Wednesday, October 15, 2014

September 14, 2014 (4th Day) Fort Pierce, FL - Hobe Sound, FL

Fort Pierce, FL - Hobe Sound, FL

Edith got up very late and wondered why Erwin did not wake her up earlier  He said he tried to but she, while in groggy mood, shrugged him off and said she was tired. So there...

Again, the weather was pleasant and it is 80˚.

After we got everything cleaned up and put away, we checked out of the Fort Pierce KOA and headed south on US 1.

Saw this home made dune buggy passing us

Crossing South Hutchinson Island Bridge (A1A) to visit John Yarbrough Linear Park. It is a great park for walking, hiking, jogging, bicycling, fishing, birding, and picnicking.  There were a lot of anglers lining up along the seawall of the jetty.  Some of them caught few little ones, but no keepers. There are pavilions which are really nice to stay out of the sun.


Way out there, is the Atlantic Ocean!

Bicycle Rack shaped into Fish.. Cool Art!

We walked along the jetty to the end and watched anglers catching mackerels.  There was a large school of bait fish.  A manatee made a brief appearance in the water, but it did not stay long.  The color of the ocean is so emerald.  There was a gentle breeze and we stayed to watch the action for an hour.

Driving on A1A south (Ocean Drive). Lots of palm trees lined up the road. Several beach parks. Litter free, so clean and the road condition was very good.

Crossed the A1A bridge to Stuart.  Then left turn to N. Palm Beach Road to SE Dixie Highway (CR A1A).  We checked into Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Hobe Sound, FL at 12:20 pm.  We made an advance reservation through and got site #127 for 3 nights.  We had never been to Dickinson State Park and some friends have been telling us how beautiful the park is, so we thought why not stay 3 days and enjoy exploring the park.  Well...well... As we walked to the ranger station to check in there was a sign up on door notifying that swimming in Loxahatchee River is closed due to high bacteria count.   Ahhh, what?!  No swimming while we are here?!   We were disappointed, but there are other things to do besides swimming.   Right?   Ok, let's move on... There are canoe/kayak rentals, boat tours, horseback riding... That ought to keep us busy for the next 3 days... What a relief!

Dickinson State Park has a variety of natural habitats, scrub pine, flat woods, mangroves and swamps.  The Loxahatchee River runs through the park and there is a boat tour that people can get on to visit Trapper Nelson's homestead.

After we checked into the site we were hungry and fixed sandwiches using leftover pulled beef that Edith prepared at home before the trip.

View of the Forest from the campsite
Our campsite
In the back is the bathhouse - easy walk :-)

After lunch we biked to Elsa Kimbell Environmental Education and Research Center.  The Center is where there are hands-on educational programs and natural/cultural history, wildlife and animals.  It was still in the process of fixing up the interior and there is a gallery for art and photography exhibition that is displayed all year 'round.  We inquired about what to see/do in the park.  

We then biked to the River store to make reservations for boat tour to visit Trapper Nelson's homestead.  Well...well... there is a sign on the door notifying attendees that the store/concession/rental will be closed September 15 -September 20.  What?!  We were planning on reserving boat tour tickets for tomorrow, but no we cannot do that!!!  The lady suggested that we go visit it today and we had like an hour left before the tour started.  We hurriedly biked back to the campsite to pick up Edith's camera equipment bag and binoculars.  

To make matters worse, the River store is closed for the week and we cannot rent canoes/kayaks during our stay.  No horseback riding, either.. Oh, come on.. What else can we do here???
Did we make a mistake staying here for 3 nights?

What is so special about Trapper Nelson?  He came to the area in 1930 from New Jersey and made a living by trapping and selling furs.  Where he lived was far from civilization, and he was a loner.  Soon, he became famous and was called the "Wildman of the Loxahatchee".  After he was killed under mysterious circumstances in 1968 the state acquired his land, preserving the buildings for people to come and take a look at the site.

The Loxahatchee Queen II boat can seat only 25 passengers.  During the ride the guide narrated in English, but 3/4 of the passengers spoke only Spanish. It is 3 miles from the River store to Trapper Nelson's site.

After getting off the boat to meet the ranger, there were ants all over the ground. We had to stomp our feet to prevent them from getting on us. It was awful! Edith did not want to be bitten again!  However, once we got moving we were further away from the mounds.  What a relief!  The tour lasted about 45 minutes.  After the tour was over we were allowed, for like, 5 minutes to explore on our own.  

Smoke house for smoking meat

Trapper's kitchen (too hot to cook indoors)

The ride back to the dock at the River store was very pleasant, but there was no sign of birds or alligators.

We rode back to the campsite, set up chairs outside and had bread with dipping oil before supper.  After supper the sky looked threatening.  Then came down hard rain which lasted for half an hour.

Erwin tried to go biking after supper but it was too wet.  Edith worked to catch up on the notes of our journey.

Our thoughts:

Would we stay at Fort Pierce KOA again?  Probably not.  

At Johnathan Dickinson State Park?  Probably not IF we are by ourselves, but if we are with friends or a group we would go there again.

Miles Driven: 47

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