Friday, December 28, 2012

Just hanging around at the park

There’s plenty to keep us busy here at the state park . . . hiking, biking, kayaking, bird-watching, swimming, fishing and even geocaching.  There are a series of 6 geocaches within the boundaries of Lovers Key State Park, plus one bonus cache that you get clues to when you find the first six.  Once you find the bonus, you get a prize from the Ranger Station.  We’ve found one of the six so far,


on the Black Island Trail, and the other day we decided to try to find another one.  The map and the clue led us in the general direction of the south end of the beach, so we got on our bikes and headed down the walking path to the parking lot,

Biking to the beach

and then along the tram road to the main beach.

On the tram road

On the way there, I stopped to get a few pictures of birds in the canal.  We have a new book called Florida’s Living Beaches, that helps us to identify the various birds, shells, and plants that we find around the park.  So, I know that these first birds are white ibis, and the 2nd picture is of a Reddish Egret.

White ibises at sunset

Hunting for dinner

At the beach, the GPS was telling us that we still had about .4 miles to go to the cache location.  Since the tide was low, we continued on bikes on the hard-packed sand.

Biking on the beach

According to the clue, we should have been close when we reached this sign.

The clue took us to here

Bryce started searching around with the GPS in compass mode,

Following the GPS might have been our problem!

and we focused our search around this likely clump of fallen tree trunks and branches.

Where is that geocache?

With no success so far, we expanded our search deeper into the brush,

Searching for the elusive geocache

and in some nearby dead trees.

No geocache up there!

We searched high and low, and couldn’t find it anywhere . . . so we eventually gave up.  I’ll check the logs and see if I can find any additional clues to help us locate it.

Since it was almost sunset, we decided to wait around to see if I could get some good pictures.  There are several osprey nests on the beach, and we saw this guy hunting for fish.

Osprey on the hunt!

Gradually, the sun dipped closer to the horizon and the sky began to take on some color.

Sunset at the beach_December 26th

The kids were getting impatient, though, so we didn’t stick around for the full sunset.  I’ll have plenty more opportunities – we have such beautiful sunsets on the beach!

To prove that point, last night’s sunset was really spectacular, and this isn’t even all the way down to the beach.

Another view of the canal at sunset_December 27th

While the sun was setting in the west, the full moon was rising in the east!

Moonrise over Estero Bay_December 27th

While I was wandering around taking pictures, Tom was busy getting a fire started.

Campfire at sunset_December 27th

We watched the fire for a bit, and then went inside to watch some movies . . . a nice way to end a beautiful evening!

Palm at sunset


  1. Just catching up on blogs. Didn't know you were at that park. I know someone that usually spends the winter working there. Her name is Denise, not sure if she is there this year. I have worked at Topsail Hill Preserve in the panhandle with her several years.
    Come on into the chat room one of these nights..

    1. Hi Leno! Yes, Denise is here this winter - she and Tim are right across the street from us! We really like it here -- everyone is so friendly, and there is a lot to do! We do need to get back in the chatroom . . . we are thinking of meeting up with the RV-Dreamers at the Tampa RV show; just need to convince ourselves that we should make the drive!

  2. Hope you do make the show. We have quite a few meeting up..

    Tell Denise and Tim, this is Arlene Sullivan and that I'm not sure if they heard that Kevin passed away this past winter. Thats why we weren't at Topsail in November. Hope she is doing well.

  3. We love geocaching!! Great way to see some places you may have missed otherwise!

    1. We like it, too . . . but it's definitely more fun when you find them!

  4. Your posts are wonderful and encouraging for me. Our family will set off next August for a year-long rv adventure with our two homeschooled boys, and I'm tucking away all sorts of ideas based on your blog posts. I had one question. If you don't mind sharing, which park are you camping at? I saw that Lover's Key doesn't have camping.
    It's probably in the posts, but I couldn't find it. Thanks for the inspiration!


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