We love our National Parks. Every one of them is a gem. We are trying to visit as many of them as we can, but now with the advent of this pandemic, it looks like we have already visited the only one that we’ll get to see this year. We are still holding reservations to visit many more national and western state parks this summer, as part of what has become our annual all summer camping trip, but some of the campgrounds that we have booked have already been closed and are unlikely to be reopened in time for us this summer. No worries though, we have such a huge catalog of photographs from past trips that it is highly unlikely that we’ll run out new photos to post anytime soon.
Probably the most salient part of our visit to the national park on St. John Island was the ranger led hike on Reef Bay Trail. We met at the park’s visitor’s center. Anne and I got there early, because we didn’t have reservations for this hike and were planning to get on the standby list. Since, we were first on that list, we got to go. Two of the island open air pickup truck taxis ferried us down the island’s centerline road to the trailhead. We got out in the middle of the island at a 900′ elevation. The environment there was that of a tropical rainforest and true to form, it did rain a little bit. By the end of the four-hour guided tour, we had made it down to the coast, where the climate was much more arid. At the top it was a jungle, but at the bottom it was almost desert like. The pictured Dildo Cactus are ubiquitous along the coast and had to be named by a man.
On this hike our ranger guide introduced us to numerous plants and animals. He was very informative. We also had the good fortune to meet him again at an art party near our Air B&B. In addition to all of the nature that we saw, there were also two historical sights. The first were some Native American petroglyphs. I still have to post about them. The other one was an antebellum sugar plantation. I have already mentioned that one, but I could revisit it. Our hike ended on the beach, where a boat had arrived from Cruz Bay to return us there. A rubber raft picked us up from the beach and took out to the boat. Once we were all loaded, it was a pleasant hour ride back to town. It made for a most excellent day.