People...Have you ever considered what it would be like to be "BAIT"? Get Eaten? Run for your LIFE in a serpentine fashion? I didn't either until last Thursday. It all started when I told my friend Jeannie that she didn't keep me in the loop about her life. (God love her, she hears the minutia in mine). So, she invites me to walk this trail with her in south Melbourne Beach. "It's so pretty, Dana! You have to bring your camera!" Trail walking/running. Sounded snakey and like an ankle breaker to me, but hey...I asked her to keep me in the loop and was graciously invited. How bad could it be? I'll just watch where I am going while looking down for roots, holes and snakes, ya know. Besides, my muffin top was growing into a baker's dozen and I REALLY had to be more proactive.
Off we went, camera and cell phone in hand. It WAS beautiful along the trail!
Smelled a little skunkish too, but what do you expect? It's a hammock! It's protected! It's natural! I would hang out there too if I was a varmit!
We came to a point in the trail where we could loop around a pond and we decided that we had plenty of time and "Why Not?!" We were engrossed in college scholarship conversation and I was thinking that I needed to look up more than down so I could enjoy the landscape. I was stopped dead in my tracks. Jeannie continued to walk not noticing that i wasn't beside her. All I could get out was something to the effect of "Sweet Jesus...." and pointed at the biggest alligator I had EVER seen. He was no more than 6 feet away from me sunning himself in the grass alongside the trail.
Jeannie stops at the taking of our Lord's name in vain (I'm sorry Jesus) see's what I am pointing at and takes off running.
I take a couple of steps with her and then think..."OOOO this would be a great photo!" Jeannie sees me and starts pleading with me..."Come On, Dana!"
I couldn't help myself...that's when I took the first photo...and then I took another one before she had a nervous breakdown and I started backing down the trail after her, my heart about to jump out of my chest! Do those things attack? Do they lay in wait and grab you, shake you like a rag and roooooolllll with you into the water! That's right "Sweet Jesus on the cross"! Protected hammock, my @$$. "Gator bait trail" That's what it should be renamed.
We quickly make it to the other side of the pond and we can see it clear as day on the other side.
That gator was 8 feet if it was an inch and FAT!!! Did I mention UGLY?? Prehistoric. It could have been lying right up in the middle of the trail and...geez. Well, we scooted around that pond and made it out to the main road with our eyes WIDE open! But not before we saw this
We crossed state road A1A made famous by Vanilla Ice in the early 90's...you know, "A1A Beach Front Avenue!" I digress.
This is what is across from Gator Bait hammock...ahhhhhhh. Deep Breath.
Miles of beautiful natural beaches. (music...ba dum....ba dum...ba dum ba dum ba dum!!!!!)
My sunglasses dropped in my lap later that evening while I was driving and I nearly drove into oncoming traffic. A little jumpy. Post Traumatic Gator Disorder. I'm writing a medical paper on it.