Saturday, June 16, 2018

Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail Offers Several Points of Interest


A former salesperson in Charleston, South Carolina, Bill Oliver now works in medical sales in Sarasota, Florida. In his free time, Bill Oliver enjoys kayaking, particularly in the Great Calusa Blueway paddling trail of Florida.

A 190-mile canoe and kayak trail, the Great Calusa Blueway winds its way through the coastal waters and tributaries of Lee County. Lee County Parks and Recreation created the trail along the state’s west coast.

The trail begins in the Gulf of Mexico, moves through the bays of Sanibel and Captiva, and then passes into sheltered creeks. Those who traverse the waterway can view a variety of marine life and shorebirds.

Several stops along the trail include:

* Tarpon Bay. Located in the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, this protected body of water is an ideal kayak launch site.

* Orange River. Live oaks adorned with moss drape the river, and kayakers can wave to the many people sitting on their porches overlooking the calm waters. During the winter, kayakers may get a glimpse of sea cows swimming near Lee County Manatee Park.

* Mound Key. An island near Estero Bay, the key features shell mounds, one reaching 31 feet tall, and two paddle craft landings.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Choosing between the South and North Rims of the Grand Canyon


Former South Carolina resident Bill Oliver studied and worked in the cities of Columbia and Charleston before he moved to Florida to pursue a career in medical sales. In his free time, Bill Oliver enjoys travel. One of his favorite travel experiences outside of Florida was visiting the Grand Canyon.

A 277-mile gorge, the Grand Canyon reaches depths of more than a mile in places. Over five million visitors travel to Arizona to hike, photograph, and otherwise experience the canyon each year. When visiting the Grand Canyon, tourists have the option of visiting the North Rim or the South Rim. 

The vast majority of tourists visit the South Rim of the canyon, which is much more accessible and has numerous shops, restaurants, and hotels. The South Rim can get very crowded, especially during the summer. 

The North Rim appeals to tourists who like the road less traveled. At a height of 8,000 feet above sea level, this wilder, less-developed side of the Grand Canyon is open to the public between May 15 and October 15. Though fewer than 10 percent of Grand Canyon visitors make it to the North Rim, those who want to visit should plan ahead since hotels are scarce and are often booked more than a year in advance.

Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail Offers Several Points of Interest

A former salesperson in Charleston, South Carolina, Bill Oliver now works in medical sales in Sarasota, Florida. In his free time, Bill O...