November 17, 2016

The GPS skipped over a few parks that were on my list and I soon found out the reason why is because you can only get to them by boat. There was also one park that I was unable to get to because the road was flooded so I am going to be FORCED to go back down to the Keys to check these parks off of my list!

I arrived at Long Key State Park and I enjoyed a nice drive along the water, stopping to take a picture for my friends. I then went over to the other side of the park and started on a hike that sent me on an emotional roller coaster! I climbed the observation tower and was elated to see the tops of the mangroves and beyond. I set off to hike the Golden Orb trail, having no idea of what was in store. The tide still had not receded so I had to take my shoes and socks off and roll up my pants for a short walk through the mangroves that were under water.

I then hiked for what seemed like forever, only to get to the ½ mile marker, what? As I rounded the corner into the white mangroves I was halted by the deep water ahead. I took my shoes and socks off once again, rolling up my pants until they looked like long shorts and off I went! For those of you that do not know me, this is a BIG deal for me. I am not a fan of being in water anymore unless it is a blazing hot shower and this water was like a freezing cold bath.

Oh, I was mad at first because the ranger did not even warn me that the trail could be underwater but then I looked around and thought, how cool is this? I’m walking through white mangroves in beautiful, clear water. It’s not everyday that I would get to experience this. At the end of the trial I spotted a couple gearing up for their hike and I felt like I needed to at least give them a heads up. The man asked me if I thought it was worth even going. I took a brief pause and told him it is worth every wet step and they would not want to skip it.

Curry Hammock State Park was beautiful but alas, it was better explored on the water! I walked along the cute little beach and chased a giant lizard and then took off to my next destination. I would actually come back to this park and try kayaking but I would not be able to do that alone! The caption would be: LOST AT SEA!