02/23/19 Flamingo-Everglades, FL

DAY #126

Today I thought I would take a closer look at the park.  First, I went down to the water to check that out.  Not the soft white sand beaches that have come to expect from Florida.  It looks like the tide was out and the bottom appeared to be mucky and not very inviting, but hey, the views were still stunning. 

There aren’t any beaches per se around the park (at least that I could find).  It looks like the park was made for camping by tent in mind.  They have two dedicated areas for tent camping and a huge area by the water where tent camping is allowed.

 Next, it was off to the park facilities located approx. one mile from the campground.  They have a marina, and small store that I found charges abhorrent prices.  I bought two hot dogs (they were Nathans) and a Diet Coke, the cost, $11.45!  The hot dogs were $4.25 each!  Now I realize that we’re off the main grid, but c’mon, were not that far off.  

I liked how all the buildings are painted a pastel pink.  The main visitors center is closed due to damage caused by Hurricane Irma (replaced by a double wide trailer), as is the former gas station. 

Signs indicate the center should be reopening by 2021, and you can still buy gas at the marina.  Based on my experience, I Wonder what gas costs per gallon, almost afraid to find out.  I understand that the concessions are contracted out and they need to make a profit, but the prices they’re charging are in my opinion, damn near robbery. After all, it’s only a one-hour drive to bring supplies in, it’s not that far.

Left the park center and down the road I continued.  Lot of side stops along the main highway through the park and I thought I’d check at least some of them out (the easy ones). First couple of stops were so-so, and then I made a stop that had a 1.6-mile trail, and a wet and mucky one at that. 

Just outside my range.

Being as hot and humid as it was, and given that my feet were hurting more and more with each step, I decided to alter my plans, shelf the trail, and head back to the trailer, I needed to get my socks and shoes off and just sit with my feet in the air, which is just what I did.  I had downloaded from Kindle a book about the Reconstruction period of the U.S. after the Civil War (easy reading-not!), so I thought I could start reading that.

Later, I took the truck up to the park entrance (gee you mean you didn’t walk?  How come?)  so I could connect to the internet, but I left my shoes and socks behind and drove barefoot.  It felt so much better with no shoes on, but still, I knew something was not normal, far from it.

I have to say that the day ended on a down note.  The discomfort and concern from the sunburn began to take center stage with each step I took.  I didn’t want to admit it but it’s going to take some time to recuperate from my foolish and embarrassing encounter with the sun.

02/22/19 Flamingo-Everglades. FL

DAY #125

First full day in the everglades and it started early.  The heat and humidity in the trailer were getting to me and I didn’t sleep that well, so up around 8:00 am and putzed around.

One of the things I did was to get the chaise lounge out of the back of the truck, set it up, and lounge around for a while.  I set it up in the shade and with the accompanying breeze, it was so nice, one would say, tropical.  It was so nice, I fell asleep.  When I woke up four hours later, the shade was gone and had been replaced by the sun.  Man, my face and legs/feet were burned, this was not good.

Than to add insult to injury, I decided to arch my back before getting up, you know stretching first.  While, that didn’t turn out to be such a good idea, when I arched, the chair tipped backward, bringing me to the ground, then tipping on its side, wrapping me in it.  As I comically struggled to free myself while still in a heat/humidity induced, just woke up stupor, I remembered thinking, what’s going on (that’s the stupor)? and then, hope no one is seeing this.  Not only was it embarrassing, it was definitely not the correct way to get up from a chaise lounge. 

After the bad acrobatics show, went in to put on some socks and long pants, I know, kind of like shutting the barn door after the horse has got out, but wanted to not do any more damage than already done.  My face felt OK, as did my legs. I was most concerned about the feet, they looked ruby red and were already starting to burn. 

Surprisingly, my attitude remained good.

After (gingerly) putting on shoes, socks, and pants, I headed off through the park to my destination.  Coming into the Everglades, I had gone past what looked like a fruit stand on steroids called “Robert is Here” and they advertised along with their fruits, having these great fruit milkshakes, and it was really busy so I thought that must be the ‘go to’ place for shakes. Got there and again it was busy.  It was an interesting place, and there really is a guy named Robert, I saw him working the counter. It seemed like any kind of fruit grown in the area you could find here (and even some that weren’t).  It was fun looking over the different fruits offered, some I had never seen or only heard of.  As I said, it was busy and took about 15 minutes to get my shake.  I ordered the key lime-strawberry and was looking forward to it.  I was impressed how the cups used for the shakes were a corn based biodegradable product, something more places should be using.  

 Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed.  I appreciated the no added sugar to the milkshake.  I thought the strawberry would give it the sweetness needed, I knew for sure the key lime wasn’t going to add any. Alas, the flavor was overwhelmingly key lime and a bit stringent, if only the strawberry flavor had come through.  Sometimes you hit a home run, and other times you strike out. I wouldn’t say this was a complete flop, more like a solid double.

From there, checked out the local Walmart (funny, they all seem alike) and headed back to camp.  I had a feeling the sun burn on the feet and legs were going to be a problem over the next several days, something I wasn’t looking forward to.