloudy, cool, and rainy weather. Even thought It looked to be a so-so day weather wise, It looked like this would be the best day of my time left here to take the cruise. It was only about twenty minutes from the State Forest, so I slept in late and still made the excursion with time to spare.

Made my reservation the day before and at 11:30 am, I arrived at Snook Haven for my 12:00 pm cruise. I was surprised that even with the less than ideal weather, there were still a lot of people around. The cruise had twenty people on it.

The weather had driven away all the kayakers and canoes off the river. It was cool, even a bit chilly and then it started to lightly rain. I had hoped the crummy weather would have held off until later in the afternoon, but no such luck. Oh well, you make the most of it. Out into the river and underway we went.

Because of the weather, not a lot of wildlife. We did see a couple blue herons (wow, they are so big), and a few other birds. The highlight of the cruise aside from the scenery was, you guessed it, an alligator.

also saw a smaller one but it stayed in water where it was warmer.

The guide was knowledgeable, and his narration made the cruise that much more enjoyable. Pointing out things we would have missed or had no clue about. The river at this point runs through mostly state/county owned land, it made one feel far, far away. The time went fast and before realizing it, the cruise was over. While not a high impact, adrenaline filled hour, it was a nice, low key way to see a part of Florida otherwise missed.

The weather continued icky (relatively speaking), but at least it had stopped raining. I went back to Manasota Key and Stump Pass State Park at the southern end of the island. When I had been there last, the park was full, not the case today. There was a 1.3 mile trail and I decided I’d walk it to the end of the island. Man, that 1.3 mile walk turned out to be a long walk. For me walking in the sand, and the trail was 90% soft sand, is a lot more strenuous that walking on hard ground.

I had made it and this is what I saw

Now I had to make it back. Being old, fat, out of shape, and having had nothing to eat all day (literally), I can understand why the walk back was an effort. I took the beach back thinking the sand would be harder and easier to walk on.

After a while, that idea fell to the wayside, and I cut back to the trail. After stopping a couple of times to rest, I made it back to the truck. I gotta tell you, it was a good feeling when I knew I had made it back. I had walked 2.6 miles in soft sand and lived to tell about it, I’m a lucky guy.

As bad as the weather was, it was going to get worse, time to go into hunker down mode.

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