Ernie and Noela arrived at 9:45 and the men loaded our bike rack and our bikes on Ernie's truck. Then we went over to Chuck and Melissa's, loaded their bikes, and the 6 of us began our drive to Fort DeSoto. We had to go over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge which is a gorgeous drive, but unfortunately there was a crash on the bridge and quite a "tie-up". It took at least 1/2 hour longer than usual. But, the bridge is not a bad place to have to travel slowly. The view is incredible.
|Leaving Bradenton and entering Palmetto!|
|What a unique bridge and gorgeous view!|
|This photo was taken from Ft. DeSoto. The Sunshine Skyway Bridge\|
is one huge bridge.
We drove onto the island, stopping to go through the Ft. DeSoto campground, which is a wonderful place. The sites are so private and many of them back-up to water and you can launch kayaks and canoes right from your site.
We continued driving and parked at North Beach on Ft. DeSoto. By then it was lunch time so we found a picnic table where we had a nice view of the water and ate our packed lunches.
|Ernie was very thankful we ate before bike riding! He|
Then we unloaded the bikes and rode to the end of the island, about 5 miles. Ken decided the backdrop for a group photo was perfect and so the picture taking began.
|Ken took this photo in honor of Celebrate Women Day!|
We rode back to North Beach, stopping at the fishing pier, the Fort, and then the best stop - the concession stand for ice cream!
|Melissa was trying to "reposition" the gun. No luck!|
|They have 2 very nice fishing piers. This is the short one!|
|A dolphin was very near the pier and gave us a "show"!|
|A view of the gorgeous beach from the pier. The sand is so white|
and almost like cornstarch!
When we got back to the parking lot, the men loaded the bikes and the 6 of us walked to the beach. We had about 45 minutes to stroll the beach before getting into Ernie's truck and driving back to our campground. No congestion on the way back, so we arrived at the CG at 5:30, tired but happy!
|Looking for "Treasures"!|
|Ft. DeSoto reminds me of Old Florida - everything is natural|
and not "groomed"!
|Not a bad place to relax and just enjoy the view!|
After unloading Ernie's truck, we put everything in its place and then drove to Wal-Mart for needed groceries. We had leftovers for dinner, cleaned-up and were at Chuck and Melissa's by 7:45. We played Rook (W) and then Melissa and I reluctantly agreed to play Skip-Bo, which the men won again, but only by 1 card. Also, it should be noted that we had 5 Skip-Bo's compared to their 16. It just doesn't seem right!
What a phenomenal day that was shared with special friends!
|This was the "lowest" osprey nest we ever saw!|
|Just because it was pretty!|
|Looks like you are on a tropical island!|
|The lighthouse as seen from the pier!|
|Hey, what are you doing tonight???|
|Let me show you what I am thinking!!!!|
|Okay, maybe not!!!!|
|Ken loves his bird pictures. This one is special!|
|A great blue heron up close and personal!!|