Rye Preserve County Park

Tuesday March 9th 2021

The weather makes incremental improvements each day. Today was a little bit warmer. The temperature peaked in the upper seventies and the wind was a little less brisk. It still felt cooler if you were exposed to the wind.

Today’s sky had more clouds than the last couple.

I made a visit to another of Manatee County’s Preserve parks today. This one is very near my campsite at Lake Manatee State Park. The Rye Preserve park is on the Manatee river just below the dam that holds back Lake Manatee. It contains a number of trails suitable for hiking and wildlife viewing. I didn’t find it as interesting as the other two county preserves I’ve visited. The scenery wasn’t exceptional and the wildlife was pretty much the same as the state park I’m staying at.

Manatee River below the dam

The Manatee River right below the dam isn’t much to see. The dam holds back most of the flow. The bridge at the entrance to the preserve crosses a wide river basin with very little water. The next bridge is about four miles west. It crosses a very broad and deep Manatee River. The river goes from nothing to something very quickly before it empties into Tampa Bay. It is a very short river.

Back at the campground this afternoon I wanted to find new neighbors, but I wasn’t that lucky. They aren’t bad neighbors. They just exhibit one of my peeves about some campers. One of the reasons I like state parks is they are away from civilization often in the woods. That means it is dark at night. You can see the stars. The people in the trailer at the site across the street seem to be afraid of the dark. They keep all the outside lights on their trailer on all night. Their site is lit better than most parking lots. The lights are on around the clock and I haven’t seen them siting outside once. What are they afraid of?

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