Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Stuart Fl.

From the aqua Gulf of Mexico, all along the dark waters of the Calloosahatchee River, past all the locks and dams and now the Saint Lucie Canal on the east side of Lake Okeechobee, soon we’ll see the blue waters of the Atlantic. We’ve been one of the stacked dominos in the resort and now we are back to a sprawling campground with a view out the back window – we have arrived in Phipps Park- right on the St. Lucie Canal in Stuart. SPFB! One year, R&N, H& I parked on the same huge lot and still had plenty of room That time, H & I moved over to the Pt Lucie Lock and Dam campground. When our time here was up, but not this year. There were no “walk in” sites available there until late March. Oh well – we definitely enjoy the view of the lock and dam from our vantage point – and from sun up to the gorgeous sunsets! Boats of all sizes cross by in front of us. Sometimes their occupants would wave to the campers who were waiting on the ridge for them to pass by like triumphant heroes in a jubilant parade! There were all types of boats – tall 2 masted sailboats, beautiful cabin cruisers with sky-high flying bridges, a barge tug, and some of the most wonderful old wooden vessels with long sleek lines of dark polished wood. I wonder where they all had been and what wonderful journey were they embarking on? Were they eventually going to end up on the Mississippi River? Or just fishing in Lake Okeechobee. Going east, maybe they were going to end up in New England or just out for a day of sight seeing along the Intercostals waterway.

We had some good neighbors too! Michael and Jane from Delaware! I loved his British accent and Jane was so friendly! Their little rescue puppy was supposed to be a Jack Russell, wirehair terrier mix but “Dog” sure looked and acted like a miniature black and white border collie. It was fun to watch her stalk the local squirrel!

H’s sense of exploration has not waned on this trip. Last year we “discovered” Henderson Island and this year we did it again and introduced Flat Stanley to the rough jagged rocks! We were careful to keep him away from the crashing waves tho! At the northern end of the long narrow barrier island we ended up at the “cut” where all the boats go from the expansive Indian River out to the ocean. The accompanying rock and cement levies stretched way far out into the ocean and was lined with fishermen and hopeful pelicans. The park itself was undergoing a major restoration project so there were plenty of workers pouring new cement sidewalks. In the clear blue lagoon that was protected from the crashing waves was a lone dark lump of a manatee. We were hoping for dolphins but a manatee was good! On the mainland we had the yummiest fish and chips at Allen’s Diner where we normally have breakfast on the day when we move north. There was a sign on the wall that stated it was the oldest restaurant in Ft Pierce! Since we were in no hurry to return home we dallied along the road that ran by the river that was more of a great lake. We walked thru one of the marinas where lucky fishermen were cleaning their catches of the day. We found a little street fair with venders and performing musicians. The next day we went the other direction and headed south thru Hobe Sound and finally visited the “Roaring Rocks” but the tide was out and the waves were not close enough to the big sandstone cliffs to roar, let alone purr! We did “see” the tall red lighthouse that stood watch over that end of the island but we were not willing to pay $9 each to walk up to it. Between trips, we managed to put plenty of miles on the little bikes – always out thru the lock& dam campground and visitor center, just in case something had changed since our last ride thru. H’s birthday was not too exciting, but that’s the way he said he wanted it. He said he was just thankful to have made it to this one! 70! Whew!

And now it’s time to head north - - but not too far! We’re heading up to Melbourne and Wickham Park where we’ll meet up with R&N again!