Saturday, January 8, 2011

Hillsborough River State Park

We really love this park. We've had a great week - the weather has been terrific - normally in the mid-70's. Basically, we've just played this week. We've been out on the river three times - this is probably one of our very favorites rivers for kayaking. We go so slow you'd barely think we're even moving. It's like a 360 degree panorama - we can see everything in the river because the water is so very crystal clear. We love looking at everything on the banks because it's so lush and just interesting to look at - the palm trees hang over the river, the cypress trees are so bent and twisted and majestic. And everything towers over your head so you're always looking up also. And for added measure, you're always on the lookout for alligators - it's fun when you spot them - like you get two points for each one you see!
In addition to the kayaking, it's a great park for me for walking. I think I already described it a little, but between the tropical 3-mile loop and the 1.1 mile shorter trail, there are all kinds of really nice trails and boardwalks along the river. I pretty much take Brandi for a long walk everyday. However, it seems like maybe she's either over-done it a little, or somehow has hurt herself, because even though she's very anxious and jumping up and down when we start our walks, she seems to start limping after a couple miles or so. I think today (Saturday) we're just not going to walk her at all.

I think I mentioned earlier that I did the AVA walk here in the park at the beginning of the week. And then on Wednesday (I think... - the days run together!) I took Brandi and we went to an AVA walk that begins in the very VERY small town of San Antonio, Florida and goes over to the even tinier village of Leo. Since there's probably only a mile or less between the two it actually makes a good 10K walk. When we started the walk, we did about three miles around the edges of San Antonio and then we were going to head over to the second half of the walk in Leo, and that's when I noticed Brandi was limping. In fact, she actually just laid right down on the pavement and didn't want to get up (which has never happened before) so I just took her back to the car and we came home. Today, Dave and I are going to go back so I can finish the second half of the walk. The walk is about 5 miles east of Dade City and I noticed when I drove through there on Wednesday that it looked like a nice little town, so I'm going to drop Dave off there with his bike and let him explore while I go back and finish my walk. (I can't NOT finish it - I already stamped my book!!!). Plus I noticed that there was a Beef O'Brady's in Dade City, so that's where we can meet afterwards.

Tomorrow we plan to go over to Tarpon Springs for the day - there's an AVA walk there also, and it's certainly a place where Dave can entertain himself for a couple of hours - and then we're going to one of the Greek restaurants and get one of their absolutely wonderful dinners. I'll definitely have pictures from there for the next blog.

And then - Monday we leave! It seems like this 10-day visit has gone really quickly. Hillsborough River is definitely on our list of parks that we will return to again and again, and I highly recommend it for anyone who's coming to Florida for any camping. They even have canoes available for renting if you don't have your own watercraft (although we are ALWAYS so happy that we have our own kayaks when we watch everyone squabbling and arguing and bumbling along in their canoes!).

I understand from talking to people at home that there's some big-time snow headed that way. As always, we are so grateful and so fortunate that we're able to do what we do! Stay warm and safe up there!

1 comment:

  1. That looks like a really cool park, Mom! I'd love to kayak there.

    Have you checked to make sure Brandi doesn't have anything stuck in her paw? That's so strange!