Saturday January 21st 2017
Today I decided to head for the St Petersburg area. To get there from here the easiest way is to take the Sunshine Skyway bridge. The 1.1 mile cable stayed bridge is at the center of an 11 mile causeway across Tampa Bay. It is a beautiful piece of architecture, but somehow it is becoming one of my least favorite bridges.
It was a great sunshiny day with strong winds out of the south. The wind and the accompanying gusts didn’t help my love of the bridge. It was a two hands on the wheel drive across. One of the things that gets to me is the quick transition from flat travel to climbing up the bridge. The pitch going up and down is very steep. It enhances the overall feeling of height.
The area along the north and south causeways are used for recreation. The old bridge causeways are used as fishing piers and the islands are rest areas and generally access to the Bay. I stopped at the area on the north side of the bridge to check out the kite surfers. I found all kinds of sports going on in the bay and spent over an hour watching the action.
The most surprising activity I observed was horseback riding. The horses weren’t being ridden on shore but in the bay. A group of four riders and horses were swimming or barely walking in the deep water. Another rider and horse were trying to enter the bay. The horse wasn’t all that certain it was a good idea. Once in the water it was high stepping like a show horse. I’m not familiar with how show horses are trained so this may have been the purpose, but I don’t think so. The rider allowed the horse to leave the water in short order.
In addition to the kite surfers there were sailboarders enjoying the wind. Both kite surfers and the sailboarders had to dodge a long line of fishermen as they got closer to shore. Once again, I didn’t see anyone catching fish. The wind was strong enough to complicate all of the activities. One catamaran was even sailing backwards in the wind.
When I was ready to move on, the road was not. An accident or some other event had stopped the north bound traffic. I waited a couple of minutes before deciding to reverse direction and head home. I will try for St. Petersburg another day.
This evening I buttoned down the campsite. I put the chairs away and prepared for tomorrow’s predicted inclement weather. If the forecasts are to be believed we may have some severe storms.