Thursday, June 14, 2007

Myakka River State Park Sarasota Co., Florida

One of two shallow lakes at the park. Took Tram ride through back roads. Saw 'gators, Wood Storks, deer, and Sand Hill cranes. Since Florida has been under a long-running drought, there was not enough water to take an airboat ride. The airboats need about 18 inches of draft; so, that's why we wound up on the tram ride instead.

This wasn't my first trip to Florida, but it was my first trip as a 65 year-old senior who really can't get around on his legs as much as he used to. Since I was in my 40s, I longed for the opportunity to be able to hike to my heart's content. I dreamed of walking the Appalachian Trail. However, with a torn cruxiform ligament in my right knee plus chronic arthritus around the joint, my dreams of long distance hiking have been pretty much dashed. Fortunately, I can still ride a bike. MOF, I can ride a bike better than I can walk. I use different muscles I guess.

Thus, I am impressed by the flat land and the scenic wildlife rides which are abundant around Englewood, such as Mayakka State Park. The park is just a short car ride from my brother's. In the park, there are lots of opportunities for bicycle riding: a 7-mile scenic drive and many miles of dirt roads into the wild interior. I can still get back to quiet nature here and get away from it all.

By the way, I did visit Myakka River State park when I was relatively young and could hike long distances. Way back in 1988, I went backpacking for a few days on a circular trail in Myakka. I remember setting up camp one night; firing up my backpacking stove and eating dinner. Just as the sun went down, I was swarmed by mosquitos. It was unbelieveable and even more frightening. I was able to dive into my tent and zip up the fly just in time to prevent losing gallons of blood. I also saw wild hogs on that trip.

Just so I won't forget the opportunities here: (includes bicycling map)

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