Monday, June 29, 2009

Jake's Twisty Zip

This was our last zip of the day. Our guide Ashley had Jake twist his harness line around and around so that he would spin on the way down. He had so much fun!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Yesterday we had a great time ZipLining. The place we went to had 7 zips so that was fun. After we went up the tower we had 3 zips - 2 across to other platforms and one down to a ramp. Then we walked up another tower and did the last 4 zips, those had some little sky bridge connections which were fun to bounce on as we crossed :) . The weather was pretty nice. Very breezy up on the platforms, lots of cloud cover and a bit of rain. It felt really good zipping in the rain. We were so fortunate that there wasn't any thunder and lightning so we could continue.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Ride the ZipLine!

Here's a video I took of my last zip as I rode, so you can feel like you are ziplining too! :)

Ziplining Today!

Ok, I'm worn out!! So I'm just going to post some video and some pics, and will fill in the details later.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hitting the parks circuit for summer

Our plan is to go to a different park each week this summer. We'll see some new ones and visit some favorites :) .

The first week of June we tried to go to a botanical park called Eureka Springs, but they were closed for repairs! They didn't have anything about it on their site so that was annoying to make a drive out for nothing. We ended up at a park called Veteran's Memorial park that we saw on the way. It wasn't really a hiking park, but we had lunch at the picnic tables and walked around looking at the old war vehicles, missles, helicopters, and memorial sites.

The second week we went to a hiking trail called Alafia Scrub. We went right passed it because the entrance just blends into the rest of the woods on the side of the road. We had to park right out on the side of the road because there is no parking (??). I called the parks service to confirm and yep, just park on the grass after driving over the sidewalk (check for people walking first). :) It was a nice little hike. We had lunch overlooking the river on a little lookout spot.

Last week we didn't make it to a park. We just got lazy. Although we did get to the beach (LOVE the beach). So this week we have to hit two parks to average out 1 per week for the summer.

Today we went to Homosassa Springs park. That was really fun. I actually have some pics from there. We saw manatees, alligators, panthers & bobcats, tons of birds and a hippopotamus. That was a cute story because the park used to be privately owned, then the state took it over. When they did they decided to make it a Florida animals only park. They were going to get rid of the hippo, but all of the kids in the area petitioned to keep him, and the governer (Chiles at that time) made him an honorary Floridian, so they kept him. The best part was...the otters! I could watch them all day.

Barred Owl


Manatee eating a carrot

The Hippo

Then this Saturday to get to our second park we are going ziplining at a park. I'm so excited! I'll post about it later this weekend and hopefully have some pics.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Long Trek, 1 Cache, Learning!

Our first trek with the GPS, and boy are we learning some things. I for one, seem to like using the satellite map view and cannot figure out the GPS, good thing that's Ted's dept! LOL. We went on a huge multi-cache hike. I think there are like 17 or 19 caches.
Well we literally followed the GPS line. Whether there was a path or not we pushed through straight toward our goal. At one point we had to cross a river and there was a fallen log on a small offshoot for us to take. But we brought the dog and she couldn't get past a spot where there was a big chuck of tree limb blocking the way. So I had to carry her across the log! :) We broke through to find a path! LOL. We could have just followed this trail (that we didn't know about) the whole way. When we finally found the cache our GPS was off by 50 feet! How are we supposed to find these things with an error of 50ft in any direction? Good grief.

We took off for the next one after finding the coordinates inisde the first cache. Down the path, but now the path is veering the wrong way. We must have to go straight again right? And, the GPS is being a huge pain because it doesn't want to orient to the way we are going, it only wants to show the view from North. It was horrible.
So off we trek through the woods some more. The dog, who NEVER leaves our sight in all of the years we have had her wandered off three times so we had to leash her. Ever try to break through vines and scrub and brush and climb over palmetto and logs with a dog on a leash? Ugh, she's not coming along next time. This way and that way, through WAY too many spider webs, we wandered and wandered trying to follow our little purple line. At one point a banana spider began lowering itself from the side of my hat. Apparently it was taking a ride! *shudder*.
I'm glad we all wore our camel paks because it was hot and a long hike. The GPS kept saying we were getting closer, but I didn't believe it. After two hours we saw a hill. Now, where we live in FL hills are few and far between. I just kept thinking, PLEASE let that path be at the top of the hill. Or a road, or some sort of civilization...a landmark, SOMETHING besides vines and spiders and palmettos. Our legs and arms were bloody from the thorny vines, and we raced up the hill to find a path. I dropped to my knees and kissed the ground, literally. I was so happy to see it. We followed the GPS down the path to the next point, but didn't see anything. We checked every little tree and bush, nothing. And after all, if it was 50ft off the first time, how would we possibly know where to look? We tried all of the places that would be good for a cache, and even the places that wouldn't. But we really weren't sure how far off the unit was.
So after 4 hours we made it back to the car. We had found ONE little cache out of 17/19. We almost lost the dog. We were bloody and dirty. I'm sure we'll go back again soon! LOL. We did see a wild pig, 2 armadillo (one that wanted to follow us, very cute!), a gazillion spiders, a turtle (or tortoise?) and a beagle :) .