Signs of a Good Time LbNA # 61427
|Placed Date||Apr 12 2012|
|Location||E. G. Simmons Park, Ruskin, FL|
|Last Update||Dec 26 2014|
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Check the following website for park hours and fees.
The entrance fee is only $2 per carload... quite a deal for the amount of resources this park offers. It is typically open by 7am and closes at about 6 or 7. Weekends can get pretty busy here due to the 15+ pavilions to picnic at, the clean beach, boat ramps and dozens of secretive fishing nooks and crannies. We tried to hide these boxes in areas that are out of sight from the weekend hot spots, but still be vigilant and make sure no one is watching you. Fishermen can be VERY quiet and may see you when you don't notice them. We highly suggest useful props such as a camera and binoculars to make you appear busy with things other than hidden treasures!
This park frequently has volunteer garbage clean up days to keep it beautiful. If those wonderful volunteers catch a glimpse of these boxes, they will surely remove them so cover them from ALL sides.
Critters are at a minimum, but as always when boxing in Florida, poke around with a stick before reaching. Though we did not see them on this trip, snakes, lizards and other creepy crawlies love the warm weather. We did see a TON of spiders in webs between bushes and trees. To avoid that web-in-the-face yuckiness, use a stick ahead of you. Finally, red ants love the sandy soil, so watch for them as well. (Oh, and we saw two raccoons in broad daylight trying to pry open a pavilion trash can! They were not afraid of us at all!)
Box 1: Cast Away
Once you pay your fee, turn to the right towards Panther Point. Follow the winding road all the way to the end and park near the pavilion. Check out that amazing view of Tampa and St. Pete but then walk towards the pavilion. Just beyond it, you should see a small dock leading out to a fishing area. After walking out on this dock to see the unique sandbar across the water, turn around and walk off the dock. Check for peering eyes and then slip between the garbage can and the dock. This box (actually a duct-tape covered bag) is wedged horizontally under the dock between the 9th and 10th wooden boards. There is only a logbook in the last box so carefully stamp this image and seal the bag securely. Once the bag is ziplocked and folded back over completely, wedge it under the dock so that it is up against the sand and the dock. Make sure you don't stuff it up out of reach and also make sure it is wedged so that if the area floods, it has a chance to stay put.
Box 2: Birds I View
Turn around to face the pavilion. Walk along the treeline so that the water is on your right. Pass behind the pavilion and between two concrete, white posts behind the port-a-john. Look down the road towards the park entrance. See that garbage can on the left about 100 yards away? Go to it. Once you get there, face the can and the water just behind it. Look to the right for a double palm tree covered in 24in palm frond spikes on the trunks. Walk around behind it so the closest water is now at your back. Check for critters and grab your treasure from between the two trees. It is pretty well concealed with leaves and sticks. After stamping, please wedge this box back in its hiding spot and cover it liberally with palm pieces so it has a chance to withstand stormy weather. This area is loved by fishermen so be quite stealthy.
Head back to your car to continue to the 2nd parking area of this series. (If you are on bikes or looking for a long hike, feel free to leave your car at Panther Point.)
Box 3: No Ants Allowed
Drive back past the front gate and follow the road within the park to the right towards the boat launch. Before you get to the boat launch, follow the road to the right past a notice for dog walkers. Park in the large lot on the left near the beach/playground, ideally, park facing the giant group party pavilion that is on the other side of the road. Walk towards the left of that giant pavilion through a tall pine tree forest. You will know you are heading in the right direction if you pass a rectangular 2 foot tall white post near the parking lot. Your destination is that white, sandy path well beyond the giant pavilion. When you reach pavilion #16, near the water, turn left and follow the sandy path. Walk towards the 2nd and 3rd mature Live Oak trees on your right. They are not very far from #16. Before you get to the THIRD, you will see another two trunked/double palm tree between the SECOND and THIRD Live Oak. Carefully walk down near the water, behind the palm trees and reach cautiously in between them for your prize. PLEASE wedge it back in tightly and cover very well with bark and leaves. Kiddos at picnics love to climb around out here!
Box 4: Splish Splash
Continue down the path towards pavilion #15. The path will split just before the sidewalk. Stay to the right on the sandy path and cross the sidewalk. Take a break to use the restrooms on your left if nature calls and continue past pavilion #14. Continue past pavilion #12 towards the beach. Walk up to the sign at this entrance to the beach. It explains how this beach is a "Healthy Beach" and they frequently take water samples here. This sign is next to a leaning palm. (It is leaning at about a 30 degree angle!) Check for curious folks and reach down under the trunk and the brush. The box you seek is wedged tightly under this tree at its base. Please cover well with palm bark and nearby sticks. Make sure it is not visible from any angle.
Head back to your car to head to the 3rd parking area of this series. You can also choose to walk to it if you are up for a short stroll.
Box 5: Slippery Slope
Drive to the boat launch area that is on the other side of the beach. Park near pavilion #11 (it is on the left of the boat launch, out on a beautiful point overlooking the bay.) Walk towards pavilion #11. You will see a smooth palm on your right just past the sidewalk and then a short, stocky palm with the frond spikes coming out of its trunk (yep, just like the other box hiding places!). This spiky palm has a baby palm growing on its left side. Watch for fishermen checking you out and walk behind this double palm. The box is wedged between them. As always, rehide snuggly and cover with bark so it is not noticeable.
Get back in your car for your last stop.
Box 6: Home is Where You Park It
Drive down the main road as if you were heading out. Drive past pavilion #9 on your right, but pull into pavilion #8's parking area on your left. (If there is a party going on here, just find a place to park on your side of the road and act as though you are following some soaring birds or checking out the water.) If you reach the campground, you have driven a bit too far. Cross back to the side of the street you were driving on (there is a picnic table here to sit at and stamp in on...a box requirement of Nuttie's!). There are two trees near the road. They are very straight and a great example of parallel lines. Watch for muggles (both driving and picnicking!) and grab your treasure from between these two trees. Rehide carefully and securely.
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