Kayaking in Florida One Week and Oregon the Next… A Photo Blog

Two weeks ago we were kayaking through mangroves along the Gulf Coast of Florida. Last week we were kayaking on the edge of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation area next to the Pacific Ocean. Are we jet-setters or what? You are looking at Peggy’s hat in the foreground. Our grandson Cody is next. Our son Tony was leading on a paddle board. We were making our way through a mangrove tunnel.
Peggy’s wearing a cap this time as we make our way through Honeyman Lake near Florence, Oregon last week.
We had traveled to Florida to join a celebration and party for our son Tony who was retiring from his position as a Lieutenant Commander and helicopter pilot with the Coast Guard. Prior to his stint in the Coast Guard, he had been a helicopter pilot in the Marine Corps including three tours to Iraq. He has earned quite a few medals for bravery, being wounded, and saving lives along the way. The lower one is for being one of the best pistol shots in the Coast Guard. He was captain of the pistol team at Annapolis. Peggy was once recognized as being the best pistol shot among teenagers in America. I’ve been known to hit the broadside of a barn.
Tony arranged a kayak trip for visiting family members at Weedon Island Preserve near St. Petersburg.
Like Tony, his wife, Cammie, was operating a paddle board. Their youngest son, Cooper, was hitching a ride.
Here we are entering the mangrove tunnel that the Weedon Island Preserve is noted for. Our paddles proved to be too long, so we took them apart and operated with half a paddle.
Docked at lunch. Tony is tying a rope to the kayaks to make sure they don’t go wandering off.
One of the things I always love about Florida is the bird life. This is an ibis.
Another view. I think he was stalking something.
While mangrove tunnels and birds caught our attention in Florida, water lilies became our focus while kayaking on Honeyman Lake.
White and pink were the colors of the day.
Peggy caught these three pink water lilies in a row…
While two white water lilies lined up for me.
Honeyman Lake is located at the northern end of the Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area.
Another view of the dunes along the lake.
A final view of Honeyman Lake. I took this photo from where we had parked, Quivera, our small RV. We kayaked down to the opposite end of the lake taking a detour into a feeder creek that provided our up-close encounter with water lilies. Fog over the Pacific Ocean can be seen in the distance.

As noted before, I am taking a break from blogging this summer to catch up on other writing chores, but I am also posting an occasional blog when I find subjects I think you might find fun. –Curt

51 thoughts on “Kayaking in Florida One Week and Oregon the Next… A Photo Blog

  1. Beautiful photos as always Curt, but the one of Tony sent my mind off on a tangent. I once knew the author of the legislation that eliminated the draft. He was a brilliant guy who died too soon. But I wondered then and now about the long-term effect on the country. You are one of a very small percentage of people in the U.S. any more who has a family member serving [at least until he retired].
    On another tangent, how is the heat on your side of the mountain?

    • Tony had a fascinating career, Ray, that took him to some very interesting places. It will be fun to see what he does with the rest of his years up to his second retirement.
      Arguments can be made on both sides of the draft argument. I’ve often thought our country would benefit from some type of national service program for young people as long as it included alternatives. Thanks, as always, for your thoughtful comments. –Curt

      • I agree wholeheartedly. National service would be a good idea as long as there were alternatives to military service as well and no or extremely few exemptions. Then incentives could be added for volunteers who wanted to do more.

      • Well run, it might make a significant improvement in our nation and how we relate to each other. I’d also throw in community college which would either give young people the skills they need for immediate employment or prepare them to move on to higher education.

  2. So lovely – and such fun! (Sounds like your son is a real keeper. Glad he’s doing well. Helicopter pilots are definitely some of the toughest, smartest and ones with the best judgement you’ll ever meet….must take after his parents)
    Summer in the semi-tropics is so amazingly beautiful..even with the heat – Mountains are the perfect retreat – beauty usually without all the heat! Take care, wander on, and hasta later

    • Thanks, Karen. Appreciated. Loved our trip through the semi-tropics. 🙂 A pending thunderstorm did send us scurrying back to dock. Another good reason to have a boat person and helicopter pilot along with us. –Curt

  3. Wonderful photos, Curt. Thank you for sharing the wonderful togetherness.
    Your handsome son takes after his parents , the flowers are stunning and kayaking people really have an uplifting day out.


      • Makes sense. Because of all the people who live and visit here CA has a higher threshold of what constitutes a crowd, though that may change as drought and fires drive people away. A friend of mine moved up to Forest Grove and the first thing she did was re-register her car and replace its CA license plates. Hope Oregon survives its fires and isn’t overrun with Golden State refugees.

      • There were lots of Ca. license plates at the campground in Florence, Robert. We too are transplants from California although I was born in Oregon. As for fires, they are the bane of just about everywhere in the West. Three years ago when I did my 750 mile backpack trek down the PCT to celebrate my 75th birthday, I spent much of my time dodging fires. Sad. –Curt

  4. What great fun kayaking with the family. That’s quite a flotilla you had there! We camped at Honeyman several times when we still lived up north. That lake sure looked familiar. It was a fantastic place for kayaking… as a matter of fact it was where I did my first solo in the kayak (well, Sissy rode with me back then!) She was a bit nervous at first when she was with the more experienced kayaker… but settled in just fine once she was with me.

    Looks like you’re have a heck of a great summer! Keep it up!

    • We’ve actually camped there a few times as well including once with our son’s family and once with our daughter’s family. This is the first time we kayaked on the lake, however. Sissy, I assume, is your dog. Tony and Cammie have a labradoodle that loves to ride on their paddle boards. Dogs weren’t allowed at the park we kayaked, however. She was not happy about having to stay home. 🙂 –Curt

    • That it was AC. 🙂 Tony hopes to keep flying, since that is what he loves. He’d like to try fixed wing commercial airlines but may end up continuing with helicopters. –Curt

  5. Lovely post Curt. What fabulous summer fun you’re having. You must be so proud of Tony. What a lot he’s accomplished.
    We’re off to visit a friend on Vancouver Island and have a little kayaking of our own planned. Then my sis comes to stay for 3 weeks. Who knows what shenanigans we’ll get up to then! 😂

    • Thanks, Alison. We will be heading back to the coast and more kayaking in a couple of weeks, escaping again from the heat and smoke, but thankfully no fires in out area, so far.
      Where are you Kayaking on Vancouver Island. Several years ago, Peggy and I did a guided week kayaking trip out of Port McNeill. Absolutely fantastic. Have fun with your sister! Shenanigans are good. 🙂 –Curt

  6. It looks like a great time. Every now and then I think of Tony when the CG flies over; I admire all our military, but the Coast Guard tops my list.Your photos are delightful. I’ve yet to see a pink water lily, and I had no idea there were dunes in Oregon. There’s always something new to learn! I certainly could use a little coolth. Whatever you do, don’t make an impulsive decision to visit Texas again until, maybe, October. It’s bearable, but barely!

    • Ha, I get the bearable but barely part, Linda. We are yet suffering from another massive heatwave and our air is filled with smoke from the California fires. To add insult to injury, or maybe it’s the other way around, our air conditioner is on the blink.
      Lots of dunes, Linda, miles and miles. And they are quite beautiful. The only drawback is all of the dune buggies, unless of course, you are a fan of noisy, pollution spewing vehicles. I could see where roaring up and down dunes might be fun if one were so inclined 🙂
      The water lilies were down a shallow side channel that the draft on our inflatable kayaks let us explore. Some fun!
      And thanks on the Coast Guard. As parents, we were quite pleased when Tony switched from being shot at in the Marines to saving lives in the Coast Guard. So was Tony. –Curt

  7. Have you ever thought of adding a search function to your blog? I just was reading about the fire in Greenville, and wondered if you had blogged about visiting the town, but there’s no way to easily find an answer, since there’s no way to know how you might have categorized it.

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