November 14, 2016

I left Shawna’s house about 4:30 am to set out to cross Florida and begin my state parking camping adventure! I knew I was going to use all of my personal time at work in a clump to go to as many state parks as I could. As I was planning this time away, I felt like I was also being led to camp in these places too. Camping is not something I have done much of in my adult life & when I have, it was never alone. That experience is a story all by itself!

It took me about 3 ½ hours to travel across the state and my first stop was Indian River Lagoon. The book did stay that public access was limited but I did not think it meant close to non-existent! I followed the GPS and ended up at a little store and kayak rental place where a confused man asked me how I ended up there. I told him I was looking for a state park and he had no clue there was even one around, interesting!

I decided to go to my campsite to see if I could set up early but there were still people in it so off I went to explore more parks on the list. The park ranger told me all about the manatees that hung out at St. Sebastian River Preserve so I headed there first. I arrived at the park a few moments before 10 am which meant the visitor’s center was not opened yet. I followed the road through the preserve and stopped along the way to see the different areas. I must have been too early for the manatees because all that were out were a few men fishing and birds, lots and lots of birds!

I headed off to Kissimmee Prairie Preserve with a very low amount of gas in my car. When state parking, the roads are often quite and the gas stations are few and far between. I had to stop at this crazy and scary gas station to fill up but they took cards at the pump so all was good! The prairie was just beautiful! There are a lot of trails you to walk on and camping was available but I did not do either of those things there. The rain hindered my desire to walk and explore so I did my viewing from my vehicle and then headed back to Sebastian Inlet to set up my camp before the water from the sky started pouring down even harder!