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Myakka River trip, day 2

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After a really good night’s sleep, I had a leisurely wake-up with breakfast and warm-water clean up before heading out for some exploring in the park. I headed to the Canopy Walkway first because I wanted to get there before there were too many people to share it with. Of course, the flower meadow called for a stop on the way.

I also stopped by the same overlook I photographed yesterday. Yesterday, I saw a huge gator head duck below the surface as I peered over the edge – he disappeared from view immediately which was the most disturbing thing because the water’s edge looked otherwise calm and inviting. There was also a pretty smooth path up from the water to drop a kayak or similar small boat – you’d never think something bigger than the boat was lurking underneath! Today it was just very quiet. No gators, no people, no big herons. Just the muted morning sounds of an impending rainy day.

The park wasn’t open to the public yet, so there was just one other car in the parking lot when I pulled up on my bike. The path to the Walkway was short, but pretty and had informative signage along the trails.

The structure is much taller than I expected and an easy climb to the midway walk through the tree tops. The other end takes you even higher to look out from an eagle’s perspective on the park. It was a cloudy morning, so the colors were muted and the air was quiet aside from the rustling leaves and occasional bird call.

74 feet above the park
A view from the bottom of the stairs

After the walkway, I spent the rest of the morning riding my bicycle from one end of the park to the other with several stops to walk and take pictures. The morning was quiet with relatively few people around since a big rain storm is expected by mid-day. There were lots of gators and birds around, though 🙂

There were several BIG gators lining the water’s edge
Walking out with a lady I hustled away from the stalking gator

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The clouds were getting thicker and darker and the thunder was starting to rumble in the distance. I hopped back on my bike to head to the campsite to wait out the rain. Turns out we are not allowed to tie anything to the trees, so I fashioned a makeshift canopy which provided perfect shelter for some reading and relaxing during the rain-shower. It also brought me some cute friends eager for crackers and Nutella.

Moments of blue sky

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After the storm I took a nap in the tent, then went out for one more short bike ride before dinner. The clouds were still thick in the sky and muting the sunset.

I had another tasty, relatively low calorie dinner tonight over the fire. Once it was too dark to read, I sat by the fire until it burned to embers while I listened to podcasts and the crickets and frogs (and the raccoons rusting across the table looking for scraps in the dark).

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