Despite what you read in my first post from Estero about the walks I took to and from the settlement every day, they and some kayaking on the river were the only things I did other than deal with the continuing hydraulic problems that so far 4 technicians have been unable to fix.
But let me talk about the fun stuff first. Like trips on the river. I particularly love state parks with a boat launch where I can lock up my boat and just walk over each morning or afternoon, depending on the weather and river traffic. I prefer not to have to take the kayak on and off every time I want to paddle from the same location.
Koreshan is one of those parks luckily. The river is black water and tidal and lovely. Live oaks overhang the banks and mangrove roots line them in other areas. Their roots reach for the muddy banks.
Having paddled this river before, I know that if I head east I’m going to be moving away from the park and into development. I’m just curious to see if anything has changed.
Waterfront housing developments have dock after dock after dock on the shore opposite the park where it does not own the other side.
Among the fun things I saw was one development with a tiki shack and a resident pelican. Yes he’s real.
He was there when I paddled out and still there when I paddled back. Sleeping and waking. I didn’t see another pelican during my entire stay at Koreshan.
Here is my favorite of the boats I saw. It was at a private dock. The house small and unlike many of the more upscale homes around it.
After I’d seen my fill of civilization, I turned around, headed back west and passed by the park and the land it owns on both sides of the river. Much more beautiful.
I guess this Great White Egret and Wood Stork are each pretending the other isn’t there.
What a face. How could anyone have suggested they bring babies? Or is that another more attractive stork?
The river passes under Rt 41, the Tamiami Trail, and goes right by the back side of Estero River Outfitters where they have a boat launch. More about them later.
Traveling west toward the gulf, the river continually narrows making it the sort of cozy water way I like most. No possibility for power boats.
Every time I kayak by here I think I should investigate this place but I have never taken the time. When I get back, I look them up. Apparently things have changed here recently. Check out their web page.
This is the sign in the picture above which I assume is their river entrance. Not the large dock of the Koreshan community.
This sign is hanging from a swinging suspension bridge over the river which I assume goes from one side of their property to the other.
Today’s wildlife is mostly turtles trying to catch a bit of sun in this dark river tunnel.
On my way back to the park, I snap this picture of the Koreshan Dock from the water. Apparently many dignitaries came by boat to the community. I wonder if the dock was more elaborate at that time?
About the Estero River Outfitters. Here’s a picture of their dock on the river at the back of their store which faces Rt 41, the Tamiami Trail. You can see the road’s bridge over the river in the background.
When I paddled by, I pulled up and asked a guy helping some kayak renters into their boats about whether they did repairs on boats and racks. He said yes they did. So when I got back to the park, I took my kayak out of the water, put it on the hullivator and went over to the Outfitters.
This seemed the perfect time to have someone check the placement of the hullivators, which David always did, check my rudder cable and replace the bungies which pull the rudder up and down and hold gear in place on top of the boat. My kayak is 20 years old and still going strong but I’d feel better having things checked.
Jeff takes a look and tells me the bars are too old and the pads not thick enough and $549 will replace it all. What else can I do? I can’t have the kayak falling off of the car. He orders the parts, says he’ll do it next day for free and call me.
Next day goes by and next day and the week-end and it’s my last few days here and no word. So I drive over to find out what’s up only to find Jeff isn’t working but his brother Justin who actually owns the business and is a master kayaker is there. He takes a look and says I don’t need to replace anything just some tightening which is what I thought in the first place. This is an honest man clearly. He refunds all my money since I had to pay up front to have the parts delivered. They have arrived and are specific to my 2002 Honda Accord so Justin is going to have to send them back. Amazing business practice. He comps me the cable check and the bungies, says every looks find. I go from $549 to $0 as my charge. He has made me one happy customer and I highly recommend that you go see Justin if you are in the market for a kayak or rack. Clearly he’s an honest buinessman and judging from what he showed me on my boat, knows his stuff.
Take that Murphy!!
HOWEVER – back to the on going hydraulic problem. There have been 4 techs work on it so far. The hydraulic motor and solenoid have been replaced as has the cable between the motor and the battery. No luck.
I call HWH about ordering solenoids and they tell me 4 to 6 weeks and $287 each. I go on line and find the one I need for $192 and have them send it to me. The campground host highly recommends a local tech called Rick the RoVing Tech. I give him a call and tell him my story. He’s very sympathetic, asks the right questions and has good reviews on line.
When the solenoid arrives, I call him, he comes out the next day. Nothing changes. He gets Frank from HWH on the phone – a miracle in itself – and they determine that the motor was wired incorrectly so I paid to have it wired wrong and now I pay to have it wired right and the back jack now comes up though about 4X as slowly as the other 3. The back slide now goes in and out – hallelujah. The front slide goes out but won’t come back in.
Rick says he’ll put the old solenoid on the retract slide since it wasn’t the problem for the jack and luck is with me in that all the solenoids are the same. Murphy arranges for the wire on the rusty jack to break off and make the solenoid useless. All those ocean front sites at Gamble Rogers for the past 10 years are definitely coming back to bite me in the rust.
SO I order another solenoid – $192 – and pay to have it overnighted since I now have only 2 days before I have to move. Tension builds, the plot thickens. The last step??? YES, Rick puts the solenoid in, the big slide comes in and out. I now have 4 jacks going up and down – though I fear one of them is still not right. Murphy lurks. Still, I have both slides going in and out. I feel like I’ve gone from a studio apartment to a mansion.
Thanks Rick for finally getting it all to work. Another recommendation if you are in this area and need an RV Technician. And on top of knowing what he’s doing, he’s an especially nice guy and really helped me out.
Last but not least in the recommendation department. Carrie gave me this book for Christmas and I finally got around to reading it and really liked it. It is a collection of essays about 25 women nature writers and their works from Dorothy Wordsworth to the present. At the end of each segment is a short paragraph on one or two other women who write in a similar subject matter. Very interesting and gave me a lot of new book titles for my list.
And so ends this visit to Koreshan. Let me know what you think of all of this.
I’m really hoping that the next time I’m here covid will be history and I can take the tour, watch the historic video, visit the market, listen to music in the concert hall and kayak the river many many more times. And maybe even visit the Happenhatchie Center.
But for now, it’s time to move to Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park out in the middle of no where, nearly an hour to Okeechobee with 5 miles of that being the dirt entry road where 20 mph is seriously as fast as you’d better go driving a house. BUT there are DARK skies.