Saturday, February 28, 2015

More everglades

Well, we got to the campground by noon and scored a site. That put us in the Everglades for another night (for a whopping $8.00). We immediately headed for the Anhinga Trail, one of the most popular. It is a boardwalk above a marsh and birds (and, of course, gators) are in good supply. Here we saw nests of anhinga chicks as well as adult anhingas.
Anhinga chicks

Typical anhinga pose

There is a small wooded area with pond apple trees. These had air plants that were just beginning to bloom.

It also had the usual gators, here's a good one.

There were cormorants all over the place, some close enough to touch (we didn't try to). I had never heard a cormorant call before. It is pretty ugly. There were also quite a few blue herons.

Moving on, we visited a pond where there were a group of roseate spoonbills and wood storks in the trees on the opposite side. Unfortunately, those distant birds were the only spoonbills we were able to spot.

Everyone know that the everglades are very low-lying, but it is still a bit surprising to see a sign marking one of the higher elevations.

We drove on to Flamingo with the idea of maybe taking one of the boat rides. We got there just in time to see the boat leaving. The next one would have put us pretty late, so we just found a parking place overlooking Florida Bay, had a late lunch, and chilled. No need to rush from one activity to another --- after all, we're on vacation.

Next morning, we had a long conversation with another Roadtrek owner, and headed for one last thing. We decided to end our everglades adventure with a walk along the Gumbo Limbo Trail. This is right next to the Anhinga Trail but couldn't be more different. There are no birds or animals. There may perhaps be some tree snails or butterflies, but we didn't see any. With a slightly higher elevation it is a tangled jungle of gumbo limbo and live oak trees, along with strangler figs, air plants, and God-only-knows what else.

Gumbo limbo tree

It looks like something out of one of the scarier parts of a Disney movie.


After the walk, we headed for the Tamiami Trail and Naples. This road cuts across the top of the Everglades, then through the Big Cypress Swamp. We had lunch at the Miccossukee Restaurant along the way. Trying to find a campsite was frustrating. Everyone was filled. We finally found a space at the Chokoloskee Island Park, which is like a small fish camp on Florida Bay.

So that is where we are today. We took and extra day in order to do laundry and just kick back a little. I finally had time and energy to catch up with the blog. It is Florida back country, popular with fishermen and pelicans.

Old pair of pelicans
Tomorrow we turn north. We need to get close to Sefner to visit a relative of Jean's. We may even take the back roads and bypass Naples altogether. Wednesday we have an appointment to get some work done on the Roadtrek from the place we bought it (and still my favorite dealer/repair place). That will probably be our last official Florida event for this trip. We're already making plans for next year.

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