Koreshan Camping/Paddle Trip!!

Hi Paddlers,

    Well just got back from the area of Estero,Florida. What a cool area to camp and paddle. The Park Rangers were very nice and did not even give us a hard time bout nothing!!  This is an update from a small heads up posting I did last week. What follows is a brief summary of the trip and what happened while the group was there. Also some brief history on one of the weirdest state parks I have personally ever been to!

    The trip started on Friday morning, Oct. 16th. I met KayakKev and KayakPeggy at Peggys’ house around 9:30 a.m. After some minor packing and loading our 3 kayaks on the MOOSE- (our affectionate name for Kevins’ LARGE Ford Truck with giant Thule Hull-a vator roof racks), we headed to get the trailer. After grabbing the trailer- which by the way looked darn good with its new highspeed wax job, we were headed south on Interstate 75; headed toward Ft. Myers. After about 2 hours and 40 minutes of smooth driving, we got off on our exit and headed straight for our campsite(#15) at Koreshan State Park! Upon arrival we met up with Judy and Roy- who by Saturday morning had had enough of the rain and packed up and left early. More about that later. Kevin & I set up the trailer and camp as quick as possible, while Peggy started warming up dinner- my wife Shellys’ famous Cuban Picadillo. Did I mention I also had to rush to set up my tent!!

    The rest of Friday night was pretty typical of a night around the camp. Then the 1st COLD FRONT of the year came through and it POURED ALL NIGHT!!!! Luckily my 9 year old tent did not leak one bit. I was up about every hour thinking the GREAT FLOOD was going to start any minute. In the morning to my amazement some other paddlers had come in, they were: Sandy & her husband Bob, Katy, Grayson, John, Carol, Kathy & Jim. Sandy and Bobs’ tent leaked in the deluge of water, although they looked as though it had not phased them. After sending Judy & Roy off, we all decided to go for a paddle up the Estero River. What a beautiful South Florida river this was with many airplants in the trees and an exotic feel about it. The rain had stopped and we all enjoyed our day on the water. Hope to paddle more of this area at a later time. As we paddled,  Sandy and I talked about how we both would swear a babbling creek was running through our campsites the night before!!!!!! When we returned to the boat launch I gave a brief demo of self rescue techniques, despite the signs warning of BIG Alligators!!!!(I personally never saw one) BUT, I know for a fact Katy was looking for them!!!!

    Later on Saturday night we did a potluck kinda dinner, although Kev, Peggy, & I did opt for our own meal, (Peggy-it was delicious). It was during the food prep that Bob asked me about Beam Seas( side waves) coming at the boat and how to handle them. As I began to explain, he was pouring about 20 Gallons of LIGHTER FLUID in a Habachi grill & threw the match- WOOOMMPPFF!!!! The 8 foot fireball that flew out caused Bob to lean away from the Inferno! AH HA, I exclaimed “Lean AWAY from the FIRE, and Lean INTO the WAVES!”.

“What a great way to remember that!”, Bob said. That became the Mantra of the rest of the trip! Later on Sat. night the group went for a late night nature hike. I decided to try to scare them. Here I am wondering around in all black, when I finally jumped out to scare someone; I tripped on a root and landed in the middle of the path flat on my back laughing like a FOOL! All of the sudden there was a bright light over me and Grayson says, “Hi Sean.” Too Fricken FUNNY!!

    Sunday was spent touring the Koreshan Settlement and relaxing around the camp with my Buddies! Monday was pack up day- and the dreaded arrival back in civilization! All in all what a great weekend with GOOD PEOPLE!! Thank You to all who were there and I hope we can all do it again sometime!! KayakKev & KayakPeggy I Love You Guys!! Last but not least we really missed Sue, Karen, Dan & of course my Jeffie!! 

    This state park was sold to the state by the Koreshan Unity- a religious cult from the late 1800’s till approx. the early 1960’s. They believed the world was on the inside of a sphere, and were led by Dr. Cyrus Teed, who was knocked out by high voltage electricity and claimed to have been approached by male/female GOD telling him that he was the Messiah and to start the Utopian city of New Jerusalem in Estero, Fl. I do have appreciation for his right to freedom of religion from persecution. BUT, could not help thinking– What a Wack Job and the closeness of his religion name to a certain other Wack Job from WACO, Texas……… David Koresh.   Hmmmm makes one think doesn’ t it!!

                                                                                           – Sea Turtle Sean

I almost forgot to mention: Robert the awesome dude fishing at the boat ramp who watched my yak when I went to get the bike trailer. Also our neighbors in site 14:  Keith and Maria who I would like to Thank for the Gumbo Limbo firewood & Great Conversation!! I hope to hear from you all soon!!

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