Well tonight is the last night here at the Goldcoaster RV Park. Tomorrow we will leave and travel down US Highway Number 1, otherwise know the South Dixie Highway to Key Largo.
Before I get into the details of the last couple of days I want to share with you a panoramic photo of the Everglades. This was taken the other day when we were at Everglades National Park. If you have not been in the Everglades before, you might be surprised at what you see, as I was. To get the full effect of the photo, you will need to download it and use your favourite viewer.
Yesterday we traveled back down the Tamiami Trail to visit Shark Valley. This is part of the Everglades National Park and they offer a 15 mile paved trail out into the Everglades. You can either hike the path, take a bike ride (they rent bikes or you can bring your own) or you can take the Tram Tour. We were originally thinking about taking our bikes, but 15 miles under the hot sun and not really knowing one bird from another, we decided to take the Tram Tour.
The Naturalist that was leading our tour was very knowledgeable. He shared with us that the reason this paved road was in the Everglades, basically in the middle of nowhere, was because of oil. It turns out that there is a huge oil deposit near Shark Valley but when it was discovered it was two expensive to refine and in the end the land was turned over to the Federal Government. He also was able to point out many of the different types of flora and fauna in the park.
We also learned that there has only been one incident involving an alligator and a tourist in the park. There have been many accidents involving alligators outside the park, most likely due to the fact that people tend to feed them, but only one within the park boundaries. It was an interesting story. You can read all about it here.
We were able to see all sorts of birds and more alligators than I care to count. These ancient giants look very docile but I think they are just pretending. Here are some pictures of our afternoon adventure.
Today we had planned on visiting Knaus Berry Farm. It has been reported that they have outstanding cinnamon rolls and fruit flavoured milk shakes. We thought it would be a great way to spend the afternoon, sitting on the deck having some fresh pastry and a fruit shake. However when we arrived their parking lot was full. The school parking lot across the street was full. The space adjacent to the road was full. There was no place to park and there were lines of people from their front doors that extended all the way across the parking lot. Bev figured there had to be at least 100 people waiting. We realized we should have visited earlier in the week instead of the weekend. We didn’t stay.
Our next planned stop was to visit Robert Is Here – Fruit Stand. It is not to far from where we are staying and we thought it would be a chance to purchase some fresh produce. We had been by the location a few days earlier and had noticed that parking seemed to be at a premium. We figured parking could also be a challenge on a Saturday. When we arrived we were lucky enough to snag a parking spot right outside the front entrance.
The place was very busy with people all over the place. The displays were set up efficiently with the fruit, jams and jellies on one side with the fresh vegetables on the other and tucked into the corner was the counter where the fresh milkshakes were sold.
Bev bought and learned how to cut up a fresh mango. It was half gone before we got home. I tried a sample of fresh boiled peanuts. We had previously seen them at roadside stands but had never had the opportunity to try them. I will be sticking with the roasted kind. The amount of fruit on display was amazing. There was fruit there that we had never heard of before and wouldn’t know what to do with. There were samples of avocados that were larger than softballs. At first I didn’t believe they were avocados. They certainly weren’t like the small ones we see in the grocery store back home. While Bev enjoyed here mango, I was refreshed with a raspberry–key lime milkshake. It was delicious; as was the fresh corn on the cob we brought home and had with our supper.
As far as the predicted cold snap goes, we are still waiting. The thermometer on the truck is still registering +20°C or higher. Yes it has cooled off a little at night. We have had to have the fireplace on at night while we watched TV, but we are still wearing shorts and t-shirts. Hopefully we will be able to leave our long pants in the dresser until the fall.