Every now and then I have a really good idea...
...that turns out not to be so good.
Take one weekend this past summer for example. We enjoyed a super nice beach day with friends...some surfing, some swimming, some reading. This was followed by a couple refreshing drinks and a light lunch. It was so glorious outside, that I didn't want to stay in but I also didn't want much more sun.
So I said, " I know! Let's go to Anastasia State Park and find a nature trail!". Thinking that at least then we'd be under shade in the forest part. So we paid the entrance fee, slathered on the 70spf, threw water bottles and a camera in my bag and took off.
Seriously, as I passed the sign "Nature Trail >>> this way" I was bitten by the first of dozens of mosquitos. Never did I stop to think that it's 97º, almost 100% humidity, the day after almost a month of solid rain dumping more water on the city than this area has seen in years, and we've been warned about the high mosquito population this season. As soon as we looked down, we could see actual swarms of these nasties all around our bodies.
So, off we went. Running.
It became just a funny joke almost of finishing the entire trail without stopping waving our arms around or slapping every bit of exposed skin every 5 seconds. An informational sign would come up, just long enough for us to read outloud the name of the tree or flower, before sprinting up and down the forest of dunes.
I think my bites totaled somewhere in the teens...but at the end we were rewarded by a stroll on the dunes walkway overlooking Salt Run, the beach, and more rain clouds in the distance.
Maybe it wasn't such a bad idea afterall.
*on a lighter note, the State Park is an excellent place to enjoy pristine natural landscapes. Check out the Old Spanish Coquina Quarry, ready about the history of this land at the visitors center, camp in one of the many sites, join in one of the yearly races held on the trails, or rent kayaks to enjoy the intracoastal river way. There's never a loss of things to do at this well-maintained park - just be sure to bring bug spray!
• Open Daily 8 a.m. until sundown
• $4-$8/vehicle, $2/pedestrian