So, just like everyone else in America, we finally had a couple of NICE, LONG 4 day weekends. Since we had some free time, and the weather was cool enough to walk outside our house and enjoy it, we were going to go out and find a state park we had never been to before. We were hoping to get in a nice hike somewhere.
I spent a couple hours looking south of us, and Chris spent about an hour looking north of us. Although I'm not an expert at online searches, I'm also not a novice. However, neither of us were able to find clear directions and places that we definitely HAD to visit. So, I decided we were just going to head south and check out a place called Port Charlotte. It is about 2 hours south of us right off of Hwy 75.
There is supposed to be a free state park there called "Charlotte Harbor State Park". I figured, since it was a state park, that there would be plenty of highway signs that would point us in the right direction. One word you don't see in Florida often ... FREE. Almost every inch of this state is owned as private property, or is exploited for money in some way. Believe me, these people know how to take money from tourists.
Let me make a note here ... this is NOT the first time we have failed to find good quality information online for a destination we have wanted to explore. Apparently there are so many people in the state of Florida that the businesses thrive simply because there are so many people they can't help but thrive ... or they die because they're so bad no amount of people could keep them stay afloat. I haven't been overwhelmed by the online marketing presence of any attraction or destinations here - and yet most of them are always packed with visitors.
We drive 2 hours south of here hoping and expecting to find road signs to point us to some kind of park we can visit.
But alas, all of our hopes were founded on ... NOTHING! Driving for miles, and we didn't see a single park sign in the area showing us where we could go, stop, play, enjoy their town ... ZILCH!
The GPS gave us a couple of options but none of them turned out to be spectacular.
Here are the cool things we got from the trip:
After our 2 hour drive we finally found a tiny, little 3/4 mile hike in a little neighborhood park. Thankfully Kait's eyes were sharp enough to pick out this snake hiding in a tree just off the trail. It was waiting for a squirrel lunch - but I think we must have interrupted. Can you believe Kait even saw the snake? If you look at the first picture here, you can see what we were all looking at. And somehow she saw it.
And then we also saw this on the way down to the area. I guess I should have known that the grim reaper coming up behind you is NOT a sign to keep going the same direction. Warning signs ... maybe I need to start watching out for more of them.
The look was so cool we had to take some pictures.