Sunday, April 3, 2011

Everglades National Park - Lone Pine

The best hiking trail in the Everglades is the Anhinga trail. It is a raised boardwalk and the amount of animals on this trail will astound you.

The first animals that I saw when I started the trail was a mother alligator and 5 babies. She was right below the boardwalk and her babies were scattered all around her.

One of the baby alligators.

The Anhinga bird is a very common bird in Florida. It is a diving bird (can stay under the water for a long time) and when it gets its feathers wet it spreads its wings to dry them off.

We saw so many very large alligators in the Everglades. This one was about 6 feet.

The Great Blue Heron is another common bird in the park.

This turtle was starting to build its nest in the dirt next to the boradwalk.

I did a Nike Missile tour in the park. It is a 90 minute tour and very educational. It is scary to think we had these huge missiles ready to fire. And these poor military men had to stay out in the Everglades in tents for 2 years.

Wednesday, I drove to Key Largo to do 2 scuba dives. I had never dove the Keys and wanted to try it. The experience was not good! Too much surge and too shallow water.

On our last full day in the Everglades I joined the ranger- lead bike ride. There was only 8 of us and we biked from Lone Pine CG about 4 miles on an old logging road. Our guide, Barbara, told us alot about various plants in the park.

Lone Pine campground is 6 miles from the entrance of the park. There are no hookups but the campground is beautiful with lush vegetation and lots of tall pines.

As we were leaving the Everglades we stopped once more at Robert's market. This place was always busy. I guess they have wonderful milkshakes - the line was so long each time we stopped we didn't want to wait.

But I bought some fruits and vegetables. The area is filled with veggie and fruit farms. I have never seen tomato fields with big. My dad had about 50 plants one year and we thought that was big. These are acres and acres of tomatos. One of the fruits we bought was the sapote. It tasted like pumpkin pie!

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