A roar like a jet engine split the quiet of the campground at 4:30 am – seems someone’s air mattress deflated in the night. Two hours later, a carload of hikers are tumbling out of my vehicle atop the dike at Port Mayaca to greet the dawn.
For many, it was their first real glimpse of the big lake from 35 feet up, a sweep of blue fading in slowly with the sunrise, horizon to horizon. Flocks of egrets scooped low over the trail, their feathers gleaming with reflected sunrise.
The Rim Canal is full to bursting, overflowing into lowlands where residents, I’m sure, are glad they built atop stilts. Bass boats zipped past, carving wakes in the wind-rippled waters.
As Linda and I walked – it often happens that you pair off with people going your pace, better to share the experience – she compared the allure of returning year after year to her love of the open spaces of the Southwest. To paraphrase: “This is the only place in Florida with horizon to horizon views.”