Monday, December 7, 2009

Alligator Hunting........!

This morning we hiked, yes hiked.  Did I say hiked? You know, what we like to do when we are not cruising, snowboading, being with family, etc.  We finally had a decent day weather-wise, in the 70's.  So, we power walked 1.5 miles to the Ravine Gardens State Park in Palatka.  The park was built in the depression as part of the WPA.  There are several deep ravines which retain their natural foliage, and gardens are planted along the rim along with an amphitheater - you can see Norm sitting in the middle.  Over 100,000 azalea plants are here, but alas, it's not the bloomin' season.  It's a way cool park and we highly recommend it, especially if you've never seen an air potato. 

Then, this afternoon, we took the dinghy down.  Yes, we took the dinghy down after 5-6 months up there on the boat deck.  We knew the reverse gear on the motor didn't work.  A mechanic did something to it when we had him fix the steering cables.  And, we were suspicious of the fuel, since it had been sitting up there since before our cruise to the Bahamas last winter.  But, handy Norm fixed the reverse gear and the fuel was stable enough to take us on a 20-mile round trip to Murphy Creek and back.  Did I say the weather was decent?  Well, sort of.  While in Murphy Creek, the clouds opened up and we had a brief shower event.  Didn't stop us from continuing our alligator hunt though.  And we were in luck.  Below you can see the alligator hunter at work and the first alligator sighting - a five-footer.  It was beautiful, especially in the smooth parts of the creek where the trees reflected in the water (last photo).
Our route today:

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