Pup Walk – Lake Jesup

Lake Jessup Wilderness

Lake Jesup Wilderness

The weather hasn’t been terribly cooperative of late and the pups and I were ready to get out and stretch our legs. There are several city walks still on my list but I wanted to get out into the wilderness so we did.

There are several hikes on and around Lake Jesup, so I figured if one didn’t work, we had fallbacks. Good thing. We tried Lake Jesup Wilderness first.

It started out great.

So far so good...

So far so good…

Gorgeous weather, and not too hot.

Near the boat ramp

Near the boat ramp

And then…

You call this a trail?

You call this a trail?

There was a bench...

There was a bench…

How flooded is it?

How flooded is it?

Pretty darned flooded

Pretty darned flooded

So we backtracked and headed for another trail close by – Marl Bed Flats.

There was a warning on this one – narrow single-lane road with a ditch on either side. Okay, I could handle that. What they don’t mention is it’s not a ditch on either side – it’s twin canyons and terrifying. Asked my guardian angel to please help me time it so we didn’t meet anyone on that tiny little road and all we met going in was a turtle.

Turtle crossing

Turtle crossing

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There was a truck and an SUV parked in the tiny what passed for a lot, just room for us.

We started out okay

We started out okay

Wilderness indeed

Wilderness indeed

More wilderness

More wilderness

Where did the trail go?

Where did the trail go?

This looks good

This looks good

And then the weather turned

And then the weather turned

In Florida the weather can turn in an instant. By then we had reached the oak hammock. We could hear the rain, but fortunately very little of it reached us through the leaves. No lightning, thankfully.

Waiting out the rain

Waiting out the rain

Tried to check the weather radar to see if this was a pop up shower or something more, but apparently we were out of range.

And the weather map says - haven't a clue

And the weather map says – haven’t a clue

Fortunately it was just a little pop up shower and within a couple of minutes we were in the clear.

After the rain

After the rain

Oak Tunnel

Oak Tunnel

Coming out of the tunnel we saw…

The Flats

The Flats

We weren’t sure if this was land that could be walked on or not, so we went carefully. Saw a hint of an equestrian trail and figured if it could hold a horse, it could hold us. The ground was surprisingly firm, except for a few easily dodged spots.

Firm ground or swamp?

Firm ground or swamp?

Beautiful views in every direction

Beautiful views in every direction

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The lake was somewhere ahead of us, but the clouds returned and if there’s somewhere you don’t want to be in Central Florida, it’s out in the open when a storm hits, so we beat a hasty retreat back up the trail, this time in the company of a couple of teenage boys who had gotten caught in the rain once and didn’t want to repeat the experience. One of them ran ahead, but the other one walked with the pups and me and we chatted on the way back. He was thinking of joining the Air Force and wanted my input.

As luck would have it, it didn’t rain and we made it back to the parking lot safe and dry. As we were getting ready to leave a big truck pulled in and we had a clear shot across the scary road, which didn’t seem as scary now that I had survived it once and with their SUV for company.

The pups had a great time and were asleep before we even got back to the main road.

A good way to spend the morning.

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