Cragies and Snackies

What Florida lacks in rock climbing they make for in insane stories that no one would believe if they happened anywhere other than Florida.  In a state where the mean elevation is just 30 meters, you wouldn’t expect to find many crags.  And as it turns out there aren’t many crags.  Mountain Project lists 46 total climbs.  Of those 46 about 30 of them are manufactured (doorways, bridges, brick walls, etc.) leaving about 15 climbable routes on actual rock.  Of those 15 only about 10 are higher than 2 meters, and of those 10, only five aren’t buried under water during high tide.  That then leaves the munificentbeautifulpristineexhilarating, only crag in Florida.

Ladies and Gentlemen let me present to you the Myakka State Park Boulder.  Described by journalist Alli Hill as “Quite possibly the only freestanding boulder in the Sunshine State, climbers have touted the back side of this rock as the best problem in West Florida. Standing at just over nine feet-tall, it won’t take you long to reach the top.”

Myakka State Park Boulder (Mountain Project)

There are five climbs at this hidden gem of a crag ranging from V0- to V3 including the classic two star rated ‘Why Are We Even Doing This?’.  Why indeed?

While the climbing may not be world class, and the nearest restaurant is Arby’s, if you are willing to drive 220 miles, then I believe it will all be worthwhile. 

Rutina Verde Foods may be the single greatest vegan Venezuelan restaurant in the whole world!

Rutina Verde Foods started in the kitchen of venezuelan couple, chef Manuel Cabeza and Andrea Mendez, with the intention of making vegan food accessible to the prominent venezuelan community in Miami, Fl.

Starting with a simple but delicious menu comprised of vegan cookies and traditional Venezuelan holiday dishes, Rutina Verde excited the stomachs of those who had not had access to a vegan alternative of their traditional foods before.

As a vegetarian, I had not had the opportunity to enjoy an hallaca in years. This dish was my favorite growing up and I always looked forward to the holidays just to eat it. I had given up hope that I would ever enjoy it again, until Manuel reached out to me a couple of years ago asking if I wanted to try their homemade hallacas. BEST. MESSAGE. EVER!

The dough was perfect, the seasoning excellent, the texture… It was all I had dreamt of and more. After trying the dish, I kept looking forward to whatever vegan creation they would come up with next.

Unfortunately, I don’t reside in Florida, so I have missed on trying some of the new additions to their menu. However, I must confess that whenever I visit the Sunshine State, trying one of their new items is always one of the things I look forward to the most.

If you go to their instagram, you will be enchanted by the visuals of their menu, which has expanded exponentially since Rutina Verde’s inception. Their options range from the traditional venezuelan cheese sticks, or “tequeños,” to lion’s mane mushroom “parilla venezolana”

The rapid growth of Rutina Verde Foods showcases the expertise of chef Cabeza, and the creativity and vegan knowledge of Mendez.

So, the next time you’re in The Sunshine State, and you are in need of some Cragies and Snackies, head to Myakka State Park and jump on what is referred to as “a sort of natural stone conglomerate, mortared together to make it roughly 9′ tall”.  From there, make the 3.5 hour journey to Coconut Grove Farmer’s Market (Saturday, 10am-4pm), where you’ll find the best vegan Venezuelan food this side of the Panama Canal.

Regarding the climbing I’d like to second Mountain Project commenter Nehemiah DeWitt who on July 24, 2019, wrote “my condolences to everyone in FL”.  Regarding the food, in the immortal words of Robin Rojo, all I can say is “YUMMMMM!”

Location: Miami, FL. “Insanus est hic”

Crag: Myakka State Park Boulder

Restaurant: Rutina Verde

Grubhub: Arepera by Rutina Verde

Distance: 220 Miles Away

12 Replies to “Cragies and Snackies”

    1. Haha…I never knew how limited outdoor climbing was in FL. It makes sense, I just never thought about it. They are doing their best though!

      Liked by 1 person

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