Tuesday, February 8, 2011

At Flamingo, in the Everglades National Park

up close and personal with a crocodile (from our canoe!)

he likes to pose, I guess

another croc just hanging out at the marina!

soft shell turtle we found on the road (and rescued)

a lovely little shell found in the Everglades

Ranger Leon Howell on the bike ride

Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011
Well, we really are in the middle of nowhere!  No cell phone, no internet - feels wierd for us, but it's kind of nice.  The air feels so soft on your skin, waking up to 74 degree breezes coming in through the windows.  The campsites are not nearly full up, and most of the campers in this area are tenters.  There is an RV area, complete with electric hookup, but it is full.  So, we pull up at 8:00 pm, put the feet on the camper down for stabilization, then put the camper's slide out.  We're living the life of Reiley!  Felt a little bit bad the next morning, because coffee is necessary.  And, in order to make coffee, we had to start the generator...we waited as long as we could, 9:00 am, then started it up.  Tonight, we'll make coffee before 8:00 pm, put it in our thermos, so coffee tomorrow morning won't involve noise...
On our first full day here, we went on a bike ride two miles down a dirt single track road that leads to parking and a walk in to Bear Lake. Felt nice, on the lovely trail with mangroves, strangler figs, and other plants along a canal for boats, canoes, etc.  We got to the parking area, parked our bikes, and walked over to the water.  Immediately, we were besieged by mosquitos!  So, we decided to remount the bikes and get out of there!  We went on a ranger-led walk to learn about the trees around here - very interesting.  And, we signed up for a ranger-led canoe trip for Sunday morning.  It starts at 8:00, and the put in is 12 miles back up the road.  Actually the trip is fully subscribed and we're first on the waiting list.  The ranger thought we had a good chance to get on the trip.  Then, this morning, when the alarm went off at 6:30 am, we decided that getting up, breaking camp, and driving out there to MAYBE get on the trip was injurious to our peaceful existence.  So, we didn't!  Maybe we can get on an afternoon trip...!
Today, Sunday, we had a totally lazy day.  I fixed a big breakfast, instead of our usual cereal.  Then we sat around and read all morning, had lunch, read some more, then took a nap!  The camp area had a problem with their water for most of the day, but opened up again in time for showers (cold) before dinner.  Felt heavenly!  Dinner tonight is steaks on the grill, lima beans, and baked potatoes accompanied by a bottle of wine - the good life!
Tomorrow, we have to drive out to the main gate (38 miles) so that Dan can get his Monday's work done on the internet - plus, we'll be able to check to see if we have any phone messages.  Tuesday, we head for the Keys.
the canal from the marina to Coot Bay

Florida Bay - no more than 2-5 feet deep

egret standing on floating rotting sea grass

the marina at Flamingo

boat going out into Florida Bay

American crocodile hanging out in the Marina

canoe launch for Bear Lake - poisonous tree (Menangas sp?) overhanging....

trail in Flamingo area

trail out to Bear Lake

daily visitor to the campsite area...

Gumbo limbo tree (tourist tree)

canal ahead of us in the canoe

limestone rocks at side of canal

these mangroves are amazing - send the new roots down from upper branches....

mangroves all along the canal

lovely day, lovely mangroves...

Dan behind me in the canoe

Oh Captain, my captain!

pretty mangroves

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