This was a rare year that we celebrated our family Christmas with kids and relatives early. That freed Crystal, Scruff, and I to have a Valentine-kind-of-Christmas - out in nature, "far from the madding crowd". And far away we were - the only humans (and dog) spending the night amidst the beautiful trees on Blue Cypress Lake. We trailered our jonboat down to the Lake (near Yeehaw Junction, FL) where a single small road that dead ends at a fish camp is the only lake access/development on the whole lake. The family-run spot was getting ready to close for the holiday, but said, "sure, you can leave your car and trailer overnight."
This was Scruff's first boat-camping experience, and in the back of my mind was this question: where we might stop for him to pee and poop? Luckily, he can really hold it, because it turns out, the lake is ringed with cypress swamp, and the folks told us the fish camp was the only lakeside land.
We tootled along taking in the gorgeous Christmas Eve afternoon until the sun was low. Then, to our amazement, we saw a small cabin standing on stilts back in the shadows of the cypress. It had a deck around it, a landing dock, steps down to the water at the back... and best of all, no signs forbidding a respectful stop. The cabin itself was securely locked up. It took a bit of coaxing and encouragement, but we got Scruff to make use of the back steps covered with cypress needles (easily rinsed off with a bucket of water.) Home free.
Typically we pitch our tent on the large custom foredeck of our boat (made for it); but here there was ample room on the deck beside the cabin - and under a roof so we could forgo the tent fly - to set up the tent with a wide open view. Thank you to the fisherman/family for such a lovely accommodation.
The lake is famous for fishing and also renowned for its gnarly short cypress trees adorned with giant osprey nests... some so low we could stand on the boat deck and peer down into them!
And osprey by the dozens...
Our lake and view from the cabin deck was to the southeast - Vero Beach glowing over the horizon, but the stars still put on a show.
And as morning stirred, the birds moved from their roosts to their day's feeding grounds.
We had a beautiful Christmas Day deep in nature, and returned to the boat ramp in the late afternoon rejuvenated and joyful. Here are a few more of my photos from the day.
A lovely Florida jewel, Blue Cypress Lake was the perfect Christmas-Valentine getaway... and we had more adventures in store before heading home... but that's another story.
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