Camping At Fort DeSoto

Posted on Apr 14, 2012


On a camping trip, oh yes, here we go
All the way to Florida, south to Fort DeSoto

The first day on the road, night at Homewood Suites
Pillows piled high with crisp, white cotton sheets

Second day began with steaming Starbuck’s coffee
Coupled with Ash’s discount, it was beautiful to me

On the road we go, with excitement in the air
Music playing, breezes blowing, us with nary a care

Arrived at the campsite, WOW, can you believe it?
The set-up, the perfection, only God could have conceived it

The raising of the tent, a bit tense, but we got it done
Our lovely camp set up, now it’s time for fun

There are our best friends, only two plots down
Serving up hot dogs, toasted to a golden brown

The neighbors on our left, Sid and Sandy to be exact
Helping us out, making sure there’s nothing we lacked

She gave me twist ties and with a knowing wink
Said those raccoons are quick, faster than you think

It was time to rest, to lay down my weary head
Then the activities began, the ones I came to dread

Raccoons? With hands and fingers as nimble as ours?
Ability to unzip tents and open the trunks of cars?

Morning arrived, with birds and beauty all around
Protected in our little cove, reminiscent of a sound

Gulls a callin’, scampering, and screaming something mighty
Squirrels beggin’ for food, although a bit more flighty

Went to St. Pete for there were a couple of kayaks to be had
The price was completely free, not bad . . . not bad

Got a little tour from a friend of ours so dear
Thank God for the Maps program and that I had it near

Next was our little outing to the beach and to the pier
The kids jumped in the waves with absolutely no fear

Part of the group were up above and already they were fishing
Oh to catch the big one, yes, I’m sure they were wishing

When we looked down into the water, close to the concrete piles
We saw dolphins, fish, and stingrays, HA! they all brought smiles

While some cast lines, others swimming and sunbathing
With paper and paints in hand, I went to painting

The sights, the sounds, the beauty of that day
Were all so very glorious, it took my breath away

Hot dog roasts and marshmallow toasts with prongs in the air lifted high
We were quickly approaching “Day 3,” my how the time does fly

But first, yes wait, there was something more
A gorgeous sunset walk with our loves along the shore

Day 3 began with kayaking, kayaking, and then again another round
Bryan was the main tour guide; he lost more than a pound

The park also played into the events of the day
Swings and slides, yes the kids wanted to stay

Bike rides, more kayaking and some more time at the beach
The culmination of Day 3 was well within reach

For dinner the menu was spaghetti and such
Was it really only a few hours ago that we had our last lunch?

The day rounded off with another fabulous time of mallows and fire
With camaraderie so sweet, oh the stories, we’ll never tire

Time to re-inflate our comfy? cushy? air bed?
It would be great if there were enough air to support our tired heads

Hmmm, what is that we hear outside the tent?
You better believe it . . . outside Bryan was sent

Outdoors to investigate the curious snorts and loud chatter
We didn’t know what was happening, and yes, it DID matter

Day 4 came along calmly, albeit there evidently was a great fire
Smoke traveled all the way from Georgia, per the news we acquired

What a lovely morning sitting around and sharing a song
But with that sweet time, some sadness came along

The message that a friend once held true and dear
His life consumed by cancer, time to wipe away a tear

It made time for us to reflect on those we love and the treasure
And how it ‘s irreplaceable and simply without measure

Yet we forged on with high hopes as it was early in the day
To continue our upcoming history in the roles we still play

The best New England Clam Chowder and Key Lime Pie ever
Oh, those were ties I was not quick to sever

Let’s not forget Ted Peter’s, the t-shirt, and smoked mullet
It was all very good, as it washed down our gullet

What? Who could forget the day toodling around Bay Walk
With classy shops, tasty ice cream, and Starbucks we did stalk

Again, the classic circle of friends around the “fire” we went
Only this time a gas lantern was the only light that was spent

Now if our fabulous trip had only ended right there
But no, definitely no, we were all in for a scare

It was a Raccoon Riot; they were on their worst behavior
We were definitely ready to send them to their Maker

Coffee creamer, oatmeal, and bread they attacked
Nothing left untouched, all the food we had packed

It all worked for the good, as I can bear witness
It left me ready to leave the survival of the fittest

Day 5 saw tent stakes uprooted and guy ropes a’flying
Working to leave by 11, man, we were trying

Checked out and eager to be on our way
We fondly reflected on the beauty of our stay

A more beautiful site, we couldn’t have requested
Only camped once before, but it certainly was bested

Friendly birds, photo opps, and wildlife galore
Manatees, sea life, osprey, and more

Intimate times of sharing and conversation
I’m leaving that behind with much hesitation

Children, grandkids, best friends, and new
Where I’d be without them, I haven’t a clue

This short little journey has now come to an end
As we roll in the driveway and head towards our beds

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