Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sightseeing At Lake Kissimmee

While I spent my days being my lazy self at Lake Kissimmee State Park, Gary walked for miles and miles through the place. He was pretty tired a couple of times when he returned from exceptionally long hikes. It doesn't help that he is highly out of shape at the moment, but don't tell him that I said that. There is lots to see and do at the park. Fishing and boating are popular. There is a beautiful little marina behind the park store, and the views around there are very pretty. From there, you can launch your boat and go down the canal into Lake Kissimmee. It's the third largest lake in Florida. Other than by boat, there is no really good place in the park to see the lake from. A long trail gets you closest to it, but views are limited due to the tall sawgrass. I was kind of bummed because Gary didn't come back with lots of cool pictures of the lake, but at least he tried to take some. I don't think he would have spent all that time walking the trail if he knew he couldn't get to the lake once he reached the end of it. A tall observation tower near the marina and picnic area provides a good overall view of the prairie. You can see the lake in the distance. If you don't feel like walking the long trail towards the lake, a guided Segway tour is available. The camp store is stocked with all the essentials, and Jeff the owner is VERY knowledgeable about all aspects of the park. He is also the Segway tour guide. One of the coolest and most fun looking parts of the park is something called "Cow Camp". On certain occasions (see the picture of the sign with the dates and times), a recreation of an 1870's cow camp can be seen. A retired park ranger hosts the cow camp, and Gary says that he is never out of character. To the host, the year is 1870, and he never strays from sticking within that time period. Cow camps were located throughout Florida, and they were places to gather cows as they were moved from one area to another. Eventually, the cows were sold to the Spaniards for gold. There are several live cows, a horse, and a reproduction hut that the cow camp workers lived in. If you visit the park, Gary says that experiencing the cow camp is a must. Next up: a look at some of the animals in the park. They were AWESOME!!!

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