Parque Natural Mexiquillo


Gator Alley

We went kayaking on the placid Hillsborough River near Tampa. The river flows at about 1 mile per hour and it took about two and half hours to paddle a 4.5 mile section from Sergeant Park to Morris Bridge Park We wanted to see gators and we did in spades, a couple of dozen.

Paul, Marian, Phil, Arlene, and I

Great Blue Heron 

Little Blue Heron
Paul. don't look now
No humans were harmed in the making of these photos.




New Address

Linda is in for repairs at Lazy Days. Our new address is bay 517. Two trips to the factory did not fix the nonfunctioning dish washer and in-floor radiant heat. So we are back at Lazy Days were she bought her coach hoping beyond hope that the third time is a charm.


Ocean Pond

We are camped at the gorgeous Ocean Pond Campground. (30.238786, -82.432821)  Water only sites for $6 with our senior pass. There are electrical sites, but they are all full. Linda and I took a refreshing dip last night.
Went out for a nice paddle today.

Paul leading the way
Iconic southeastern landscape

At a distance the Bald Cypress appear dead,
but up close you can see their very small leaves

Phil, Arlene, and Linda

Osprey sitting on a very large nest.
I wonder if there are chicks up there?
Everywhere down here the water is the color of tea.
Hard to warp my head around the idea that this is OK to swim in it.


Mission San Luis

The Apalachee indians of the Florida panhandle were an old culture when the Spanish arrived. The European diseases carried by the Spanish ripped through population and feeling their traditional religion had failed them, they invited Franciscan Friars to establish a mission there. The Mission San Luis was built 1633 and later a fort was constructed for a small garrison. In the late 1600's the British army was attacking the Spanish attempting to drive them out of Florida. In July of 1704 with the British strike force only two days away, the Spanish burned and evacuated the fort.

The Apalachee council house is one of the
largest Indian structures in the South East.
The Apalachee docent told us how
a thousand or more tribal members could meet here.
While the Apalachee homes were round,
the Spanish build rectangular homes.

The form and placement of all the reconstructed building was guided by archeological digs. 

Traditional Spanish meal

Inside the strongholds' two story block house 

Showing the colors
The church
Friars cell
Room in the Friary


Wakulla River

The 11 mile long Wakulla River emerges from one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the World. Hourly 125,000 gallons of fresh water flow out of a 120 foot deep cave. From the time of the paleo-indians Wakulla Springs has been a gathering place, and today it is a state park with lodging, swimming and boat rides on the beautiful Wakulla River. The river has been sheltered and protected over the years and is rich with wild life.

Purple Galinule

White Ibis

 Wading birds have sensitive nerve ending in their legs to detect prey and also, very import, gators that might be coming their way.


Blue Heron
This red flower grows in the trees
only if the moss is present.

The really nice lodge where you can stay
Captain Dan gave a very informative cruise