Melbourne Beach, Florida
Sunday morning we get on the road early for us. We have an afternoon of football and grub planned with a couple of our favorite friends.
We last saw Jim and Diana (ExloRVistas) in Michigan, and made plans then to catch up with them at their winter digs in Melbourne Beach. It was supposed to be for a week, but with our expedited schedule we only have three nights. Still, we all make the best of what we have.
None of us remembered photos of our outdoor gathering watching all our teams with NFL Ticket, enjoying yummy eats and brews, and getting caught up - but it was fun!
Jim's been re-hired for his UPS gig so we run a couple errands before picking them up after he gets home on Monday. We're off to the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge north of us.
It's not our first, but it may be our favorite! We see lots of what we're looking for, and even a big surprise! It's great having four pairs of eyes to find even more critters along the way.
|Great Blue Herons pose for us throughout the refuge.|
|Jim sees our first gator.|
|And he's a big one!|
|There are a lot of vultures here - this one looking more like a lady's hat than a voracious scavenger.|
|Some gators are mostly hidden in the grass, others float slowly beside us.|
|Always majestic, we see a couple bald eagles.|
|Although mostly marshland, much of the refuge looks like the savannah.|
|An Ibis with matching beak and legs.|
|The sun begins to set over baby Mangroves.|
|Some gators look more dinosaur-ish than others.|
|Our surprise is this wild pig with curly tail trotting along the pink grass.|
|It's a beautiful time of day to enjoy the natural beauty.|
|Florida sunset - our first!|
|Good times with good friends.|
|The first home of Jim Morrison - a private residence that acknowledges the history but discourages accessing the property.|
|So you know you're at the right place. Jim was four when the family moved to New Mexico.|
|Now a motel, this was the hospital where Morrison was born on December 8, 1943. In the Times UK obituary it was written that he was born in California. He did spend much of his short 27 years there, but he was born right here.|
|We're greeted by these baby Loggerheads.|
|Colorful exhibits are informative without being overwhelming.|
|A little Halloween humor :-)|
|Home to thousands of sea turtle nests and hatching babies from May to October each year.|
|The Centennial Trail lists every wildlife refuge and conservation area monument from 1903 through 2016. Sadly, I will be shocked if we see any more in the following four years.|
|Restored wetlands and hydric hammocks.|
|A refuge we need to visit in Wisconsin!|
|The safety crew.|
|Our fellow nature loving pals.|
|Sparkles through the Mangroves.|
|This end of the trail is bordered on one side by large homes and a golf course on the other.|
Our stay here was at Outdoor Resort. Really a trailer park, there are maybe a dozen spaces for RVs out of 575. It is clean and well maintained, but it is very tight. We have a beautiful view of the water from our back yard, but can't put our awning out all the way. Trees and shrubs give us privacy and we're able to connect our satellite. Concrete pad and patio is level, and Tessa has a large grass space to play in the back.
|After weeks of mostly heat and humidity, we have absolutely perfect weather!|
After just a couple days, I can see the appeal of spending a season here. We'll be back!