Saturday, August 3, 2013

Bahia Honda State Park, Bahia Honda Key, Florida. July/25/2013

Hey all,

Hope all is well & good.  Last week I had the wonderful opportunity of visiting Bahia Honda State Park for a second time.  It was so breathtaking and beautiful that I decided to bring my "good" camera to share pictures with y'all here.  Bahia Honda is located at MM37, which is about 40 minutes north of where Garrett and I live.  It's a pleasant drive up Highway 1 over bridges and through the mangroves.  I was lucky enough to score a United States Veterans Card from our good friend here named Timothy who's served in the Navy and is a Veteran of the Korean War, which waived the entrance fee to the park from 4$ to free!  Garrett describes Tim as "quite the character!"  Tim is one of the security guards for the community in which we live.  He patrols in his golf cart and secretly leaves the local "Conch Color" newspaper on our front porch.  Tim looks out for us, he's a really nice man.

Upon entering the park you are lead down a road and can choose to go right, to the "old bridge", snack shack, and bay side beach, or left to camping and Sandspur beach.
The old bridge was a Rail Bridge that connected Bahia Honda Key to Spanish Harbor Key.  It was built in 1912 by Henry Flagler and was wiped out by the Labor Day Hurricane in 1935.  What is left of the bridge can be accessed by pedestrians at the park and gives a great vantage point for pictures as you'll see in the ones below.  Pathways in the park are very well maintained, the park is very safe, and the volunteers, park rangers, and employees are all a joy to speak with and are very willing to be of any assistance.  If you're walking the park you could follow the beach or ride your bike, there is a paved road that measures 3.5 miles and leads you to sandspur beach camping if you follow it north.  I surveyed all of the "good" spots to camp on...from what I gathered, the best sites that I saw were #'s 53, 54, 59, 61, 68, & 72.  I noted that #'s 53 & 68 were somewhat shady and that can be important when tenting in the HOT summer heat down here.  Number 54 was a great spot because it was ON the beach, and #72 was a beach spot as well but was also a BIG spot, which is nice to have if you're camping with a full crew. The shady sites were covered by beautiful trees and nestled off of the road just a bit.  I would imagine it could get quite buggy at night there as the Mosquitoes and Biting Midge's a.k.a. No-see-um's have become quite the pest down here lately...Garrett and I have found that any body spray that has Vanilla as the main scent works really well to repel them & isn't as harmful as a commercial bug spray....just a heads up !! Lavender, citronella, & lemongrass are also great natural repellants.
So, anyway...check out the photo's & enjoy.   Come down and visit us! Much love.  xoxox Be good to one another.  <3
 Pelicans are used to visitors at the park, & can be seen dive bombing the water for a fish right next to a snorkeler giving them quite the fright. ;) They look prehistoric to me...
View from a trail in the park by the butterfly garden.
An Osprey Sits atop the tallest branch in search of his next meal.  A sight to see in person, they're spectacular.
 A view East to the ocean on the old Henry Flagler Rail Bridge.
 Another view from the Flagler Rail Bridge ---this is the "bay side" beach.
 These guys are not hard to find.  Indigenous to the Keys, they're everywhere, and can be found during the day catching the rays to raise their body temperatures for the evening slumber.
A Pelican enjoying his rock for the hour that I was enjoying my spot on the beach.  We had a nice time.
 Not a great picture of Sandspur Beach, but it'll do.  Here is a nice long beach about a mile long if I had to guess --- you can walk along the ocean or snorkel.  There are public wash houses here with showers if you need.  It's incredibly relaxing.
Beautiful butterflies flutter by you making your visit that much more enchanting.
Pathway to a beach by the old Rail Bridge.