Camping in Florida- St. Lucie Lock and Dam, Stuart, Florida

We were happy that we decided to go to a hotel last night. Lots of thunder, lightning and high winds overnight and a tornado was sighted west of where we would have been camping. Today, we would be setting up tent at the St. Lucie Lock and Dam campsite operated by the U.S.Corps of Engineers on the banks of the canal running eastward from Lake Okeechobee. The campground accommodates 12 units with three of the sites specifically for tents only. We happened upon the site by accident as we were intending to go to the slightly less expensive Phipps campground which is close by and much larger in area and number of sites. No complaints though. A nice location with hot showers. We got Tent site #1.   While John set up his tent and did some minor repair work, I scouted out the area and looked for possible cycling trails.

Our tent site was right beside the canal and Brown Pelicans were continually flying by or diving down to try and catch a fish or two. Humans needed to go along the bank of the canal a short distance to do their fishing.

The trail along the canal was firm enough for walking and for our bikes, so I had hoped that it might follow the canal for a long distance but, unfortunately, it was blocked by a fence at a new subdivision only a short distance along the canal.

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The canal was along one side of the path and an overgrown drainage ditch was on the other side. The drainage ditch had plenty of ferns and similar wetland vegetation growing in it.

We began our cycle route for the day by traveling along the path and then back-tracking through the subdivision and onto Hwy. 76 (Kramer Hwy.). The highway shoulders were paved but, in some locations, were littered with broken glass which, unfortunately for me, eventually gave me a flat tire. We were cycling into a stiff head wind so we didn’t cycle as far as we might have hoped. It was nice to have the wind behind us when we eventually turned around and headed back to our tent site.

Each time that we were near to a body of water of any depth or size, I was surprised to find alligators along the banks. Hard to imagine that there would be enough food around for them all to survive.

As we were cycling back, John noticed a Bald Eagle high in an old tree well away from the road. It sat there for quite a while as I tried to get closer but eventually flew.

I had seen very few damselflies or dragonflies along the way so was surprised when John pointed out that we had a red-bodied damselfly on our truck’s antenna. I had never encountered a red-bodied one before.

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About Ron

Ron has long had an interest in photography and traveling and, in recent years, has had more time to devote to both activities. Long a Pentax user, Ron switched to Nikon gear when he went digital. The advent of the digital SLR camera, and the ease of the internet blogging process, has provided a venue for sharing his photography and travel experience at the local, national and international level. More about Ron
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