Thursday, February 10, 2011

Myakka State Park, Sarasota, Florida

We had been to Myakka Lake State Park near Sarasota in the past, but we had never stayed overnight at the park.  Since we have had a very cold and rainy December and January, we decided we needed a get-away from our get-away and made reservations on line.  We felt fortunate to get the last available cabin and didn't ask too many questions about the accommodations.  "It looks pretty rustic," my husband, Ron, observed when we drove up.
My folks at 85 and 92, are pretty tough, so I wasn't too worried about them, but Ron wasn't too thrilled with the two beds that we thought would be two bedrooms.  I used the clean sheets in the plastic bag on each bed to make up the beds and cover the pillows, all of which were encased in heavy plastic. One blanket was provided for each bed - what must have been flannel at one time had been washed so many times that it was hard to distinguish the blankets from the sheets.
The main room had the two beds on one end and a fireplace, couch, and table and chairs on the other. 
A small kitchen with stove, fridge, and microwave and a full bath completed the cabin.
Ron, who is a bit of a news junkie, had to live without any news from the outside world for a few days, but we all survived, and the park is so beautiful that it was truly worthy.
An oak canopied road winds along the lake and through the woods of the 38,000 acre state park.
We saw a variety of critters and birds.  Here is an armadillo hunting for food on the forest floor.
One of the many deer we saw. They actually are quite tame as they are protected although not fed.
A small alligator guarding his nearly dry pond.  We saw bigger gators in the big lake.
Like this one, who seems to coexist with all the water birds.
Like this Wood Stork
and a Great Blue Heron
immature Little White Heron - distinguished by his greenish beak and green legs that will fade as he becomes pure white.
Wood stork on left, Roseate Spoonbill on right.
A walking trail through the palm/oak hammock leads to two towers (one 75' tall the other about 30') with a canopy walkway between them.  From the top of the 160 step tower, most of the park is visible, but mostly all you can see is the tops of the trees.  All the roads and buildings disappear under the canopy of the trees.

The canopy walkway between the towers
Looking at the stairway from the top
Dick and Millie at the bird watch overlook platform
Overlooking the main lake.  For more pictures, see Millie's blog.