Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Run on a Key

Lignum vitae wood is a dense wood heavier than water, which is used in boatmaking. Why I don't know, although Captain Jimmy told me. I forget now though. I guess it sinks, which doesn't seem like a desirable property for wood on a boat to me. (Right: I'm guessing that the reddish wood is lignum vitae.)

It's rare, but it's present on Lignumvitae Key. This 13 acre island is a state park, accessible only by boat. We put in there at the dock. Our visit was memorable for two reasons. The island had a bathroom. And I went for a run. (Left: The water from Lignumvitae Key.)

The island has a house built by the island's former owner, which now serves as a visitors center. The heavy vegetation of the island surrounds the open square that the house sits on. There is a road that runs around the island, through the brush. (Right: The wooded trail that runs around Lignumvitae Key.)

It felt good to be running down a road again after two days on a boat, even if it was a sandy trail closed in by a canopy of treetops. Also there were huge tough spiderwebs stretched across the road that I kept running into. (Left: It was awfully quiet running on Lignumvitae Key.)

Down the primary lane, I hit a T intersection against a stone wall. Turning right, I soon came to the end of the road upon a beach. The shallow blue waters of the keys beckoned me. A boat rode at anchor a quarter mile offshore. Those waters would be where we would spend that night. (Right: The visitors center.)

Backtracking, I ran past my ingress point and ran on through the forest, skirting the small island I suppose. The only sounds were my soft footfalls on the sandy trail and my breathing. This was a run I really enjoyed.

Emerging back onto the open square fourteen minutes later, after a run of about 3K I guess, I loped off to the dock, sweating. My boat was casting off! Thanks for waiting, guys! (Left: Barry and Captain Todd came by to inspect our boat.)

The guys were covering for me! Evidently the park ranger was shooing us off the island. The daily tours had been cancelled, due to the Decider's economic debacle I suppose, and the park rangers hadn't changed the website to reflect that fact yet. The park was closed. My crew members kept telling the ranger they had to wait for a guy who was "in the bathroom" (me). (Right: Snorkeling by Lignumvitae Key.)

I jumped aboard and we shoved off and sailed around to the back of the key and tied up to a mooring 400 yards off shore. Putting on our snorkel gear, we swam in to the shoreline. It was my first time in the water down there and with the flippers, mask and snorkel, the half mile swim to the shore and back came easily. (Left: Our 25 foot boat Spring Tide.)

Afterwards we rafted up with the other two boats and enjoyed an evening of socializing. Going back to our mooring before dark, we engaged in our ultimately unsuccessful quest to see the "green flash" as the sun sank into the sea. (Right: Jeffrey aboard his kayak.)

The snorkeling was nice but the run was wonderful. (Left: Sunset in the Keys.)


Kelly said...

Oooo the water looks so green! I love it. I'm jealous.

Sunshine said...

What a charming island... So good you got your run before the closing was enforced.

Christie said...

Sounds wonderful. The spiderwebs would have freaked me out though.

Just_because_today said...

you know we have been having periods of heavy rains for the past 7 days. These pictures are not helping!

Rainmaker said...

Ha! What a rebel! Out there running around on closed islands. Sounds like a blast though, and perhaps a wee bit nicer than a similiarly sized island...Roosevelt.

Dori said...

I've yet to see the green flash, but I love to watch the sun set into the ocean. It sounds like a beautiful experience.

Your post reminded me of a sailing trip to the Apostle Islands. It was my 50th bday, and sailing the Apostle's was how I chose to spend it. I had a nice run on one of the islands, too. Didn't get in trouble from the park ranger, though. ;-)

Just12Finish said...

Hi Peter - just coming up for air for a minute. That Florida trip looked awful - sorry you had to endure that!

I'll be in your town this weekend at my daughter's volleyball tournament in Baltimore, then hanging out in DC on Monday with her and some of her teammates. Dropped a note to Jeanne too. Would be nice to meet up with you guys but I don't think my schedule will allow it. Maybe next time. Hope all is well with you.

Anne said...

Running, paddling, that's a tri I'd love to try. Love that your friends tried to cover for you with the ranger, who must have been thinking to himself, "What the heck is that guy doing in the bathroom?!"