Sunday 24 July 2005

Day 6


(I rejoin you now on Tuesday 15 November 2005.  Yes, I know that it has been months and months, and that Ive since had further adventures.  I did finish writing this trip report, but my computer ate it, and now I have to reconstruct.  Thats my story, and Im sticking to it!)


Karmas A Bitch


When last I left my intrepid readers, I was having a laundry room drama, whereby some inconsiderate guest had removed my clothing from the dryer, and put their towels in, dumping my wet stuff unceremoniously on the floor, and using up MY quarters that Id pumped into the machine.  I got back at them by hiding their towels.


Well, I was rewarded for that little prank.  In the morning, I realized that housekeeping had shorted me some towels.  I had to re-use the ones from the previous days shower, including the one upon which the shells had been laid out to dry.  Even though theyd been bleached, there was a certain ick factor to that, so that towel got used on my hair, not on my body.


I lounged about the room a bit during the morning hours, messing around with my photos, waiting for it to be a decent hour to call Alan and Todd.  Wed talked about getting together for lunch on this day.  When I finally felt it a decent enough hour to call them, I found that Todd had been having a flight drama hed just come in from a month long business trip to the West Coast, and theyd lost his luggage!  Also, he was jet lagged and going to bed.  So I said Id call later to see if they wanted to do dinner, and went out to hit the outlets.


I did very little damage to the credit card; I was in serious Oh my GAWD, Im going to buy a house, Im going to have a mortgage, Im going to be poor, must save my pennies mode, and contented myself with just browsing.  Well, mostly.  I did buy a suite of matching bracelets for myself and my nieces, each with a scene on them that had been pieced together from multi-colored bits of abalone set in sterling.  Some were beach scenes, some were floral motifs, and some were kinda planetary sky stuff.  I was quite happy with these gifty treats, especially since there was one for me!


After my shop-a-bout, I went back to the hotel and sat outside reading for a while, then returned to the room and called Alan and Todd again.  Todd was really in no shape to go out, so I sat down and began my trip report.  Consulting the tide chart for the next day, it became obvious that the logistics of making low tide, getting back to the hotel, and showering prior to evacuation of the room would be too much like work.  I decided then and there that I would sleep in, leave at the last possible moment, and head out for a preserve that Id read about, to see what I could see.



Monday 25 July 2005

Day 7


It's Not Really Goodbye


Evacuation mode went as scheduled, and I was out of the room by the stroke of 11:00 am.  I called my SIL to be sure that she remembered that I was coming home that evening, and she assured me that theyd been watering my little patio garden faithfully, and that my tomatoes were just fine.  Id been worried that theyd forget, and then wed have all sorts of blossom end rot on our hands, but this apparently was not the case.


My first stop was back to the outlets, to the luggage store.  Id made the decision that I could no longer tolerate my rolling carry-on size suitcase.  It was approximately 10 years old, and the wheels made the most horrible noise wherever I went.  I was embarrassed during my last business trip; the colleague with whom I was traveling had silent wheels, the other passengers had silent wheels, and there I was, dragging this horrific racket behind me.  So I bought a new carry on suitcase, the largest type allowable, with beautifully quiet wheels.  I took all the shells that Id packed up and placed them in the new suitcase.  I would check the old one, and carry on the shells (no, I dont EVER trust my shells to the cargo hold!).


That matter being settled, I headed back up Summerlin and stopped at the Perkins near the hotel for French toast with eggs and fruit.  By this time, I was ravenous, and my flight wasnt until 4:55 PM, so I figured I needed major sustenance.  Fueled up the vehicle at the local gas station, and I was off to visit the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve.  Its on Six Mile Cypress Parkway, just a wee bit north of Daniels. 


The day was extremely hot, muggy, overcast, and still.  I arrived and discovered they have the same parking permit machines as the beaches on Sanibel, with the same $2/hr. fee.  I paid the fee and proceeded to the ladies room, which was very clean, to coat myself with SkinSoSoft against the bugs.  That being done, I headed out along the boardwalk trail through the swamp and around some ponds.



Welcome to the Slough!

Note that they give you the web address for the park.

The Trail

Here's a map of the boardwalk trail; I think it's about a mile or so.

Dread Warning

I wonder why they would bother to lock it up at night - do they think that lions and tigers and bears (oh, my) will escape?

OK, Let's Go!

Let's hit the trail!


I saw a tree with PINK moss growing on it!  Also, a lot of dragonflies the size of small aircraft, very few birds, and an alligator.  This is a very pretty park.  It was a perfect day to catch reflections off the ponds, as there was hardly any breeze at all, and lots of puffy clouds in the sky.


Pink Moss

I don't think I've ever seen a tree with pink moss on it before!


Dunno what that platform in the middle of the pond is...


...but there's seating, a little amphitheater inside that pavillion, so I suspect there's some sort of demonstration/entertainment that transpires here.


At one point, I passed a sign on the boardwalk railing that said ONE WAY, with an arrow.  I was scratching my head over that one looks like they want you to only go one way around the trail, but why?  I also passed a sign mounted on a pole that measured how many feet above sea level the slough was (for the curious 8 feet).



I don't know, either!


Flowers alongside the boardwalk trail

We are 8 feet

above sea level


The trees smelled good!

Lone Bird

This was one of the few birds I saw. Guess it was too hot for them.



The pines and cypress smelled divine.  The jungle all around the boardwalk seemed dense and deep, and the air hung as thickly as did the clouds.  The silence was deafening.  Not yet half way around the trail, I decided to head back I was pretty sure the sky would open up at any moment.  Yes, I am going to hell I ignored the ONE WAY sign, and turned around and went back!


Sure enough, JUST as I was maybe 50 feet from the car, it became torrential.  I sprinted for the car and waited 10 minutes for it to calm down, then headed for the airport.


You know what?  There will be plenty of time to make it around the slough trail.  Im coming back.  Im going to build a house and live here.  So there!



Shell Catalog

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