March 16, 2012 - by Madison
Today we had a very exciting day; we went to De Soto national park and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. We went to the National Park first.
It was about a 1 hour drive to get there. On the way there was a sign that said to go the opposite direction that the GPS was telling us. We went the way the sign told us to go, we made the wrong choice. We had to drive another hour to get to the right place. When we finally got there we got our Junior Ranger books and then we watched a movie.
The movie talked about whom De Soto was and his expedition. De Soto came to America many years before and brought home (Spain) a lot of gold. He was considered very rich; he spent his money very wisely. One of the ways was helping charity. He decided that living in luxury wasn't his thing; he decided to spend the rest of his money in search of gold on the gulf.
He had a bunch of soldiers, horses, pigs, and war dogs come with him. They arrived in 1535, and the expedition lasted 4 years and they hiked 1400 miles. During all of this they found no gold. Desoto died on the trip and all of his men decided to go back to Spain. After that we had to go on a mile hike to get our badge. Then hike was fun and hot, Grammy had an umbrella so we had some shade.
When we got back to the visitors center we got our junior ranger badges and then we headed to see Winter, the dolphin. The drive was 50 minutes long. When we got there we bought our tickets and then we went to see Winter.
Seeing her was really cool, she was really playful and energetic. My favorite dolphin was Nicholas. He was found stranded on the beach with his mom on Christmas Eve. He is very healthy but he was found when he was so young that he doesn’t know the basic skills on living in the wild. Nicholas was my favorite dolphin because he could do really cool tricks. The thing l liked doing the best was petting the stingrays. I also learned a lot when I was here.
I learned that Winter was found with her mom, her mom was found waiting with her. I also learned that Winter was found when she was 3 months old. After we saw all of that the aquarium was closing so we decided to leave. I had a really great day.