Saturday, February 23, 2013 (Day 19)–Mermaids and moving on to Fort Desoto County Park, Tierra Verda, FL

Spent 3 hours at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park this morning.  It is definitely an older, worn park barely hanging on.  Admission was $8.

Welcome to Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

The mermaids at Weeki Wachee Springs have delighted visitors since 1947. Today, visitors can still witness the magic of the mermaids, take a river boat cruise and canoe or kayak on the Weeki Wachee River. The 538-acre park features a first magnitude spring and a 400-seat submerged theatre for watching the live mermaid show.

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I watched an animal show (baby turtles, baby snakes and a baby possum) first then I watched the Little Mermaid show.  The show is performed completely underwater in a natural spring.  The hoses you see are air hoses that the performers take air from during the show.  There are turtles and fish swimming along during the performances.

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Here was lunch….chicken schnitzel on a stick.  It was chicken with a coating deep fried.  It was pretty good.

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After lunch I watched the “Mermaids of Yesteryear” show.  The 4 ladies in this show are former mermaids in past years.  Once a month they perform as volunteers.  The ladies are between 57 and 65 years old.  They all performed for several years during the 1970’s.  What great spirit they have and what fun to watch!

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About 1:00pm I left the park and drove about 80 miles to Fort Desoto County Park.  This is a very, very popular park that is difficult to get camping reservations for. 

This is a big park with a lot going on….

Whether you are sitting on the beach or kayaking near the still water’s edge at Fort De Soto, you find yourself absorbed in the abundance of natural beauty for as far as the eye can see. The complexity of the ecology is not immediately apparent, but the park offers the greatest diversity of systems just about anywhere. Emerging from the wealth of bird life, sea life, wild life and plant life is the majestic tapestry called Fort De Soto.

The largest park within the Pinellas County Park System, Fort De Soto park consists of 1,136 acres made up of five interconnected islands (keys). These keys are home to beach plants, mangroves, wetlands, palm hammocks, hardwoods and scores of native plants. Each of these species plays a vital role in the preservation and protection of the natural environment.

Take a look at my site……Wow!!!…the 3rd picture is the back of the site….I hope nothing slithers out of that water while I am here……

Not only do all the sites look like this but over half of them are on the water was well.  My site is not on the water but I was lucky to get in at all.  I checked three times a day for quite some time until finally someone must have cancelled their site and I jumped on it.  Cost here is $43.12 per night for my site.  I am here for 3 nights. The water sites are a couple of dollars more.  This same setup in a private park would cost twice that.

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I noticed two of the following sign at the campground… did they decide on 13??????????????????????

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I drove around to check things out and stopped at a couple of the beaches….it was getting very foggy.  It was 80 degrees and very, very humid when I arrived this afternoon.   The pictures below were all taken between 5 and 6 pm.  The second picture below is something you don’t see every day on a beach.  They are having a civil war reenactment this weekend here in the park and apparently some of the participants decided to visit the beach in their costumes.

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Sunday, Oct 21, 2012 (Day 36) Bryce Canyon

I drove thru Bryce Canyon National Park this morning and stopped at all the scenic stops.  Was not quite as enjoyable this morning as it was “chilly”.  It was 48 degrees with a chilly wind.  I have seen plenty of hoodoos now.

Above is Bryce Canyon, Rainbow Point, Elevation 9115

Above is Bryce Canyon, Natural Bridge, Elevation 8627

This is what it looks like when you stick your camera out of the sunroof and shoot backwards while driving…………..

This afternoon I drove down (25 miles) to Kodachrome Basin State Park.

Tomorrow I am moving on to Torrey, Utah.