Rest and Relaxation Day at Lake Manatee State Park

Tuesday March 2nd 2021

I finally got to sleep in this morning. After yesterday’s early start and stress filled travel day, it was really necessary. The reported morning fog was already gone by 9AM when I got my day started. It turned into a mostly sunny warm day with a high temperature in the mid 80s. The normal temperature at this time of year in this area is the mid seventies. The rest of the week is forecast to be closer to normal.

Clouds and sun above Lake Manatee.

Most of my day was dedicated to rest and relaxation. I walked to the day use area and the boat launch a couple of times. One of the resident gopher tortoises didn’t appreciate my presence. It ran across the path and into the woods faster than I though a tortoise could move. Once it was in the relative safety of the brush it froze in the shadows and watched me. I can only guess that its hole in the ground home was near by.

Gopher Tortoise

Walking around the campground I detected a difference in the residents from my last visit in January. The sites are now occupied by travelers. In January most of the sites were occupied by Florida residents. Today I saw RVs from as far away as California and Washington state. Very few sites were occupied by RVs with Florida plates. That tracks with yesterday’s observations on my travel down Interstate 75. There were many RVs on the road from northern states. Tourism is still reported to be down, but I think there are plenty of brave, pandemic weary or unconcerned travelers around. The viral surges in November and December kept many people home, but cold weather and snow along with a lower COVID positivity rate and vaccines seem to allow people to justify coming down here.

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