A couple of weeks ago, we decided to go for a quiet little early afternoon walk at a park we’d never visited before. We thought we’d really enjoy our natural surroundings more if we left our phones in the car ;-).
Unfortunately, we also left our jug of water in the car, a really foolish thing to do in July in south Florida!Our scenic hike started out pleasantly enough . . . There were beautiful views in all directions . . . Canoeists and kayakers floating gently downstream . . .A sweet little Green Heron – looking a bit lost in a sea of lake lettuce . . . A Limpkin happily foraging the shallow shorelines for Apple Snails . . .Even a family of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks flying in and out of the tree tops . . .!
But then . . . The trouble all started when we followed one of these horse-crossing signs down an inviting grassy path. We didn’t see a single horse, but we continued on. We kept following side paths . . . and kept walking . . . till it became impossible to find where we’d started. At some point, we suddenly realized that nothing looked familiar!Uh-oh!! . . . We were hopelessly lost in this 665 acre park, and truly couldn’t fathom which way we’d come! Despite the warning signs, we did not see any alligators! But, we had no water, no phone, and it was mid-afternoon on a very hot summer day. Eventually, after wandering way off course, we came across a long, wide canal, which seemed to be outside the park.
Much to our great relief, a wonderful, lone bicyclist happened by near the canal! He insisted on giving us a bottle of cold Gator-Ade (no pun intended!! ;-D) – a real life-saver – and pointed us back in the right direction, saying, “You’ve got about a 3-mile walk to get back to your car.” (!!)When we finally arrived back at the car at 6 PM, I started looking at the few photos I’d taken, and – what? – I had completely forgotten that I had taken a shot of this map of the park about 15 minutes into our walk!! There were all the trails and all the twists and turns, right there on my camera!!
Could have come in handy if I’d remembered it was there!