Parts unknown, too. We had a plan for the day...a little something for me, a little something for Wayne. I wanted to go to Tarkiln Bayou and the Greek Festival; he wanted to geocache. And we could work our walk in at some different surroundings so everyone would be happy.
Wayne had taken his bike to the Blackwater Trail a few days ago and came home to report there were lots of pitcher plants in bloom there. It's rained frequently and heavily the past week, and I'm sure that brought them out since they grow in bogs. We'd been intending to visit Tarkiln Bayou, a pitcher plant preserve located nearby but hadn't made it over there yet so it seemed like a good time for a visit.
The park is located not far from the Gulf and almost at the Alabama line. For the most part it's a coastal forest...palmetto and tall longleaf, and that was perfect for letting some welcome sun shine through. The trail to the bayou is either sidewalk or boardwalk so it was easy going, and we did see quite a few pitcher plants. Unfortunately, we were on the elevated boardwalk and they were both too far away and blended in too well for photographs. So I'll post a picture of my skinny hiking budding instead.
There are two other trails there, neither of which is paved, but the information at the front gate said sections of the trail would be under 1-2' of water. It wasn't just because of the recent rains; it's that way all the time. I guess it's to be expected if you're going to hike in a boggy area. We headed down one but it wasn't long before we had to turn around as we weren't interested in wading.
We did plenty of other walking and looking tracking down Wayne's caches. That's where the parks unknown part comes in...we were in a lot of parks we didn't even know existed. For the most part they were county parks but there was a neighborhood park or two in the mix.
One of them had a nice wildflower area, and while much of it was past its prime, there were still enough blooms to feed some of the monarchs that are migrating through. It was really windy and a lot of the butterflies were down next to the ground, conserving their energy I suppose.
Then it was time for some Greek food. Dolmades, spanakopita, gyros and fried calamari...man, it was good! Baklava is not a big draw for us but I did indulge in a couple of little cookies. And in true Greek fashion, there was plenty of music and dancing going on, too.
So where are the photos of all this delicious food and the colorful dancers? Well...I have none. There were so many people there we could barely see the dance floor. All I could see from the seat we were lucky to find was the sign on the building across the street that kept flashing the temperature. 59 degrees. 58 degrees. 57 degrees. Yep, it was dropping quickly as we sat there. These chilly temperatures were a bit of a shock to bodies that were basking in upper 80s just two days ago. They hadn't seemed too bad when were were active, even though the wind was at 25 mph out of the north, but we both got chilled sitting still as the thermometer dropped. As we downed the last bite, the sign hit 56 degrees and we were out of there. I'm going to have to find a blanket to throw on my bed tonight.
A visit to some different places and a meal comprised of different food all made for a different, but good day.