Happy April's Fools Day and I am back to reporting on the Staycation activities.
Tim and I got out there and took a hike nearly every day of his vacation! Yay us! And what's more, Tim did some research and found some new places to explore (and one familiar one). That is Always Exciting! It really is. At least to me :)
Since I am way behind on blogging I think I will try to get all of the hikes into this one post (whew!) I say try. If it looks like it's going on too long, I will break it up into Parts 1 & 2. And I will start with a very long walk that we did right here on island. We meandered with absolutely no specific destination and when we arrived home we had travelled more than six miles. Yay us! Oddly, I have fewer photos from that hike than any of the others. I think we were talking and walking more than snapping photos. And that is not a bad thing at all.
Another day we drove up to Sarasota and hiked around Rothenbach Park. We have driven by this one many times, but never hiked it before so it was all brand new to us both. This park has a lot of different areas, including one for remote controlled planes! (very cool) But we were only interested in the hiking trail which was a 3.7 mile loop. No way to get lost hurrah!
What is now this very pretty park, with open fields of wild flowers, thickly wooden forest areas, streams, marshes, ponds and hills. At one time it was a landfill. (so much prettier now) Which means actual inclines! Very unusual here. None of the hills were difficult to traverse but it was a novelty nonetheless. It was a paved trail, which is kind of not my favourite, BUT it also means that this trail is ADA compliant and that is a good thing. It was all wonderful, but my favourite part was when a deer family crossed the trail in front of us. I'm not sure who was more surprised. I guess me because they managed to finish crossing the trial before I thought to take a photo. Though I did get one picture through the trees of a deer butt! Oh you will know it when you see it!
The next time Tim and I hiked we did two parks on the same day. Another one in Sarasota called, Culverhouse Nature Park, which also has a very large community garden in it. Culverhouse Nature Park is right up against the Legacy Trail which is a biking/hiking paved trail that runs from somewhere south of Venice (not absolutely certain where it begins at this point - they keep extending it) to Sarasota. It is hugely popular with bicyclers and the parking lot was LOADED with their cars. Which is fine because that means that the hiking part was all ours ;) It wasn't a very long hike but it was so very pretty.
Then we moved south to the city of North Port to check out Walton Ranch Preserve. Walton Ranch was especially interesting because it's still a working ranch. Or at least I assume so since a lot of the open areas were cow poop minefields! (heh) But we go where the trail leads us, just sometimes we step carefully.
Walton Ranch reportedly has almost 20 miles of trails. Wow! Never having been there before when we got to the first cross roads, we had no idea which was the best way to go. Abritraily we decided to head to the right. It was more heavily treed and we were thinking..shade is a good thing! Seriously that is the only reason we turned that way. Almost immediately, as we turned around a hairpin bend in the trail, we heard a very loud PLOP in water that he had no idea existed. It was as if someone, or something cannonballed into a pool. Tim and I stopped immediately, looked at each other in amazement, then looked around us and saw no source of the sounds. Cautiously we stepped forward, eventually saw the water on both sides of the trail but still, no creature that could have made that sound. It was a heart stopper for a second there. Whew! So we continued on, tralalalala. And then we heard a very loud noise. Like a car backfiring maybe, or fireworks or a gun shot? I grabbed Tim's arm, "Was that a gunshot?" He nodded. Hmmmm. We walked on and then heard another shot. We stopped again. I held up two fingers. Tim pointed out that if I was uncomfortable, we could turn around and go the other way on the trail. I shook my head and determined to be brave (there should be no shooting on a preserve, sound can travel pretty far in the great outdoors after all). We walked on and there it was. A third shot. "Maybe we should go the other way" I said to Tim as I turned and went back the way we came. He grinned at me and followed, "Whatever you want to do" he sez. FYI We were two more shots after we turned back.
Anyway, We headed through a cattle gate, coz again, that's where the trail led us. At one point there was a giant hawk perched just above my head. I couldn't get a picture through the branches but how cool was that! Just seeing it was enough :)
So there you have it. Most of what Tim and I did during a week's vacation. We walked! We feel very well exercised and had a wonderful time! But you know how it is with vacation. It's always wonderful and it's never long enough.
And that is no April Fool's Day Joke!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.