Today was a slow day, we went to breakfast at the Berry Fresh Cafe which is just down the road from here and has good quality food. An unadvertised “Big Breakfast” special is probably the best deal for $5.99 because it includes coffee – it net’s out to even less than the “senior” special. Includes two eggs, bacon, toast, coffee (reg $2.19 ala carte) and either grits or home fries.
For some reason this year I have taken a liking to grits. I never got them before, but I suppose if you add enough butter and salt to anything it’s bound to taste good – I guess that’s the secret. The grits here are homemade and fresh too.
After breakfast, we needed to do some food shopping but neither of us were in the mood and it was such a nice day so we set out to revisit some old haunts. We headed up toward Vero Beach but along the way we just had to go by the Marine Surplus joint in Fort Pierce which is a must stop for me, just to see if they might have a propane stove for the boat. No luck there, but I did buy some nylon eye straps that I will use in conjunction with bungee or similar to secure some of the drawers we have that pop out while under way.
This place is just enormous (about the size of two BJ’s Whole sale Clubs) and extremely well organized – check out the prop isle in the photo to the right. If you need some old no longer made part, chances are good you could find it here. Today they had some nice pre-finished cherry marine plywood for $145 for a 4×8 sheet. Also tons of material like T-tops and bow rails from defunct boat builders. On the down side there are no deals here although I imagine you can haggle about the price on some items.
After this exciting encounter (Linda might describe the experience differently) we headed up to the boardwalk along the beach at Vero and took a walk. Surf was mild and there were a few swimmers despite the slight chill (high 60’s). You could spot the snowbirds with their shorts and light (or no) shirts – the locals were all bundled up in long pants and jackets.
A couple of years ago the Peabody’s had turned us on to the Historic Jungle Trail, originally designed as a county road designed to support local citrus growers, it is a great ride by car or bike and is in the National Register of Historic Places. Currently stretching about 7. 5 miles (unpaved), the northern entrance is accessed via the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge off of A1A. Luckily I had saved the waypoint in our GPS in the car as it is easy to miss as you head up A1A. Click here to see a map of the exact location.
Once in the Pelican Island NWR there will be a turn off of the Jungle Trail for the Centennial (walking) Trail here – this is worth a stop and has a boardwalk inscribed with the name and dates of all National Wildlife Refuge’s since 1903. At the end is a nice viewing area of the Indian River and all the islands of the refuge – the Intracoastal Waterway passes by here. I think the signage has been replaced since the last time we were here and there is now a butterfly garden as well.
The Jungle Trail continues south for several miles after it leaves the NWR. It is a very smooth dirt road (smoother than a lot of paved roads!) and passes thru resorts, golf courses and along the Indian River with some nice views of homes and marinas. Worth a trip if you are in the area. It makes it’s way back to A1A here. BTW there is a pee stop here about halfway thru.
After that we headed to the Fresh Market in Vero for some food shopping and then headed home. I must say despite the closeness of every possible kind of service or retail establishment, the traffic and congestion in this area can become wearisome – perhaps this is due to the snowbirds since a large percentage of the registration tags you see are from the north.
Here are few more shots of the resort we are staying at.