Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Day 750: .N. "Ding" Darling Refuge - Sanibel Island, Florida - Causeway Islands Park

Thank You Al...

Day #750 * Hike #934* New Track #740
Wednesday December 5, 2012
J.N. "Ding" Darling Refuge - Sanibel Island, Florida
Causeway Islands Park
My Tripometer: 3.25 Hours * 1.5 Miles * +25 Feet

We met up with my buddy Al on Sanibel Island.  This island paradise is located on the gulf coast not far from Fort Myers.  Be prepared, the bridge leading to the island was $6.00+ per car; the third most expensive bridge in the country.

After meeting up at Al's house, we treated ourselves to some FroYo and then entered the J.N. "Ding" Darling Refuge.  I rode Al's scooter and switched off with the kids as he drove my rental.

The four mile one way road offers many viewing spots to stop and wander around.  There is an option to take a tram but I would recommend paying the $5.00 per car to drive yourself.

 Well hello there...

 Red Mangrove Overlook

 My 25 feet of elevation gain for this trek came from the tower

 Calusa Shell Mound Trail

This is a short loop trail.  The Indigo Trail is another short trail in the front of the park.  The weather looked threatening but it held up long enough to allow us to enjoy this escape.  If it wasn't for Al, I would never have even heard of Sanibel or the "Ding".

 Actually, we were leaving...

 Hold on tight, Alyssa at the helm

Al treated us to lunch at Schnapper's Hots.  Thanks again for making our experience here amazing.  Although I ride a motorcycle daily in California, I have always had a fear of riding a scooter.  Back in the day when I rode mopeds, my buddy Jaime Gordon "borrowed" his dad's scooter and then let Cory ride it.  He jumped on, accelerated too fast down my hill, wobbled and then, BAM!  Crashed right into the curb.  Since then, I said no to scooters because the tires are to small.  However, my scooter experience on the island was enjoyable and rewarding.  I conquered my fears and had a great time doing it...

Heading off the island we stopped at Causeway Islands Park.  These birds had no fear.  They came right up to you and even one of them flew right into our car and ate our left over hot dog :)

Good Times!  Next stop, Cleveland...  Yep, CLEVELAND :)....

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