After paying the eight dollar entry fee into the park, I drove less than half a mile when I was a young doe. She was on the side of the road with a look of caution in her eyes. I stoped and enjoyed watching her graze until a car drove up behind me and I drove on to allow them enjoyment of her natural beauty.
It was about ten o'clock in the morning and the rain was light. The walk to the turpentine mill gave me a since of joy that with the weather I wouldn't be sharing the trail of the mill with other visitors. This gave me the opportunity to see more and take my time without moving out of the way to let others pass. The mill which I have visited with my children several times looked the same as always but I enjoyed looking at it. The trail was peaceful and just what I needed. The flowers were in bloom and the birds sang. The slow on-off sprinkle of rain cooled the temperature to about seventy degrees. The bugs must have decided to ask shelter from the rain which made the walk more enjoyable.
Later I drove to Gator Lake and walked the short trail. This walk was not quite as serene. The mosquito's had decided to come out along with other park visitors. A group of excited people came walking back from the trail with the normal excitement you here when they spot a gator. As promised when I reached the edge of the lake a small gator was relaxing in the water.
Driving further down the the jetties where my children and I spent several summers I noticed the red flag and new I would not do any swimming today. I did get into the water and enjoy the waves push against me and the fell of the sand pulling from under my feet. The water surprisingly was warm considering the cool day and when I got out of the water I realized that the weather had warmed up a little. The walk along the shore was as thrilling as the water. It was then that I realized that as much as I love the beach, I hadn't been in the water in years. I have walked the beach and let my feet get wet but I stopped swimming after my last surgery back in 2005. There was a time when I was like a fish in water and now I realize I'm beached. I thought about purchasing a yearly pass then realized that I would not use it. The gas to drive here every few days is a waste I prefer not to splurge on.