Thursday December 30th 2021
It was after ten this morning before the overnight fog burned off. By mid afternoon the temperature at the state park was in the mid eighties under a bright sunny sky. Near the gulf coast it was a different story. The fog never really lifted along the coast which kept the temperature near eighty. The fog has returned inland tonight setting up a repeat performance tomorrow morning.
This is my last full day at Myakka River State Park. It was also a much busier day than the last few. I had many travel preparation tasks to complete and I needed to get some groceries to make it into the new year without having to get creative with substitutes for basic items like bread. Traffic in the Sarasota area was terrible. An accident along with construction on Interstate 75 northbound had the highway completely backed up and the excess traffic on the local streets snarled. I escaped the traffic by taking I-75 south for an exit and returning north into Sarasota on US41, the Tamiami trail. After filling my grocery needs I fought my way home through the Sarasota traffic. I-75 north was still plugged.
I only got one walk around the state park today. It was late in the day as the sun was setting, but the alligators seem to have already headed for their night time feeding locations. I found one gator submerged along the river bank watching the bank carefully. As I approached its head didn’t move, but I’m sure its eyes were tracking my every move. Many of the birds had retreated from the river bank to tree branches high above the bank. I’ve taken several other walks at similar times over the last couple of weeks. Today seemed to be a less active day.
Tomorrow I’m moving north to Lake Manatee State Park. It is less than twenty miles as the crow flies but more than thirty along the most reasonable route. It is another regular stop for me in this area. It doesn’t have the same wildlife viewing opportunities as this park, but it has everything it needs for a two week stay. Once again I’ll try to leave this park close enough to checkout time to allow my destination with the same checkout time to empty out.