Monday, March 26, 2012

Curry Hammock State Park, Marathon FL

Campers Beach - Curry Hammock State Park
We arrived at Curry Hammock State Park on Thursday, March 22nd and will  be here for two weeks.  This is the smallest of the four Florida State Parks in the Keys, with only 28 campsites (two of which are occupied by campground hosts).  Because of the limited number of campsites, it's difficult to get in.  Fortunately we not only got in, but got one of the best sites in the park.  We are on campsite 23, which offers plenty of room for both the trailer and the First Up.  It may be one of the best sites we've ever had.

Mirra admiring our sheepdog flag

We're really loving sitting out and enjoying the view from our site - last night we even saw dolphins playing!  The weather has been spectacular, about 83 degrees with a cooling breeze blowing all the time.

The beach off of the campground is beautiful, but the water is so shallow that you really can't swim.  However, I found an excellent little sandy beach in a secluded area on the adjacent public swimming beach.  I think we'll head on over there tomorrow and try it out.

We would like to put our canoe in the water, but can't find a good place to put it in easily.  We ordered a canoe cart from Bass Pro Shops, and they should get it in about a week.  Once we get the cart we can roll the canoe down the road to the beach and launch it there.  There's a small key not too far from the beach that we would like to explore.

Bob and Mirra enjoying the breezes

No dogs on the beach!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

We arrived at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park on March 10th, and will be here until March 22nd.  I like this park much better than I had in the past because they improved the sites.  They added sewer to the sites two years ago, and it is the only park that offers full hookups.  The other parks offer electric and water only.  Also, they filled all of their sites in with gravel.  Although the sites are still a bit tight, they are just fine, and we have been enjoying our stay so far.

John Pennekamp is probably the biggest snorkeling and scuba park in the Keys.  They have daily snorkeling trips as well as a glass bottom boat that takes you out to the reef.  You can also see plenty of fish by just snorkeling in the water off of the beaches. The park has two nice swimming beaches as well as a convenient place right down the street from the campsites to launch our canoe.  We enjoyed a canoe ride on Monday, although it got a bit wild because a whole school of prep school kids were kayaking with us.  We were using our electric motor, so it was a little more difficult to navigate than if we had been simply paddling.  I think we'll take at least one more canoe trip before we leave.

Kayakers on Mangrove Trail, John Pennekamp State Park

Fortunately for Mirra, there is a dog park in Islamorada (in Founders Park) which is only 11 miles from our campsite.  We have taken her down there three times so far, and will probably go at least another 2 times before we leave.  The dog park is right across from a beautiful swimming beach, and has a great atmosphere. It even has a place to wash your dog if you so desire.

Dog Park at Founders Park, Islamorada

Founders Park is a wonderful place to go if you're looking for a good place to swim and hang out for the day.  They charge a $5.00 fee for non-residents, but you get to use their pool, tennis courts, swimming beach and dog park for that fee.  We use the dog park after hours, and you can get in for free at that point.

Founders Park Beach, Islamorada

Today is Saint Patricks Day, and Bob is cooking up corned beef with cabbage.  Happy Saint Patty's day from the Keys!