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Bonita Springs Really is Beautiful with Rivers 94-96

With our truck and jeep loaded, we set out around noon, taking the backroads southwest to Bonita Springs for the President’s Day weekend. Excited for some fishing, our son, Charles brought along his buddy, Ryan, for the trip. Having reserved an Airbnb with two apartments within one home, it was perfect lodging to bring an extra person as well as the dog. Better still, this tropically designed home had a boat dock, bonus!

Somewhere in the downtown of Alva, the boys, driving mom’s car took a different route from us. With this being the first time, our son has driven separate from us completely on a trip that moment was stressful, yet we all rolled with it. Turns out they beat us by about 10 minutes but had to get on a very congested I75 during the Friday afternoon rush hour. If given a choice, we prefer to avoid the highways when towing our boat and that we did in the truck. It was interesting to see the massive growth eastbound from the Gulf’s coastline, new roads and communities in every direction!

Once at the house, it was big and airy with a screened in porch and grill. It was right off Bonita Springs Boulevard and close to everything. With a bit of research ahead of time, we knew the Imperial Public Boat Ramp was just a quick six-minute drive, however, by boat back to the dock is was a forty minute tool. With rain forecasted all day that Sunday, which was to be our second day on the water; we had to pivot. As a group, we decided to keep the boat on the trailer for our Friday night and get up early to start at the Estero River by way of the Koreshan State Park. So, after walking the neighbor and taking in damages that remained from the 2022 Hurricane Ian, we then grilled some burgers and played a few card games before retiring to our rooms.

Next day, the traffic was much lighter than upon arrival the afternoon prior. It was a quick drive to the state park, once inhabited by a cult like society who disbanded in the early 1960’s. Their boat ramp was in a great location and in stellar condition, we entered the Estero River for #94 and headed northwest. Many small modular homes on the river abounded and soon bigger ones, lots of family kayaking out on the water from the state park made for a lot of waving that day; it was lovely. Though we didn’t get to see it ourselves, it is said a natural spring really does exist this far south in Florida and can be found at the Shrangrala Hotel. After an hour or so we turned around and passed the boat ramp to explore a bit of the eastern part of the river which became more natural as it meandered through the state park.

Once loaded back up we headed south for 15 minutes to the Imperial Boat Ramp. The boys took the truck back to our weekend rental and us adults enjoyed the slow cruised to our dock. The homes were each individualized and plentiful, many spoil islands made for fun options to let our dog, Seger run and explore. Back at the dock, we loaded up the boys as we headed towards Wiggins’ Pass via the Imperial River our 95th. This pass was such a blast and allowed for fast speeds and big windy waters. As we got closer to the Cocohatchee Bay the water turned a brilliant blue; it was breathtaking.

Instead of heading out to the Gulf, we headed east and found a giant sandbar that allowed us all to get off the boat, run, explore, and take in the sights of the many boats enjoying the waters. The Cocohatchee River was #96 and it is clearly a well-loved river with lots of homes and toys adorning its edges. Though we had wanted to go out to dinner, with all that sunshine, we settled for Jets Pizza delivery. Known for their signature Detroit deep dish style pies, it was delicious and introducing it to Ryan for the first time yielded two thumbs up.

The weather forecast was right, and it rained all day that Sunday which allowed us all to sleep in, read, and play card games. Brief strolls in between down pours made for a relaxing day. Then, we were up early and ready to head back to the Treasure Coats a mere 3.5 hours northeast. Happy roaming ya’ll!

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