Thursday, February 19, 2015

Fort Pierce to Sebastian

Savannas is hidden in an almost remote rural area between Port St Lucie and Fort Pierce just west of the Indian River and just across the railroad tracks that must run the entire length of Florida!  The lonesome whine of the long melodious horn bid us good night each evening and signaled time to get up each morning at sunrise!  The tracks were just out of sight across the thick swamp grass.  The 
Kayak adventure
kayaks slid into the dark water one more time during our stay at the park and we were determined to find the “path” that led to the “lake” on the other side of that swamp.  The way was narrow and wiggled thru the cattails and grasses. Just under the surface of the calm water was a sinister looking mass of roots and jungle that if you extended the tip of the paddle too far into it’s shallow depths – they reached out and tried to snatch the paddle to make a prisoner of your small craft!  We did survive tho, and made it to the picturesque lake with dancing ripples on its surface. 

Fort Pierce is about 40 miles east of Lake Okeechobee and the
Okee-tantie boat basin
touristy fishing town by the same name that sits on the north side of the shoreline.  Between the two towns is cattle and dairy country!  Pasture after pasture of a variety of colorful cattle – with and without horns! We met B&C in Okeechobee at the same Cowboy Restaurant where H and I ate last year. The food was still good!  To walk off that good meal we all drove to the same levee that surrounds the lake on the north side as the south side where we rode our bikes in SB.  All the seagulls and the skimmers with their black and orange bills were huddled in a huge puddle in the parking lot and flew up in a panic as we approached!  The scenic fishing pier beckoned and we shared the pretty view from it with B&C.  H and I then drove farther around the lake to yet another spot where H used to camp – Okee-tantie County Park which also became run down and was closed for camping 3 years ago.  Today there is still a marina and a large empty campground that looked more like a cemetery with it’s old electrical posts looking very much like abandoned memorial markers.  From one of the small boat launch coves, the view of the flat shallow lake was calming and peaceful.

The weather has been fluctuating from comfortable to windy (still) and cold.  Rain was forecast so we packed everything away the evening before we were to pull out.  Our Pennsylvania neighbors, Dale and Connie came over and visited one more time with an invite to come visit next summer at their favorite Pa State Park where they volunteer!  

Farther north we headed – back out onto the long narrow barrier island that started up again just north of Hutchinson Island.  Sebastian Inlet State Park was full so our next home for a few nights was Long Point County Park just north of the high arched bridge and the 2 long fishing jetties at H’s favorite inlet and camping spots. Yep, it’s time for a SPFB!   The first time H brought me to Long Point, I was not even retired yet.  He had driven the 1992 Ford truck with the pop-up camper on it.  I had attempted to take a picture of a pelican that was resting in a small mangrove tree at the edge of the water and not knowing – I was standing on a fire ant nest!!  BURN BABY BURN!!   We think this campsite was the very same site but the mangrove growth was way thicker now.

warning flags at Sebastain
Out for an afternoon of exploring, we headed south past the inlet and stopped at the very small village of Orchid for ice cream.  Strolling out and around some orange construction tape, we carried our cones and stood on the boardwalk to watch some big yellow 
Beach work at Orchid
monster trucks that were hauling sand from one end of the beach to the other.  These oversized ”Tonka Toy” dump trucks with bulbous tires roared and wallowed thru the soft sand, carrying load after load to a growing pile that was in front of a fancy Disney Resort!   They were rebuilding their beach – again!  While standing there, holding my frozen cone and not paying any attention to anything but those trucks – a thump hit my hand and emptied it of my future snack.  A greedy vulture of a seagull snatched my cone and flew down to the beach to devour it.  Soon there was a gaggle of squawking gulls fighting over my stolen melting treat.  I was SO angry!   H offered to buy me another but I chose not.  I was too humiliated.

Our main objective on our only full day at the park was to ride our trusty little bikes down to the state park area on the northern side of the inlet. As usual on this year’s trip, the wind was powerful but we prevailed and arrived at the gate.  Out on the long narrow cement path that protruded into the ocean, fishermen were casting and hoping for a sign that their luck was going to improve.  As we strolled back along the walkway we paused to watch the half dozen surfers who were rising and falling with each and every rolling breaking wave.  The sun was at the just right angle and the wind 
Rainbows on the waves
from the west, caught the peak of the sparkling white wave and sprayed its froth back out towards the open sea.  As each wave broke, the sun caused a beautiful rainbow to dance on its top and perch on it all the way up the shoreline.  This picture does not do the vision any justice but you can see some of the colors of the prism.

More rain is forecast again – so it must be time to move!