The Birds of Bosque del Apache

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Bosque del Apache is Spanish for Forest of the Apache or Apache’s Forest.  Hector and I had never heard of the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge until I read an article about the refuge in Escapees Magazine.  With such an intriguing name we couldn’t pass this place up.

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OBX  044OBX  002The Outer Banks of North Carolina, also referred to as OBX, were very surprising.  For starters, in a week’s time we encountered many weather changes:  windy, warm, cool, calm, super windy, rainy, cloudy, and sunny.   Hector bought a stunt kite and embraced the wind.OBX  053

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Florida’s Space Coast

2013-04-08 at 14-08-352013-04-13 at 18-23-52Good news!  We’ve recovered our photos after our computer crash in the Okefenokee Swamp and are now looping back to our last adventures in Florida.  A special shout out to Jeffrey the Wizard at PeachMAC Atlanta for his help getting everything back online.  What a relief!

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A River, Family and Rock & Roll

venice  034venice  002venice  027We returned to Venice, Florida to visit my aunt and uncle and cousins once again.  Our campsite at the Camp Venice Retreat, yet another beautiful spot, was set amidst live oak trees and overlooked the Myakka River. The Myakka River has been designated by the state of Florida as one of only two “wild and scenic rivers” in the state, a Federal designation designed to preserve the Myakka River Basin in its natural state. The setting on the river, along with an adjoining restaurant, “Snook Haven” are considered very “Old Florida”. venice  031 Continue reading

10,000 Islands, Square Grouper and Stone Crabs

everglades city  004everglades city  026everglades city  056everglades city  001Our next stop after Miami was Everglades City.  This remote city is the northwestern gateway to Everglades National Park, which we’d visited on a couple of day trips.  For some perspective, this corner of the Everglades is 100 miles from Flamingo, where we stayed for two weeks on the southernmost tip of mainland Florida.  There is only wilderness between the two, but the surrounding waters, which are part of the Park, contain over 10,000 islands.  The trip between Everglades City and Flamingo is very popular with expedition kayakers and takes nine days.  The National Park has built platforms called chickees which may be reserved for backcountry camping.

We stayed in a beautiful campground by the Barron’s River.  And we planned some shorter outings so that we wouldn’t be away from Angel too long.   Our exploration included an Everglades National Park boat tour, an airboat ride and visits to the Historic Smallwood Store and the Everglades Museum.

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Moonlight Serenade

Several state and county parks are offering full moon and evening adventures.  We chose a moonlight canoe tour offered by the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, the last northernmost portion of the Everglades, which was just slightly north of our campground in Sunrise, Florida.  Unbelievably, for $10 per person they provided a canoe and a guide to lead you down their five mile canoe trail.   So of course we couldn’t pass that up.

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And Even More Birds

Ft Myers  086One morning Hector and I headed out to Sanibel Island, a subtropical barrier island on the Gulf of Mexico.  We used to drive over to this beach when we lived in Miami to enjoy the warmer, calmer waters of the gulf and to look for seashells, which are abundant here.

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The Dolphin and the Manatees

Chrotts  187We drove north of Dunedin to Crystal River to look for manatees.  Kings Bay in Crystal River is one of the best places in the world to observe manatees because water that emerges from several springs in the bay maintains a constant temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit.  Hector and I loved manatees ever since we first saw some in Florida many years ago and we planned this trip to take our inflatable kayak, the Dolphin, out on the river.

We visited Aardvark’s Florida-Kayak Company to buy paddling gloves and get the scoop on where to put in.  Matt, the owner, is an avid believer in “passive observation” of the manatees and provided a wealth of information.

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Maiden Voyage


This morning we return to East Point Fishing Beach before sunrise, this time we drive.  We have the entire tip of the island to ourselves, there are no other cars or bicycles here yet.  It’s awesome.

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