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50 States, Day 282

Florida City through the Everglades, 110 Miles

"Interesting, I think there is one thing that has killed more dreams, has kept more people from accomplishing more goals than death itself, and that is a person's concern about what others think."

~ Charles Henderson

Everglades. Swamps, right? Nope, no swamps in the Everglades. It's actually a wide river that flows from Okeechobee Lake and spreads across the area, moving ever so slowly toward the ocean. I'm always a cynic about our 'delicate ecosystem,' yet reduce the water a bit and the glades dry up, inject too much and plants drown. It does look rather precise. 

Most of the water is clear, unless red colored from the Mangrove trees' leaves, which adds a dye. And the place is a fertile ground for beast and plant, with the boast of being the only place in North America where one can see alligators and crocodiles cohabiting. 

And we saw crocs today. The have wider snouts, more teeth that show even when their mouths are closed, and a lighter color. So if you're on Jeopardy, just say, "Crocodiles vs. Alligators for a thousand." Alec and Vanna will both be impressed. 

Blue sky with a few puffy clouds, sun and mid seventies made for excellent riding, and farms skirted the road on both sides, then the Everglades, the only thing missing would be gradients and curves. 

We checked out both Visitor Centers and the one in the entry featured a fine eighteen minute movie showing the lovely flora and fauna in the park. Very nice. Next we attended a 'croc talk' and got to see a few crocodiles in action- if 'action' means lying in the sun. They make a Corona commercial look kinetic. 

I asked the nice ranger if she had any stupid tourist horror stories, and she provided only one. A boy fell off his bike onto an alligator and the gator grabbed him. Dad and Mom whacked the beast with a cup or camera, and he released the boy's arm. He needed some stitches and a shot, but who cares? Great for show and tell at school, right? Anyway, she explained that they pretty much leave us people alone for a couple of reasons: First, we don't have much meat on our bones. Apparently the crocodiles haven't seen buffets. Second, we're too big and too much trouble to break down to eat. So if you want to avoid being eaten by one, be tall and skinny.

Finally, we went on a boat ride up some canals and through a lake, and I'll hand that over to Quilter Girl. We rode back as the sun dipped, another fabulous day in Florida. We'll have to remember this in a few weeks when we are in Oklahoma.
And now, sun bleached hair and all, Quilter Girl!

Like Kevin, I expected swamps in the Everglades.  It is flat, flat and more flat.  There is a distinct change in the plants when the ground rises an inch or two.  There are hardwood hummocks on some of the higher spots in the grasslands.  They look like islands in a sea of grass.  We rode as far as Flamingo where there is a campground right on the edge of the bay.  It has an incredible view of water and the small islands just offshore. Not too good for us, as there is no power for all these electronic gadgets.  

We rode back straight to Walmart to pick up groceries, then to KFC/Taco Bell for a quick dinner.   Florida is really great this time of year.


Thanks for following and we'll report in tomorrow.   


Karla Akins said...

I've never seen a croc or alligator in its natural habitat. I'm not tall and skinny so I guess I'm in trouble!

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

They're so ugly and repulsive looking you wouldn't get too close anyway.