Dolphin Wish LbNA # 61461
|Placed Date||Mar 24 2012|
|Location||Cayo Costa State Park, Boca Grande, FL|
We have experienced the pleasure and beauty (and sometimes challenge) of camping on Cayo Costa several times over the past 15 years. Thankfully, it’s a small bit of paradise still existing in modern-day Florida. We stayed for a glorious week in March of 2012, and we knew that some Vermont friends would be visiting in April; so we were inspired to create this letterbox, partially as a treasure hunt for them, and then to live on for others to seek and find. The total time required could easily fit into a day visit, or a fun picnic outing if you are camping on the island. There are some nice shady spots to hang-out in, right on the beach, tucked among the palm trees on that side of the island. Be prepared to walk in shallow surf a bit to get to your destination. –ENJOY!!
From the Cayo Costa State Park camping area, follow the beach north. Continue walking until you round the corner to the east, seeing Boca Grande directly across the pass. You will need to walk past, or clamber through, a number of beautiful, dead, bleached trees that stick out into the water. Just before the end of this group of tree skeletons, you’ll see a double arch of dead wood in the low tide line. Ahead of you there will be a tall pair of palm trunks (no leaves), standing about 16 feet tall, and about a foot apart, forming a “V.” There will be a third, shorter dead palm trunk about 10 paces diagonally back and to their right as you face them from the beach.
If you get to a large piece of concrete filled with foam (maybe part of an old floating dock?) you have gone too far; this is about 55 paces past the V-trunks. Also if you get to the outlet of the Cemetery trail, you have gone too far.
From the shorter single palm trunk, walk inland. There will be a large strangler fig hugging another dead palm trunk on your right, and there you’ll find a small trail leading inland. Be sure to stay on the trail because of poison ivy. Go about 65-70 paces along the trail from the dead tree. Look to the right, for a bush with many trunks/branches at its base (perhaps a Brazilian Pepper, but not sure). The lower branches have noticeable white patches, looking like they have been splashed with white paint – maybe a fungus. The letterbox is hidden in the V of the white-splashed trunks, hidden under some leaf litter.
The rubber stamp in the box requires a bit of vigorous rubbing on the inkpad and a strong hand of pressure to get a good image. It represents a year when I celebrated my birthday on Cayo Costa with friends; the candle being the dolphin wish. When you’re done, please make sure all of the bags/containers are tightly closed and re-stow the letterbox securely.
Not too far beyond the point where you’ll spot the bush the trail seems to peter out. It ends with a pile of wood, branches, etc. blocking the way.