January 10, 2012

Leaving South Florida

Tim and I were ready to leave Miami this morning, sad to leave friends, but happy to hit the road again.  We decided to drive across the Tamiami Trail, a historic road that links Tampa and Miami.  The trail cuts through the Everglades and Big Cypress National Preserve, the last of the national parks in South Florida that we wanted to visit. 

A canal borders the Tamiami Trail for much of the way, and I spotted alligators, turtles and birds along the way.  We stopped at the visitor center at Big Cypress and walked along the nearby boardwalk.  I’ve never seen so many alligators in one area at one time.  There must have been at least a dozen, and they were so close to us.  Amazing!

Are There Alligators Down There?
Gators Galore!
Good Day for a Swim
Big Cypress was the first national preserve established by the National Park Service.  The cypress trees are not “big.”  In fact, most are the dwarf pond cypress variety.  It is the size of the park that is big – more than 2,400 square miles.

Big Cypress National Preserve
We were also able to view wildlife at the H.P. Williams Roadside Park.  There were several alligators here, but I especially enjoyed watching the birds.  I really am not a bird watcher, but the birds of South Florida fascinate me.  Maybe it’s their size, or their gracefulness, but I think they are beautiful.

An Underwater Turtle
Birds in a Tree
Beautiful Birds Everywhere
More Birds to See

We made it to the west coast of Florida, where we settled into a campground in Bonita Springs.  We plan to take a day to decompress, finish a few chores and look at places we might want to visit in the area. 

We discovered that the campground is very kitty-friendly.  Several RV owners have cats, and a lady near us hands out treats to both dogs and cats.  But, best of all, our neighbors have two cats that walk on a leash.  It turns out that Kitty is not the only cat who gets her exercise that way!

Gee, Do You Also Walk on a Leash?
We Also Like to Walk on a Leash


  1. I like bird watching and those are really neat. So glad you were able to get those pictures. All your pictures of SO FL sure do brighten up my dark rainy morning. Thanks! LV

  2. LV, I'v decided that one of the things I like about these birds is their long legs! Plus, they're large enough to see without binoculars. So sorry to hear about your gloomy weather. I'll try to keep posting sunny pictures for you. Sarah