Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday, 14 January
Jim called at 6PM to let us know how he and Gus are doing.  They had a portage today, so Jim says it's a 2-Advil night.  Along with the portage they paddled approximately 16 miles today.  They saw a total of 76 alligators, a number which might be lower than it would have been if the water levels in the lake weren't so high.  The higher water levels allow the gators to get into the side streams, so there aren't so many in the lake itself.  Jim said the critters weren't aggressive.  One came up right alongside his canoe, but took very little notice of him.  The men are still in Blue Cypress Lake.  We were very impressed yesterday upon our arrival at the fish camp where Jim and Gus spent the night.  It is really a laid-back type of place, very clean and well maintained.  Jim and I drove down I-95 yesterday to the Vero Beach exit, about 150 miles south of Flagler Estates where I'll be staying for the duration of this trip.  After lunch at a Steak and Shake, we headed about 18 miles west, through extended citrus groves, and then north for approximately 8 miles to Middleton's Fish Camp.  I fell in love with the place at once.  There are nice little homes situated on open canals that lead directly to Blue Cypress Lake.  Each home site has its own boat pier at the front or back door.  How cool is that???   I can do without the snakes and gators that inhabit the area, but the people are very friendly and helpful. Jeanne and Joe Middleton, who own the fish camp greeted us warmly and arranged for Jim and Gus to rent a cabin right on the canal.  They did suggest an extra bottle of mosquito repellent.  With warm temperatures and high water levels, those pests are swarming.    The guy's canoes were kept on the back porch overnight, ready for immediate departure this morning, with just an easy push-off right from the porch .    Hope the guys have a great time paddling!  Oh - one more thing - the men did get to watch the NFL play-off game on TV in their cabin  last night.  Who says you can't have all the comforts of home?  As for me, I'll enjoy the company of non-paddling friends here in St. Johns County, and the comfort of my own cozy air-conditioned home on wheels.  :>)  Signing off for today -    Jean

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