Part Three-Down by the River

When we travel we don’t linger in one spot for to long. Our reluctance to stay put is a fear of running out of places to explore. That has not been the case here at Myakka River State Park or this part of the Florida coast.We’ve enjoyed visiting with friends, hanging around camp and filling our days with lots of hiking, biking and wildlife viewing.

Apparently vulture poop is quite fertile-This green grass grows under the trees where they roost every evening. It also happens to be right behind our campsite.

Across the road from the park is the Myakka River Wilderness Preserve. Located in the Preserve is Lower Myakka Lake and Deep Hole. Access to Deep Hole is limited to 30 people a day. There’s a 2.2 mile hike to the hole and most of it is through a sunny prairie with the ocassional pine island or oak hammock for shade.

Deep Hole is actually a 130 foot deep sinkhole where alligators converge to enjoy the cool water and sunny shores. It’s quite a sight to see these prehistoric -looking creatures just hanging out. The day we visited, we spotted about 80 alligators and at least as many black headed vultures.

Deep HoleLower Myakka Lake

Sunset over the prairie

This is a cutaway image of a shell midden located on Spanish Point near the town of Osprey. Shell middens are the ancient garbage dumps of the eastern woodland natives.

Spanish Point is a peninsula jutting out through mangroves on Little Sarasota Bay. By all accounts it has been a popular spot for human habitation for thousands of years. This 20 ft high shell midden was excavated in the 1920’s when the property owner needed a space to park his car. Fortunately someone recognized the importance of the site and saved the midden for scientific research. Prehistoric people occupied the site from 5000 years ago – and they abandoned the site about 1000 years ago. Between 1959 and 1962, scientists excavated a burial mound at the site and used carbon 14 dating (a new technology at the time) to determine the age of the artifacts they found.

Bertha Palmer bought 350 acres on Spanish Point in 1910. She saved some of the cottages on the Point and developed gardens as she planned her winter estate. Bertha was an early real estate developer in the Sarasota environs.

What would a trip to Sarasota be without a visit to the circus?

We lucked out with the circus being in town. The acts were unbelievable. It was a magical 2 1/2 hours with feats of daring and strength.

These two brought the house down. They were amazingly agile. But no trip to Florida is complete without plenty of beach time.Beach goon. Nokomis Beach Drum Circle on Casey Key

Two ways to get ready for a sunset

7 thoughts on “Part Three-Down by the River”

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