February 12, 2009

FLORIDA - Sopchoppy & St Marks

Well we're finally off for our travels in 2009, and we're starting in one of our favorite areas, the "Big Bend" of Florida, yes, that's the isolated, undiscovered stretch of coast between Apalachicola and Apalachee Bay. In tow we have Dave Holmes, an old friend from Baton Rouge, and a few days aheadof us is John Steib, a super solo paddlist!

We arrived only to learn that John had gotten the last available campsite at Ochlocknee State Park, but we were delighted to find plenty of room at the little Sopchoppy City Park, nestled on the banks of the River of the same name.
In addition to this beautiful setting, the Park has a nice hiling trail that starts with this long boardwalk across the edge of the water.
All-in-all, a great little hideaway for a pleasant weekend!

While in the area, we took a short ride in Dave's Jeep down to St Mark's Refuge, our favorite birding spot in the area. While the birding left a lot to be desired (only 53 species for the day, compared to double that on previous trips), the hiking was great, and the Refuge was almost deserted.

We wonder along the back areas paths & roads, for several hours, getting a nice workout and a few interesting surprises.......

As Kim approached the tall grass along the water's edge, she discovers that we're not quite so all alone as we suspected!