|The Lone Cabbage Restaurant and Air boat ride purveyor seen from the highway 520 bridge over the St. Johns River.|
"Key West or Bust" - Day 112
It was a rain shortened day. I made thirteen miles toward the beach via FL 520 today and then quit in mid-afternoon when a cold rain that had begun as a nuisance turned into a steady soaker. All day I was hiking the wide grassy shoulder beside busy four-lane highway 520. It was not an unpleasant walk, though a few mosquitoes began to show up. The highlight of the day was finding a secret trailhead and white blazed trail behind a closed gate.
This trailhead has no sign identifying it along the highway. There's just a tiny sign on the high chain link gate that says simply 'please close gate'. Inside there is this big parking lot and has an inviting white-blazed trail that headed off into the tropical jungle.
I was tempted to follow it, but since there was no map I had no inkling of where it would lead me, and not enough time to just take off and explore.
That was my first nature fix for the day. Later I noticed one of my favorite mini-ecosystems - the intense competition for real estate that lichens were engaging in on a smooth-barked tree. I took the photo for the variety of colors but spent time marveling at the drama. Each lichen had established a territory and was defending it and battling with its neighbor to expand. From a human reference frame there is no motion, but the evidence of the ongoing dynamic battle at the boundaries is plain to see if you take the time to look.
I ended the day getting soaked as the rain got much heavier than forecast. I reached the western edge of the town of Cocoa. Tomorrow I should be on the beach.
Here's a map of today's route:
Crossing the St. Johns River at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near Palm Bay, Florida