Sunday, April 18, 2010

Melbourne-Eau Gallie Adventure

"What do ya want to do today?"
"Rainy Day?  How about that flea market we see from I-95 near Eau Gallie (O-Golly)?"
"Ok."
Interesting flea market.  We have seen it from the expressway for 8  years and I have never visited it.  Ok...I bought a couple of things...some lounge-about dresses, a case for my cell phone, a cool bamboo windchime decorated with turtles (I collect turtles), and a fresh lemonade.  He got a wallet and glasses.  We also got business cards from a couple of interesting vendors.  I WAS tempted by the deep-fried Oreo cookies, but passed on that.  We wandered about 2/3 of the place and I want to go back.
From the flea market we drove less than a mile to look at a piece of land.  The neighborhood was on a canal and many of the houses had one or more air boat.  Supposedly the canal is open access to Lake Washington.  But, he said, he has never found the real lake.

Back out on the main road we saw a local police officer and asked him about the lake.  Seems that if we stay on the main road, which turns to unpaved in half a mile or so, and drive to the end of THAT, we will be near the lake.  Have to walk down the muddy path to see the lake, he said.

The drive down the 2-car-wide sand road was interesting in itself with wide straight canals on both sides and marsh beyond that.  I had never been so close to vultures and had to take the opportunity to photograph them.  Ugly, I know, but they keep the dead animals cleaned up and the roadsides looking nice.
Soon we saw a youngish fella that looked like a Florida Native...yes there ARE some natives and mighty interesting they are.  He was trying to take a photo of something.  We asked and he replied "'Gator" and showed us.  So I had to take a picture, too.
At the end of the road the "path" had a deep pit full of water across it so walking back to see the lake was not an option.  Aha!  There was ANOTHER Native Floridian...looked like an alligator hunter.
 We asked what he was looking at through his binoculars. "'Gator" he replied.  Sure enough, down the way was another beastie.
Not all of the sights were chilling.  There were several species of amazing waterlilies.
This second Native told us another way to get to see The Lake.  It involved several roads and turns which we followed...but no lake. 
Finally we got out the GPS and found a "Lake Washington Park" so we followed the GPS to a nice small but clean access point.
It exists!  Mostly marsh around the lake seems to make it so inaccessible unless you have an airboat...but that lake is HUGE.
On the way out of the park I was able to get up close and personal with this squirrel.  We have Fox Squirrels back home and they aren't nearly as cute as these.  These look so much smaller, softer; and the white bellies and around the eyes give it an appealing look.

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Laura Lou
Michigan/Florida, United States
I am a retired Middle School Science teacher from Michigan spending 4 months each winter in Florida and learning about a whole new world.
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