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50 States, Day 277

Pine Island to Miami, 176 miles

"People of mediocre ability sometimes achieve outstanding success because they don't know when to quit.  Most men succeed because they are determined to."
~George Allen

Thank God for Alligator Alley, the Big Cypress National Preserve, and the gators, because they were sandwiched between Fort Myers to Naples and Miami, both concrete jungles with a never ending barrage of red lights. I think any community that cared about the environment would install synchronized lights. Imagine cruising through the city at or slightly below the speed limit and hitting most lights green. I'm just saying. 

But wow, those gators are something. I saw one floating along, eighty percent submerged, then he just sank. The ranger said they can slow down their heart rate and settle in the mud for up to two hours, waiting... for lunch to appear. Them 'bam!' and he enjoys a tasty snack. They're called explosive hunters and cold blooded, and looking at them, they appear to perceive the world as discerning what they could eat next. Fish swam around them, apparently unaware of their danger. We saw a few gators explode and  capture fish. 

I'll try not to whine either, but the wind buffeted our trip quite a bit today. However, the temperature remained a steady eighty- two degrees, so no complaining here. We rode down highway forty- one through the Everglades, and what an unusual piece of geography. Lowest is water- swamps- and lots of them. Up a few inches you find grasses, a few inches more and stunted trees appear, and a few more makes good ground for larger trees. And once again, this state is as flat as Neil Diamond's singing.

The glades end abruptly and next we rode into Miami. Ugh. I'm sure there are nice sections like the overcolored ones in CSI Miami, but this was grey, concrete and asphalt. Can't wait to leave. However, we searched for and found a Quality Inn to stop, only because there was nothing else- no campgrounds, motels, nothing. But a very nice room for the night.

And now, sore throat and all, Quilter, Girl!

After taking 2 hours to travel 60 miles I asked for a food break before we started across the Everglades/Big Cypress part of our trip.  We found a Burger King and had a small lunch and a big break.  It helped to keep us going on the long ride through nowhere.  I was so ready to stop when we found this motel, but after a bit of a rest we walked to a local pizza place, Papa Ricci's.  The pizza was great, neither one of us was starving, but we managed to polish off the entire Hawaiian pizza.  Maybe I will get in a little knitting before bed tonight and watch some mindless tv.  


Tomorrow, we visit the Florida Keys. Very cool. But Quilter Girl gets rather sketchy on bridges, so she's viewing the trip with a bit of apprehension. See you there.

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