And we are off. The girls somehow managed to escape for an entire weekend with kayaks, sleeping bags, great food, and no families. This combination – well – really the no family part was quite a feat of cunning and planning. And while we all relish the fact that the Florida Keys provides an amazing stomping ground for family adventure – this little get away was a treat.
After the initial shuffling of cars, people, boats, and car keys we got off to an incredibly windy start to paddle across West Lake to follow the West Lake Canoe Trail. Whippee! No way was there time to pull out a camera for fear of losing all ground and NEVER getting to our destination having to bumble around in a maze of mangroves – not happening.
The girls treated it like a great workout and we were rewarded by arriving to a protected trail that led us out to Garfield Bight where we proceeded to the Shark Point Chiki Hut.
The windy paddle was lovely, shady and full of wildlife. This alligator seemed to be just awaiting our arrival. And even though we do know that they are more afraid of us than we are of them. . .. . I wouldn’t bet on it. I will keep a respectful distance!
To our delight, once arriving in Garfield Bight we discovered wading Roseate Spoonbills! The pink hue is divine and just utterly captivating. The spoonbill has a bright pink badge of honor on his wing to make him stand out even more. They seemed oblivious to us as we observed. Their total focus was on feeding.
As it is in any kayaking adventure, you think you are “there” and realize that “there” will take another many hours of paddling to arrive. We paddled on as the sun was falling in the sky to arrive at Shark Point Chiki. The wind had again picked up, for which we were grateful as we imagined the potential of many uninvited guests (with small wings and hungry mouths) joining us at our stand.
And of course, upon arrival we all understood the concept of cleating off and letting the kayaks hang off in the Florida Bay, but why take chances? We hauled ALL of them on the platform, in preparation for a peaceful night.
And so it was! A night in the Florida Bay. Stew, peanut butter cookies with nutella, coffee, wine, . . . it was the perfect night to solve the world’s problems, think big, be, love the outdoors, and remember why we adore our lives, husbands, and children!