Monday, March 18, 2013

Hillsborough River and Myakka River State Parks

 We had a Great first day of vacation!  (Yesterday was technically the first day, but we spent the day driving and I didn't take a single picture of anything)...

This morning we headed to Hillsborough River State Park to do some hiking, geocaching and canoeing!

 The trail was gorgeous, the weather was perfect and the air was soo fresh!

 Keenan and I next to some beautiful rapids

 Silly posing girl =)

 C'mon, Caleb, you can do it!

 Love these two =)

Here we're all standing on a huge log (Caleb had just tumbled off of it) =0/

Next, Philip and the two older kids rented a canoe to go find a geocache on the water!  

Still on the shore, but Riah's ready to go! =)

 All set!

 ...and they're off

 I love this weird palm tree out over the water!

Philip took these next few from the canoe...

 What is this turtle Doing??  Look at his back legs!  Ha!

 Oooh, what do we see??

Just a gator chillin' on a log =)

While they canoed, Caleb and I:

 ...did this...

 ...followed by this =)

When they got back, we wen to one of the playgrounds:

 Fun rock climbing wall

Next, we grabbed lunch and headed to Myakka River State Park...

We took a nearly two mile round trip walk on this gorgeous trail to find a geocache:

 Philip and Keenan running for a bit

I was thrilled to catch this gorgeous Red Shouldered Hawk on a branch near the van!

 Handsome dude

Then, (in the rain), we took a walk to the Canopy suspension bridge and tower:

 This bridge was narrow, about 30 feet off the ground and Very bouncy!

Then we climbed a LOT of steps up the 70 foot observation tower...

 At the top!

 You could see for Miles!
 It was quite windy and rainy

 Looking down

Back across the bridge
(This is out of focus, but I still love it)

 Finding a fun cache on the way out

 Some deer we spotted on our way out of the park

We were also thrilled to see some gators in the rain from a bridge:

 Just watching...

 This (huge) one was totally submerged on the river bank
(It was a little unnerving that there was Nothing between them and us, just a short swim to the edge, and about 20 feet up the bank)

 Riah with the gator in the background

A pretty heron

What a lot of God's beautiful creation we've been able to enjoy in one day!   The kids were all exhausted and were tucked away in their beds in our hotel room shortly after 8.  Looking forward to another great day tomorrow, as we visit another beautiful park on our way to see family. =)

* 10 Geocaches found today


The Woodfords said...

Looks like you had a super-fun day!! Hope the rest of your trip goes just as well. Love to you all,

Alaina said...

Fun park!

Mom W. said...

I would be unnerved about the gator too... seems odd that they are so open. Great day and boy am I glad I didn't climb up that tower with you!! Too high for me!!

Hope your vacation continues to go well, no more rain!!

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Hannah=) said...

Nice park! Enjoy your vacation! Looking forward to reading and 'seeing' more of it:)

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