Thursday, October 16, 2014

September 16, 2014 (6th Day ) Hobe Sound, FL - Key Largo, FL

Hobe Sound, FL - Key Largo, FL

The color of the sky was different. There was not a tint of blue in it at all. It was more like gray-white.  The sun is out, but not as bright as it should be.   It was 84˚.  As long as it was not raining we were happy.

On way to Hobe Sound Wildlife Refuge, few miles north of the state park. Live animals and reptiles are on display.  Barred owl and red tailed hawk were absent from the display as they were being presented at a school. 

Baby Alligator 
Great Plated Lizard 
Florida Box Turtle
Eastern Spotted Skunk

Outside of the center there are trails to the beach and we took the "Hammock" trail.  There was a guy fishing on the shore of Hobe Sound.  Instead of using a fishing pole he used spray paint cans with fishing line tied and wrapped around the can. It is a cheap way to fish as you didn't have to invest in an expensive fishing pole.  He would bait the hook with shrimp or minnows and throw it out and wait for bites.  We know it works cause he had several fish in his bucket.  He caught a good sized jack crevelle.  We took out time walking on the beach and it was very pleasant.

This is a Gumbo Limbo tree also known as a tourist tree because the bark peels when it grows looking like sunburned skin peeling like you see on tourists!

Coconut on the beach

Gopher Tortoise

We chose a different trail to walk back to the center and we passed a gopher tortoise eating plants/grass.
To cool us off a bit we went back inside the center.  When we did not feel so hot and sticky we were ready to exit the building when a lady brought in the owl and hawk. We went back inside and waited for them to be put back in the enclosure. Both of them had suffered broken wings and cannot be released back into the wild!

Barred Owl
Red-tailed Hawk

We wanted to check out the Bubble House on SE Venus, but it had already been razed!

We then turned right on 708 toward S Beach Rd to visit Jupiter Island and to check out Blowing Rock Preserve. We went to the Nature Conservatory center first, then walked across to the beach.  Admission is $2 honor system.  There is a boardwalk leading to the beach.  The sand was very soft, very difficult for people with hip or knee problems.  It was rather a long walk to see the blowing rocks. The Blowing Rock Preserve is a native coastal habitat restoration.  The rocks are Anastasia limestone (also known as coquina) and extend along Florida's coast from St Augustine to Boca Raton.  Depending on the height of waves it can force geysers of water as high as 50' into the air.  Waves were not as rough or at high tide when we were there, so the geysers were not as powerful.

Nice shaded path to the beach!
Spiny orb-weaver

Rugged Anastasia Limestone

"Blowing Rock"

Storm a-brewing!

We continued driving on 708 South to cross the A1A bridge to get on US 1.  Edith wanted to see Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse before going back to Dickinson State Park.  We missed the entrance to the lighthouse, made a left turn on US 1. The drawbridge was open and we waited few minutes, then made an u-turn to get back to the lighthouse property.  We walked up excitedly to the ticket office for entrance to the inside of the lighthouse. What??!!! Another one??? There was a sign on the door notifying visitors that the entrance to the tower is closed for preservation.  Oh, we were so disappointed, especially Edith because she was looking forward to climbing the steps and taking pictures from the top view.  However, visitors can pay to walk on the base of the tower.  Normal admission is $9, but due to the closure it is $5.  We decided to come back visit it another time and left.

Edith wanted a full view of the lighthouse, so we crossed the drawbridge again and turned left to a side street.  We found a good spot to get pictures.  

When we got back to US 1 we were supposed to turn right and head back to Dickinson State Park in Hobe Sound for the night. We had one more night's stay there, but after debating we decided not to go back there and go south.  Yes, we lost one night's camping fee, but we were frustrated that there was nothing else we can do there.  We decided to keep on driving until we get to Key Largo, FL and find a campground somewhere.

When I (Erwin) was a kid, my older sisters would tell me that the rays were caused by dying people whose souls were ascending into Heaven!   I believed it for a long time and still think about that every now and then, whenever there are especially pretty rays!

Driving on I-95 between West Palm Beach and Miami was not too bad, but after we got on US 1 South it was bumper to bumper for 26 miles!

Super Highway in Miami
Miami International Airport
Imagine the thrill of seeing a plane getting ready to land 

when driving on I-95
Downtown Miami
Here we come!

In Key Largo, FL we swung by John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park to see there is a campsite available.  Yes Yes, they do.. We were too exhausted that we did not go biking or do anything after settling down. 


Miles Driven: 242

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