By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 7/17/2019
Occurred: 4/28/2016
Topics/Keywords: #65thBirthdayTrip #Florida #Lakeland #MyakkaRiverStatePark #Travel Page Views: 1807
All about the twentieth day of my 65th Birthday Trip.
Map

Today's travels took us near Tampa and to a visit with my oldest high school friend. (Oldest refers to the time we've known each other, not to age—I'm actually older than he is, by a few months.) But first…there was a matter of a bear or alligator.

Travel Day 20
Starting Point Myakka River State Park, Florida
Ending Point Lakeland, Florida
Accommodations Mooching off my friend Chris and his wife
Miles Covered 88
Estimated Driving Time 1 hour 24 minutes

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Day 20: View From The Tent

Day 20: View From The Tent
Paul S Cilwa

Myakka River State Park was an excellent campground, clean and quiet. But then, during the night, both Keith and I had become aware that something was prowling around outside the tent, knocking over things we'd left outside on the picnic table. There was no food, but there were a couple of containers that might look like they contained food to a hungry critter.

Paul S Cilwa

Knowing that Keith is as nervous about alligators as Floridians would be about Arizona's rattlesnakes and scorpions, I kind of didn't point out that the park rules had specifically warned of their presence.

Paul S Cilwa

But as I was taking my customary photos of camp, I realized that something had reached into our tent through the tiny hole meant for a power cord and managed to pull out some of our garbage bag, which I happened to have put in the same corner. (Our site included electricity, which I had used to charge our devices while we slept.)

Paul S Cilwa

Inside it was clear that the creature had smelled our discarded food containers and tried to get to them. I guess I won't be keeping the trash bag in that corner anymore!

Paul S Cilwa

Then, walking to the restroom, I spotted a whole flock of buzzards on top of the building. I couldn't help but wonder...what were they doing there? What could they possibly expect was going to happen that would require their presence in such numbers? I also wondered what the collective noun would be. If they were crows, they would be a "murder of crows". (It's true; look it up.) I'd never heard the collective noun for buzzards, so I looked it up. It's a "wake", as in, "a wake of buzzards". But what attracts them? How many people die in this campground, that it is worth their while to wait up there?!

Paul S Cilwa