November 13, 2016
For some reason the GPS said that Cockroach Bay was closed which just wasn’t true. Contrary to the name, the bay is NOT filled with cockroaches. Seems as if the Spanish explorers used to call Horseshoe crabs cockroaches, and at one point there were a lot of them in that bay. It’s a pretty cool place to launch into the water and they have a nice little system. You park your car after unloading your watercraft and then a person comes down and picks you up in the golf cart to take you back to the water. When the lady was driving me to the water she told me not to worry that I didn’t have a boat because if I just stood there long enough someone would offer to take me with them. Good information to know for the future! My day was scheduled for land exploration so I moved on in search for Beker.
This park was a challenge to find and truth be told, I am not really sure I ever found it! The GPS took me to a property owned by Dole that had scary warning signs posted up all over. I drove for a bit in search of these trails the book talked about and I just could not find them. I did find some trails that were marked as Florida State but none of them said Beker.
Finding Lake Manatee was a little easier and I was happy when I drove into the park. There was a cute little campground and a peaceful place to sit by the lake. I waited there a while to see if I could spot a bobcat getting a drink in the lake like the picture showed but had NO luck. After laying on the bench for some time I took a stroll around the grounds and the headed for Myakka River State Park. I was pretty excited about this park because Shawna told me there was a walkway through the tops of the trees!
The park was amazing and a little scary too! There were gators EVERYWHERE! I went to sit on a bench to look at the river and one was just a few feet away looking at me with it’s beady eyes. I drove to the trail that has the Observation tower and the Canopy trail and they were closed for maintenance. Bummer! I still managed to have a great time exploring parts of the park that were accessible and I now have an even better reason to come back to the park. It is a great place and will be added it to my favorites list! I will be back there soon!