Greenways and Trails in Florida

Greenways and Trails in Florida

There are so many things to like about this time of the year.

For those of us who live in the Sunshine State, one of them is using and celebrating Florida’s Greenways and Trails.

Traditionally, October is the month we publicize our trails and encourage Floridians and visitors alike to use them.

If you’re around here at any time of the year and would like to know more, it sure couldn’t hurt to visit this site put together by the folks whose job it is to spread the word about such things.

This is such a good time of year to get out into the outdoors. I do a lot of that and it’s hard to put into words how much enjoyment–enjoyment and serenity–I get from doing it!

It’s all right there for the taking…

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2019 Ben Lawrence Basile

Canaveral National Seashore in Dorian’s Wake

Canaveral National Seashore in Dorian’s Wake

Made another trip out to the Canaveral National Seashore yesterday and it was a bit different.

It was our first visit since Hurricane Dorian passed by, skirting our coastline.

Although the storm never got closer than about 50 miles offshore, the unmistakable tell that Dorian had come and gone was litter on the beach.

I’m happy to report that we saw no large items, but lots of flotsam and jetsam a lot assorted small debris. Bottle caps and plastic items of every kind and description were all over the beach.

I’m pretty sure that the rangers saw to it that the larger, uglier debris was removed but didn’t have the manpower to get the rest of it. I’ve been to the park many times and the beach has always been pristine.

As you might imagine, it was a bit off-putting to see it that way.

Here’s the silver lining in that dark cloud: those of us who like to pick up seashells when we go to the shore had thousands of shells of all kinds right there for the collecting.

I’ve never seen that at the beach, either. And we came back with quite a haul.

I’m planning another trip to the park soon to do what I can to get more of Dorian’s debris off our beloved beach. We couldn’t do much this time as we didn’t anticipate the situation and the park service does not put out trash cans on the beach.

We will be prepared next time.

Get outdoors, people!

Find some oasis of beauty and tranquility in your neck of the woods.

Enjoy it. Enjoy it and leave it a little better than you found it.

“Beachdog Ben” Basile

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

Hungry Bears Are Everywhere!

It’s the time of the year when bears are all over in search of food.

Here in Florida, black bears are quite common and it’s not at all unusual for us to find them foraging for food in areas where they’re not seen much at other times of the year.

This can pose a real problem.

For the bears, mostly.

For this reason, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission released their annual reminder about helping to keep bears safe while they’re out and about, looking for something to eat.

Their primary mission, so to speak, at this time of the year is to fatten up with Fall right around the corner and Winter hibernation not far behind.

To read the release and get some good tips on helping to keep bears safe at this time of the year, just follow this link.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2019 Ben Lawrence Basile

Dorian is coming, we’re getting ready

Dorian is coming, we’re getting ready

Hurricane Dorian is a fierce storm. I thought using the camp stove for our morning coffee would be a wise thing to do.

So I set it up on the pool deck and we enjoyed a really tasty and robust cup o’ Joe this morning, compliments of my two-burner camp stove.

Based on the latest forecasts, it sounds less and less likely that my trusty stove will be necessary after Dorian has passed by.

But I love any reason to use that tried-and-true piece of camping gear. And this morning’s reason was as good as any.

I hope you’re enjoying this Saturday morning and that there are no storms bearing down on you today.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2019 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

Just As Beautiful As Ever

Just As Beautiful As Ever

I did, indeed, make it back to Trimble Park near Mt Dora, Florida this week.

I had a reservation for this last Monday and Tuesday. I arrived just at the 2 PM check-in time and had camp set up within an hour or so.

I took a long stroll around the park. It’s huge. And I was struck again with just how very beautiful Trimble Park truly is.

It’s the crown jewel in the Orange County Park System in my estimation. It must be seen to be appreciated fully.

I was a bit apprehensive about this outing as our weather here in Central Florida has been awful. Lots of heat and lots and lots of rain.

That’s not unusual by any means, but it can make certainly put a damper on outdoor activities, camping especially.

When I began to set up, I realized that I do tote around quite a bit of gear. You can see a lot of it in this photo. The funny thing is that this was only roughly 2/3 of what I actually carry. But unpacking the whole car to take that photo would simply have taken too much time.

The whole site got very, very wet on the first night as we had a very intense thunderstorm come through. Nothing unusual there.

Because the rain fly works well on my Coleman Picton 2 tent, the water inside the tent was bearable. Especially since I sleep on a recliner and not on the ground.

But it was still a serious snafu as it took me until noon on Tuesday to get the tent completely dry.

The weather folk predicted that Tuesday night would be as wet or wetter than Monday, so I thought it through and made the decision to cut short this outing.

My main camera was malfunctioning as well, making the decision to abort the second half of my stay seem even more inevitable.

But I did get some good pix with the cell camera. Such a good thing that we carry a decent camera around with us wherever we go! Mine has come through for me on a number of occasions.

Something I always enjoy is making camp coffee each morning. You know, the kind of coffee you can only get by perking it the old-fashioned way!

The coffee Tuesday morning was glorious and almost made me forget all about the wet gear which would soon require nearly all my attention for about three hours.

And my usual first-morning breakfast of fried eggs and grits was tasty. Alas, there was not to be any second-morning breakfast.

I broke camp around 1 PM, shortly after getting everything bone-dry and ready to stow.

The other thing that went well on this abbreviated outing was that I brought enough wood to keep my campfire burning for over three hours. That part of the trip was awesome. I had no rain on the site after about midnight so I didn’t turn in until almost 4 AM!

But I’ll gladly lose sleep to have the pleasure of tending a fire for a few hours. Didn’t cook anything in it on this trip, but it still scratched that itch for me, as it does each time.

It’s true that this outing was not all it could have been. But this saying is still true for me as I wrap up this post:

The worst day in the woods is better than the best day spent indoors!

Old Camper’s Saying

I hope your next outing is perfect. I know for certain that it will be worthwhile!

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2019 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credits Ben Lawrence Basile

Returning to Trimble Park

Returning to Trimble Park

I made a camping reservation today to get back to one of my favorite spots to camp in all of Florida.

I’m referring to Trimble Park, right were Orange and Lake counties meet. I’ve camped there three times and am delighted to be heading back.

This adventure is coming next week. And I’m already starting my preps.

The banner photo for this post was taken there at Trimble a couple of years ago. It’s a favorite for me and readers and friends have told me on many occasions that it’s a keeper!

The very photogenic bird in this picture posed beautifully and cheerfully and signed the required photo release the moment I asked him!

How cool is that?!

All silliness aside, I am heading back to Trimble Park very soon with my camera at the ready!

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2019 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

Back to Canaveral National Seashore Yesterday

Back to Canaveral National Seashore Yesterday

Had a ball yesterday at the National Park that’s the closest to me. Yes, that would be Canaveral National Seashore near Titusville, Florida.

This laid-back sea-side experience is by far the best way to enjoy a trip to the beach. To me, at least!

Such a fine and mellow outing it was. Can’t remember the last time I had that much fun!

My companion for this trip had never seen the Atlantic in that glorious and simplified fashion before; she loved it, to say the least. And we’re going back soon.

We did not miss the tacky beach-side rentals and masses of sunburned visitors at all.

I hope all of you have had an outdoor adventure of your own recently. If not, plan one now and then just DO IT!

“Beachdog Ben” Basile

© Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile