Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Leaving Key West

 Wow, has it been a busy 10 days or so since we left Key West!!! After Sheryl got the all clear from her new doctor, we headed north towards the mainland. Our first order of business was to see our newest grand daughter in Miami. However, a campsite at Markham Park would not be available for a couple days. We could have stayed in Key West for those couple days, but decided to spend them at Everglades National Park and the Long Pine Campground.

 Our couple of days there were spent exploring the northern end of the park (we took in the southern end last year). One of the more interesting areas we found was the Nike Army Missile site. This was one of many missile sites constructed during the Cuban Missile Crisis to guard against Russian air attacks. This was a cool piece of history to see and really brings home just how close to war we were at the time.

 After those couple days, we finally made it into Miami and our new little grand daughter!!! She's such a cutie. Of course we also got to spend time and catch up with mom, dad and our other little ones.

 It was great getting to see everyone again and spend time visiting. Funny how you can not see a family member for a year or so and then when you do, it's like it was yesterday.

 After our visit with the kids, it was time to strike out on our adventure again, next stop Big Cypress National Preserve and the Midway Campground. Here we stayed three nights giving us time to see the area a bit.

 Unlike Everglades National Park, where the wildlife seems to be concentrated in a couple of areas for visitor connivance, in Big Cypress you have to go out and find it. One of ways is to drive the 24 mile loop road which takes you deep into the preserve. All along the road there are culverts to allow the water to flow freely from north to south. It is along this road you seem to find the most wildlife, as they like the pools created by the culverts, so a stop every 1/4 mile or so will net you some pretty great views.
 Another, item on my bucket list was to try and capture some of those epic everglades landscape shots. However, Mother Nature had other plans and blessed us with no clouds and beautiful weather our whole stay (no clouds equal no dramatic sky's) I believe I came away with a few though.
 Once our time was up there, we continued our trek northward. This time to a county park north west of Ocala FL. Hart Springs Park is one of many natural springs which feed the Suwannee River in this very rural part of the state and not well visited, just our type of place.
 Besides doing a whole lot of relaxing, we also got out for some fun and another check off the ole bucket list.

 Putting in at Manatee Springs State Park, we were able to kayak along the spring run and out into the Suwannee river for a while. It's amazing how much wildlife and be seen in this part of Florida.

 Found this little guy and some of his friends sunning themselves.

 Sheryl also found a little friend, right after this shot, he turned and went right in front of the kayak and then submerged just a couple of feet away from Sheryl. Needless to say, she was quite nervous about the whole thing......lol

The crystal clear water from the springs made for a nice return to the launching point.

That's been our last 10 days or so in a nutshell. I wanted to get this out before we leave here in the morning. Next stop, the Florida Panhandle to visit one of our daughter there................so, until next time........................


  1. Nothing better than time with the grandkids and spoiling them rotten! :c)

  2. Spending time with family when your Home has wheels under it makes the visits even more memorable and special.
    Glad you are still enjoying the Florida weather.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  3. I love the parks you visited, seems to be very exciting.