Sunday March 6th 2016
Today I had a quasi notion to go to the Central Florida Fair. It had been heavily advertised on the TV and Radio. I set out to find it.
The fair grounds are located to the west of downtown Orlando on state route 50. I found my way through the congested “resort corridor” on Interstate 4 to exit 75B. This exit is one of the routes to the Universal theme parks, but not the primary one. This is Kirkman road or route 435. In this area you have to know both designations or your sure to get lost. Street signs warn you what road is crossing at the next intersection, but you don’t get to know what route it is until you reach the intersection. It can be very confusing without a GPS. It seems as though street planners may be assuming everyone uses a GPS now.
After a few miles on route 435 I turned east on state route 50. I almost missed the fair grounds. It didn’t look anywhere near as impressive as the ads would have you believe. My quasi notion went away fast. I’ll just have to see a pig race somewhere else. I continued to travel north looking for something better.
I ended my travels north at the Blue Spring State Park. This is “Florida’s premiere manatee refuge” according to the brochure. It was a great place to get my daily dose of wildlife. On the road in I saw an armadillo. Once I reached the shore of the St Johns river all of the wildlife was aquatic or avian.
The blue spring is one of the feeders for the St Johns river. Spring water in Florida is warmer than the surrounding waters, so manatees gather in the outflow to keep warm. From late December through February the springs and other sources of warm water drawn many manatees. The St Johns river water has started to warm up so there were only 6 manatees in the spring outflow today.
I walked the boardwalk trail along the outflow area to the spring. Once the manatees leave, the area will be opened up for swimming, tubing and diving into the depths of the spring. The water is very clear you could make out many fish in the outflow area. The signs warned of alligators, but all I saw was a couple of sunning turtles. I don’t know if it was the “premiere manatee refuge”, but it was a fun park.