2011-06-26 27 -81
Circle B Bar Nature Reserve, in some trees off a trail. May or may not be accessible, but it's a good kick in the pants to go check out that park! And if nothing else, I can take pictures of stuff.
Find out when they open (5AM). Go early so the weather isn't disgustingly hot. Decide whether to bike or drive (24km each way, returning when it's much hotter). Bring cameras.
Updated plans: there's a geocache there. And by that I mean, right there. How far is 0.2 seconds? Because that's how close it is. Also, the reserve is supportive of geocaching, so they should be fine with people walking in circles staring at their GPS just off a trail. This just keeps getting better.
My decision on whether to cycle or drive was made for me by my FL bike; I had the tires inflated Friday evening, rode it to a 5k race Saturday morning, and Saturday afternoon the front tire was soft. This morning it was flat. So, driving it is. (And a new inner tube is now in the cards for this bike. Probably will cost as much as the bike did.)
It was overcast and muggy, but didn't seem as hot as it had been the previous week. I put on sunscreen anyway.
The drive out to Circle B Bar Reserve was easy, and the reserve's parking lot was just a few hundred metres away from the hashpoint. An electric tram tour was just departing as I walked up at 9AM, carrying my cameras. I picked up the last trail map in the outside pamphlet holders, chatted briefly with the lady who worked there, and headed along the trail going in the right direction.
It turns out that the road displayed on google maps is a service road for the reserve; the hiking trail goes right through the stand of trees containing the hashpoint. It was not a stand of trees with underbrush, but a stand of widely spaced trees with grass and other small, non-obstructive plants growing between them. I walked in circles for a minute or so to get a zero on my GPS, then took some pictures.
Then I started looking for the geocache which I knew was nearby. It was, as predicted, absurdly close, maybe 5 metres away, and the container was easy to spot once you were in the right place - just around the other side of the tree.
Once I finished documenting the geohash, I wandered down the hiking trail named "alligator alley" but didn't see any gators there, only warning signs. The "marsh rabbit" trail was closed due to alligators, so that's probably where they all were. On a different trail, I did see one young gator hanging out on a log, and a bunch of birds, including the biggest great blue heron I've ever seen, and a whole flock of bright white egrets, which were by far the easiest birds to spot. I'm not a birder, so I don't know what all I saw, for the most part.
I wandered through the displays once the buildings opened at noon (very nice of them to open the trails early) and left about a half hour later. It was an easy geohash and a fun way to spend a morning. (Also, if I'm still here during the bird migration, I think I'll go back... apparently there aren't actually a lot of birds there right now.)
|Rhonda earned the Hash collision achievement|
|Rhonda earned the Virgin Graticule Achievement|