Breakfast With Alligators…

Early this morning I set out from Sarasota to the Myakka River State Park for a kayak trip.  The Myakka River flows through the park which consists of 57 square miles of wetlands, prairies and woodlands.  The entry fee was only 4 dollars.  To launch a boat there is no fee.  Upon entering the park, the ranger gave me a map and a small piece of paper with a warning notice.  I thought it would be an alligator warning, but to my surprise, the warning was for the dreaded black vulture?  I guess the black vulture has been eating the rubber off of cars?  They seem to enjoy tasty windshield wipers and the rubber molding that holds windshields in place?  Can you imagine going for a hike or a paddle and returning to your vehicle to find your windshield wipers missing?  I have never heard of that, I guess you learn something everyday!  I survived the morning visit with wipers intact!  Shelia and I launched from the Myakka Outpost ramp and immediately saw a 10 ft long alligator.  I got within about 15 ft of him and took some pictures, then he submerged… I was fine when I could see him, it was when he disappeared that I got a little spooked…. I mean, Shelia is an “inflatable” kayak and alligators do have teeth!  Luckily for me I don’t look like alligator food and was able to paddle for 3 hours without incident!  Along the way, I saw many interesting looking birds and a pair of alligators!  Beautiful day paddling away!

Above, a 10 ft alligator welcomes kayakers to the North Myakka Lake.
Below, a conspicuously placed sign warns boaters not to “bother” the alligators. ok no problem I can follow that sign!

Above, the South East shoreline of the Myakka Lake North.
Below, one of the many cranes fishing for breakfast.

Above and Below, a handsome crane lets me get within 20 ft of him before flying off…. one of the advantages of a kayak is that you can slowly and quietly sneak-up on wildlife!

Above, the dreaded “Black Vultures” take a break from eating windshield wipers.
Below, another shot of the beautiful shoreline of Lake Myakka.

Above, a wide variety of waterfowl dot the shoreline of Lake Myakka.
Below, the large “tour air-boat” waits for tourists.

Above, my alligator friend greets me after my paddle around the lake!
   

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I am an adventure-loving American man, with a severe case of wander-lust and a desire to experience as much of this wonderful world as humanly possible. Every place I have visited or lived has taught me something about life and helped me grow. For me, traveling opens my eyes to how similar the human race is, yet at the same time, how unique we all are. I hope this blog will motivate you to put down the TV remote, dust off your backpack and decide to take a chance on an adventure. It can be a walk in a new neighborhood 2 miles from home or a trip to a far off distant land. I have lived in or visited over 50 countries during my life and hope to see many more. I want to share my experiences. I hope you enjoy the blog. -WAND3R3R, Somewhere on the Globe, 2014.