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Trip 6: A Day at Delnor Wiggins Pass State Park

Another swing, another homerun. I’m fully aware that one of these days, we’re going to set out to do something for Do Florida Right and our luck is going to run dry. The truck won’t start, it’s going to pour rain the whole time, our canoe is going to straight up sink in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico (why it’ll be out there I’m not sure). Our sun up to sundown trip to Delnor Wiggins Pass State Park was not that day, however, it was just another in a ever growing list of days that I will fondly recall when I am an old man of 84 laying in a hospital bed. From start to finish, it was another day that leaves you wondering, “how in the world did I get so lucky?” Maybe we are on the right side of karma because of our positive chi that we stockpile during the week. Maybe we really are just that lucky. Maybe the universe just likes to reward people who get off their ass and try to make their day great.  Either way, this day at Wiggins Pass firmly cemented the park as my favorite beach after years of leading the pack.

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Trip 5: Lover's Key Paddle and Hike

If I’m being totally honest, the thought of going and paddling and hiking Lover’s Key didn’t excite nearly as much as some of our other adventures. It wasn’t that I didn’t think it would be cool, it’s just that I have boated, beached, walked, and biked just about every inch of the perimeter of Lover’s Key several times over. With that said, I had never actually been into the park center, mostly due to the fact that there is an $8 entry fee, and so much of the perimeter of the park is accessible for free. You can paddle in from the back side starting from Little Carlos Pass. You can walk around to the beach from the north side via Big Carlos Pass, although they recently built a fence to alleviate the monetary lost from everyone who knew that trick. I believe they now charge just a couple of bucks to enter from that side. On a low tide, you can even walk in from New Pass (link) to the south. In fact, if you have some sort of boat, you could do laps around Lover’s Key all day, stopping just about anywhere to gain entry into the park for free. And yet, there we were, waiting at the park entrance with a $10 bill in hand. Not because we couldn’t get in for free elsewhere, but because we wanted to make sure to get the experience from the epicenter of the park and where we could branch out to from there.

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Marker 8.5

Marker 8.5 in Goodland, FL is exactly what you look for in an off the beaten path gem. It has a small fishing town feel, a great atmosphere, and great food to match. The chef brings in fresh fish caught daily from the Florida Keys which makes all the difference in the world. Under new ownership, the restaurant is doing their best to draw in the tarpon as well, by discarding filleted carcasses under their docks. The hope to bring in resident tarpon much like Robbie's in Islamorada, Fl. 

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