Myakka River State Park Overnighter

I rode with SMBC on Thursday and brought the equipment to camp and paddle at MRSP. I had a two night reservation.

It was a warm lovely evening.

I awoke to see that the window that had been glued into the rain fly had come loose. It would affect my decision about staying a second night. Off to paddle Myakka Lake.

Paddlin with the gators

Short and sweet. Myakka is a great place. Peace out Tres dog

Bike packing 2 nighter-85.5 miles

One night at Lake Manatee State Park and one night at Little Manatee River State Park.

My nighttime buddy.

Big sleep then down to Lake Manatee Dam.

Elderberry syrup and Granny Smith apple butter. My campsite mate upon arrival at LMRSP.

He was eating before I came

Great weather, a little chilly. Peace out Tres

Matlacha and Sanibel Island

A great shrimp dinner from the Blue Dog Bar and Grill.

A good night’s sleep and I was up pretty early for a cinnamon roll and french press coffee in my room. Note the sunrise in the back yard.

A one minute drive to Matlacha Community Park and put in. The set up was easy and a big part of the Great Calusa Blueway paddling trail. The morning and the water were beautiful.

The paddling was great in this bay and I turned to go back went around a oyster bar. A few minutes later, I swear I hear the distinctive “poof” of a dolphin but, it is behind me. I hear it again and now I am snapping my head all around and then a pair of dolphin roll about 8-10 feet from my boat. I fumble with my phone and get some pics. They played with me for about 5 minutes as the kayak went through the water. Best picture is the featured image. Pinch me!

I paddled back to put in and town.

Post office

What a morning. Packed up and drove to Sanibel. Plan was to go to lighthouse and ride path from tip of Sanibel to Captiva and that is just what I did about 29.5 miles with a little detour.

I am amazed how blue the water was going to Captiva.

A quick shout out to my buddy Harley and his wife Ena. I think we were here. Peace out Tres


A room in Matlacha was reserved with the idea to be near the start of the weeklong Paddle Florida Great Calusa Blueway trip the next day. The paddle was canceled but I came down anyway. I rode with SMBC that morning and would head down after to Angler’s Inn. It’s great

It was a ripping day so I walked down to the park where I paddle after breakfast. Absolutely beautiful.

Matlacha is the coolest village on the way to Pine Island.

Dinner will be takeout from the Blue Dog Bar and grill. I will blog my paddle here and bike ride in Sanibel tomorrow. Peace out Tres

Bike packing trip- Little Manatee River State Park-41.5 miles

I was spotted by my neighbors, Dee and Delores, on my way out to the park. Featured image photo credit: Dee Hood. My painting instructor at Firehouse Cultural Center in Ruskin. Gray and overcast. I stopped at a c store and when I started out again it began just to spit rain. A small pause in pedaling but, I kept going and the little spit stopped.

It was a great night in my dream new sleeping bag. Peace out. Tres Sunset at Casa Smith

Bike packing trip-Little Manatee River State Park-40.78 miles

I had planned to return to this park because I did not last trip. It would be half the trip the first one was. That did not break my heart.

The route down US 41 South beyond the Little Manatee River is pretty and not a huge amount of traffic. The left turn into Valroy Rd. and toward Sundance is like Buckeye Rd., quiet and pastoral. Sometimes very windy.

Home Sweet Home.

Great hot shower, nap then orange spice herbal tea. A backpacking meal of Shepherd’s pie that was amazingly good with a little chocolate. Sundown walk was lovely.

Long bear like sleep with the usual interruptions. It was cold again, down to 45 degrees. Kept me in the bag until it was warmer. Site 25.

A slow roll out of the park and the canoe launch.

Little Manatee River from US 301. Great one night trip. Be safe. Peace out Tres

Apalachicola Day 6-Ralph G. Kendrick Dwarf Cypress Boardwalk in Tate’s Hell State Forest

Editor’s note: Above featured image photo credit-Mariella Smith. The day had its usual slow roll out of breakfast and e paper. We would go back to the forest due to the threat of rain. I was ready early and took to the bike again for an urban bike ride and to mail a couple of post cards. Historic lobby and beautiful homes.

We went back to the forest and drove to the boardwalk on forest roads.

The dwarf cypress forest was surreal. It seemed there was a swathe removed from it only to allow it to grow back.

Below photo credit: Mariella Smith

Quick lunch at our place with a quick walk downtown.

Home tomorrow. Thanks for coming along. Happy New Year to all. Peace out from Tres and the commish.

Apalachicola Day 5-St. Joseph Peninsula Park-Cape San Blas

I was up earlier than my wife and fixed breakfast. I took a 5 mile urban town ride and it was neat. The oyster shucker conveyor belt was busy.

We went Box R WMA on the way to Cape San Blas. The hiking was beyond the railroad crossing and the fence. No big walking today due to weather.

We headed out for the park to find the fury of Hurricane Michael. It had devastated the park.

We went to the beach/boat ramp that was all that was open.

At the front of the park was short boardwalk and trail next to the water. It was lovely.

Another great Up the Creek restaurant late lunch of Oysters and Shrimp. No rain yet but it feels like it is coming. Peace out Tres