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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Big Cypress National Preserve… A Change of pace!

Helen... Do you ant to get out of the truck
and get a closeup
Blackhead Vultures waiting for lunch
After leaving Fort Myers Beach and heading South on US –41, the tempo changed quickly from urban to rural. We had driven this road before, the old Tamiami Trail also known as “Alligator Alley”. I wanted to experience a new “Adventure”. I took a right at Monroe Station for a 26 mile loop road into the Big Cypress National Preserve. The first twelve miles were dirt road. It soon was apparent that this road would be full of wildlife viewing. Helen spotted a couple of crocs sunning alongside of the road. Every culvert was a stopping place for us. At first, we didn’t get out of the truck fearing the alligators. They seem to only charge about three feet at a time. Back out the word charge, it was more of a retreat away than forward. The gators weren’t the only wildlife in the neighborhood. Birds of every description, we saw deer and many black headed Vultures. Ironically, there wasn’t much traffic, but we did talk to a couple from Amsterdam. He was a civil engineer. Later, at another small bridge a couple from Italy asked if I could take their picture with their camera. They were from the Tuscany area of Italy. We had just been in that area last year.
It took a good part of the afternoon to cover the 26 miles. We were happy to have done this small loop. It was going in the same direction of travel and we didn’t have to backtrack at all.
You wouldn't think deer are in a Cpyress Swamp
Our original plan was to put up for the night at the Casino located at the corner of US 41 and CR997. We stopped and walked into the casino. Boy, they never change! Does everybody who goes into a Casino, smoke, drink and gamble? I’ve had it with Casinos! We decided to travel another 40 miles to Everglades National Park and take our chances for a camp site. What a good gamble! The entrance station to the park was closed, but the park was open. We drove in and soon came to Long Pine Key campground. The sign said closed, but find a site and pay in the morning. This place was heaven! Many sites available, all with easy access to restrooms, paved back-in sites, it was heaven sent for tonight. Even Wi-Fi
That is what we did and saw!

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