Oil Paintings of Florida

By

John Sterpe

 

Swept Away  1999

Another true Great Outdoors adventure   page 1

  Barbra says, I wasn't so sure this trip was a great idea. I was already tired and it seemed a little far to wander off even for a three day weekend.
Harold and I left Tampa around 4pm on New Year's Eve. We had planned a three-day kayak camping trip south of Naples in the Ten Thousand Islands area. Goodland - I've lived in Florida more than 45 years and I've never heard of this place !! We forged our way through Marco Island
until the right hand turn to Goodland. As soon as we made that turn, it was as if we were in another time: Maybe this wasn't such a bad idea.
 
We arrived at the Mar-Good RV Resort around 10:30PM. We had to interrupt the New Year's Eve celebration in the recreation hall to get Sandy, the owner, to show us to our cabin. On the way to the office, she told us about the things of interest in the area. She could hardly hide her disdain for "Markup Island", as she called it. We were to meet Katie,
John M., John S., Barbara, and Mike the next morning and asked her to look out for them Everyone had arrived by 10AM the next morning.
 We unloaded our boats from our vehicles, loaded our gear up and took off for Cape Romano.
 I saw three manatees on the way over. At times, huge flocks of shore birds would fly overhead. The collective sound of their wings about ten feet overhead was amazing It took about five hours to get to the campsite. What a beautiful spot!
   I was feeling even better about having made this trip.

 
The campsite we chose was about 60 yards wide and about the same length. The Gulf was on one side and a tiny mangrove bay, ( maybe you'd call it a bayou), was behind us. On the Gulf side, about a quarter of the site was protected by a strip of beach with some trees on it. A small inlet ran between the strip of land and our campsite.

John Messina, Dave Bracket, Katy Lelas
                                                                                           Background_pg_2.jpg (103812 bytes)
Cape Romano
  A couple was camped up on a small bluff overlooking the inlet. They were Mark and Dali, from Miami and had paddled their kayaks over from Marco Island the previous day. Another couple was camped below us. They were locals and had been camping there frequently. Harold talked with them about the front that was predicted to pass through on Sunday. The couple said they were going to pack up Saturday late and head out. They knew from experience that their campsite would be under water if a storm blew through.   They pointed out the topography of the campsite and assured us we would be alright in a storm. There was a little creek that originated in the bayou and traversed the campsite. The man mentioned having seen the water come up through there before.
 We spent the day walking on the beach, sunbathing, and paddling around the area. That night, a full moon rose from the bayou and a cool breeze picked up. We had dug a pit and started a fire. All there was to do was sit back and enjoy the scenery. I positioned myself to sleep that night so that I could look out of my tent flap and see the moon

To next page 2 - 3 - 4 or  5 or The Two Johns Version page 6

 

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