Friday, April 1, 2011

Everglades National Park - Flamingo

We arrived at Everglades National Park on Saturday, March 26, and stayed at Lone Pine Campground. This blog will focus on our day trip to Flamingo, which is 34 miles from Lone Pine.

We took a ranger lead boat ride on the canal and into two lakes. The ranger pointed out quite a few crocodiles and alligators. Yes, there are crocodiles in Florida! And lots of alligators. We also saw two manatees which are in the picture to the above. They never surfaced and the ranger said they could hold their breath for 20 mintues so we did not hang around.

When we got back to the dock there was a very large alligator swimming around the boats. He was drawing quite a crowd. Flamingo is located in the southwest corner of Everglades with ocean and freshwater mingling.

Flamingo is not as lust in vegetation as Lone Pine. This picture is of the marina. They have a visitors center, RV campground with hookups, and a tent area. They offer rentals for kayaks and canoes. Then you can really get up close to the alligators and crocodiles!

Back to our campground at sunset. We had lots of pine trees and vegetation. I will have more pictures of Lone Pine in one of my next blogs.

Key West, Florida

On Monday, March 28, Dean and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary by driving to Key West. The drive from the Everglades National Park was 140 miles and took three hours down and back. We headed down Hwy 1 to the end, going thru all the little towns on the Keys. This is the end of Hwy 1 in Key West.

We took Chica with us. It was a hot humid day so we did not want to leave her in the motorhome with no air. When we arrived in Key West and found a parking place in Mallory Square parking lot we tried to find a place for lunch. With a dog that is pretty tough. But we found a nice place called "The Jungle" and had our anniversary dinner, with Chica at our feet.

Then we walked all the way down Duval Street to the Southernmost marker - about 15 blocks. It was hot, humid and there was a huge cruise boat anchored for the day with about 5000 extra people in town. So very crowded!!! The town is really cute and the buildings are very art deco like this Walgreens.

At the Southernmost point in the continental US Dean took our picture. We had to wait our turn, there were a lot of people lining up for a picture. I am holding Chica and she is really panting. Poor baby!

We walked back on Whitehurst St to our parking lot, passing the Hemingway House and the Truman House. We couldn't take any tours because of Chica and it was too crowded anyway. Next time we come to Key West we will not bring Chica and we will stay the night. I hear the night life is really great.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Okeechobee Marina and RV Park

Okeechobee Lake, in Southern Florida, is the second largest freshwater lake in the continental US and covers 750 square miles. Its greatest depth is 14 feet. There are lots of winter residents from all across the Eastern US and Canada in this area and most of them come for the fishing and boating. Dean and I stayed 3 nights at Okeechobee Marina and RV Park and had a delightful time. The night we pulled in there was a fish fry and the local residents invited us to join them. It was really nice since it was very hot and we did not want to heat up the motorhome. The next day we did a bike ride in the little town of Moore Haven along the canal. In the afternoon the owners of the park invited us to a hamburger/hotdog cookout. It was an appreciation dinner for the residents before they all took off for the summer. On Saturday morning they had their weekly all you can eat breakfast for $5 so we joined in on that too. The new owners – Chick and Hugo – are really trying hard to make the RV Park too notch and we lucked out in staying there at the right time. I think they are doing a wonderful job and would recommend this park to anyone in the area. There were alligators in the canal along side of the park, which come swimming over to the fish cleaning hut when the doors slam. Seems the fishermen after cleaning their fish, throw the remains into the canal. Those alligators are getting a free meal. We saw three in one afternoon.