Friday, June 10, 2005

Ft Myers Beach

So, it only took me 48 hours to figure out how to properly post pictures on my weblog ('properly' is the key word here). For those who attempted to view the blog on Sun or Mon, please accept my apologies for the horrendously large photos that were posted. Many thanks to Chris Guld, friend, Almighty Blogging Guru, and my personal "campground hero", for always helping me when I need it! You, too, Jim!

Over the weekend we determined a new plan-of-action so that we can see Jim and Chris along our route. They're heading south to Ft Lauderdale and scuba-diving, and we're heading north. We determined we can intersect in Tifton, GA while they work at a Coach-Connect campground. This will be great. We love seeing friends along the way. We'll just slow down a little bit and see some additional state parks in northern Florida to get our timing right.

With all of this time on the internet, we've found some interesting articles on RVing. This article on RVing and WIFI (wireless internet)was interesting. Now I understand better why our WIFI signals fluctuate. We've also started to formulate a plan...where we're going and what we want to see. Of course that can change at any moment, so you'll just have to keep in touch to see where we end up.

On Monday we put our kayaks in at the boat ramp here at our campground. The Management Office told us that we were on the Great Calusa Blueway and we could just paddle out and follow the signs. We first went to the website, printed out a map, plugged some coordinates into our GPS and then we went out (better safe than sorry, right?). Weren't we smart! We never found a sign marker until we got back to the campground. We just followed the GPS directions and headed in that general direction. All of the mangrove islands made the blueway more of a 'mazeway'. But we had a good paddle. We could've just used the half-sunken boats as markers. There were so many left over from Hurricane Charley 2004. Very sad.

We made it back to the campground (using GPS and sunken boats). Here's the only Great Calusa Blueway marker we saw. If you look close enough you'll see our boat ramp behind the sign...don't ask how we missed it.

Here's a picture of our campsite near the point. We're at San Carlos RV Park & Island Resort - the beauty of it is that it is surrounded by water since we sit on the edge of Estero Bay.

Along the way we got to see some birds, but most were smart enough to stay in hiding during the afternoon heat:
We love the Roseate Spoonbills - they're as pink as flamingoes, smaller, but with platypus-type beaks for skimming for microscopic organisms.
That evening we decided to take in the sunset at Bowditch Regional Park. The best place for sunsets in Fort Myers Beach. The Park has trails that wind around a hilly bluff above the western point of Estero Island. Pretty landscaping on the hills with a butterfly garden. But the sandy beaches here were dotted with live sand dollars! We've never seen living sand dollars before. They're covered in a "fuzz" or cilia on top and bottom, and you can see it around their edges. This is what allows them to 'crawl' across the sand. Some had left trail marks to show their efforts and the distance they made during low tide.

On Tuesday we drove to Sanibel and Captiva. We stopped at Ding Darling NWR and drove thru the park. Timing was bad - afternoon, hot, high tide - but a great nature center. During one of our stop-offs I found an Osprey nest with a mother feeding two babies. Took lots of pictures, but none came out. Instead I was surprised to hear a Pileated Woodpecker squacking not 5 feet behind me...
As Steve Irwin would say, "what a beaut":

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