Travel Day to Midway – Thursday – February 21, 2013

Early this morning we left Flamingo and headed to Midway Campground on Rt 41, the Tamiami Trail. You cannot make a reservation at Midway, so we wanted to arrived as early as possible to get an open site.

We made one last stop at our favorite produce stand, “Robert Is Here,” to stock up on some wonder fresh vegetables.

This time, we found the correct turn onto Rt 997 and headed through Florida City and Homestead. This is a very agricultural area. We passed field after field of tomatoes, corn, cabbages, etc.

At Rt 41, we made a left and immediately hit the construction that is going on to correct the damage done to the Everglades. When the construction is complete, the flow from Lake Okeechobee will be corrected and the Everglades ecosystem will begin to return to what it once was.

As we drove through the construction, we saw a cyclist who we met later at the campground. He had left Miami early this morning and was on a trip across Florida to Naples. There he was going to get a ferry to Key West and bike the entire keys returning again to Miami…that’s a lot of pedaling.

We love the ride across the Tamiami Trail. Once you get through the construction, it's so beautiful. Two lanes, very little traffic and a beautiful tree-lined highway with canals where you can usually see alligators as you drive!!

When we got to Midway, we were fortunate to get site 14, one of the nicest in the park. This is the perfect location to return to Shark Valley to bike, visit Big Cypress Preserve and Everglades City. The next few days will be lots of fun.

Our day ended with a wonderful dinner of all the fresh produce we picked up at Roberts.
It doesn’t get much better!!!

21 - leaving Flamingo
21a1 - Robert is Here21a2
21a321b2 - Tamiami Trail Cyclist21b - Tamiami Trail Cyclist
21c - ride along 41-tamiami trail
21d - Site 14 at Midway21e - Site 14 at Midway
21f - A Robert is Here Dinner

Everglades National Park, Day 13 – Wednesday – February 20, 2013

Day 13, Wednesday – Our Final Day at Flamingo Campground in the Everglades!!
The past two weeks has been so amazing!!  We were not sure what to expect during our first visit to this part of the Everglades.  We knew we would be without stores, phone, internet and television which did not bother us at all.  What we weren’t sure of was the environment??  All you hear on the news is about Burmese Pythons…a non-issue during our visit.  Of course, insects are mentioned whenever you hear about the Everglades. As we’ve said many times, “we live a charmed life” and insects were a non-issue also;o))  We did have strong winds which created a bug-less visit!!  However, we’ll take that compromise any day:o)
We will be leaving very early in the morning to try and snag a non-reservable site at Midway Campground near the Big Cypress National Preserve and Visitor Center.  So I am packing up everything and of course, cleaning everything in preparation;o))  Nancy, on the other hand, is off with her camera to soak up one more day in this wonderful place!!
Nancy here: 
The rest of the blog is PHOTOS… LOTS and LOTS OF PHOTOS!!!  I have fallen in love with this place and wanted to capture as much of it as possible until we can visit again.  All of the photos in todays blog were taken today!!!  Hard to imagine all this beauty is within walking distance of your RV whenever you want to take a walk:o))
First stop… Sunrise at Eco Pond01a - Eco Pond at Sunrise01c - Eco Pond at Sunrise01b - Eco Pond at Sunrise
Early Morning Reflections
01d - Eco Pond at Sunrise01d2 - Eco Pond at Sunrise01e - Eco Pond at Sunrise01e2 - Eco Pond at Sunrise01e5 - Eco Pond at Sunrise01e3 - Eco Pond at Sunrise01e4 - Eco Pond at Sunrise01e6 - Eco Pond at Sunrise
In case you couldn't tell, that is Syl in the white shirt across the pond;o)
Walk Along the Eco Pond Path
01f - Eco Pond at Sunrise01f3a - Eco Pond at Sunrise01f3 - Eco Pond at Sunrise01f4 - Eco Pond at Sunrise01f5 - Eco Pond at Sunrise01f2 - Eco Pond at Sunrise01f6 - Eco Pond at Sunrise
After breakfast, I went on a 3 hour, Ranger led, Bird Walk!!
01i4 - morning bird walk01i4a - morning bird walk01i4b - morning bird walk01i4c - morning bird walk01i4d - morning bird walk01i4e - morning bird walk01i4f - morning bird walk01i4g - morning bird walk01i4h - morning bird walk01i4i - morning bird walk01i4j - morning bird walk01i4k - morning bird walk

After lunch, I took a walk along Florida Bay and Guy Harvey Trail…
Views Across Florida Bay
01h - Florida Bay01h2 - Florida Bay01h3 - Florida Bay01h3a - Florida Bay01h3b - Florida Bay01h4 - Florida Bay01h4a - Florida Bay01i - Visitor Center
Sights Along Guy Harvey Trail
01i2 - Visitor Center01i3 - Visitor Center01i3a - Visitor Center01i3b - Visitor Center01i3c - Visitor Center01i3d - Visitor Center01i3e - Visitor Center01i3f - Visitor Center01i3g - Visitor Center
After dinner, one last walk along Florida Bay near the walk-in tent area…01l1 - Afternoon Florida Bay Tent Area Walk01l2 - Afternoon Florida Bay Tent Area Walk

The next thing I saw was just amazing!!

I have heard of the White Version of the Great Blue Heron but have never seen one.
Last day… Last walk… and you guessed it:o))01l3 - Afternoon Florida Bay Tent Area Walk
Gorgeous… Absolutely Gorgeous!!!
01l4 - Afternoon Florida Bay Tent Area Walk01l5 - Afternoon Florida Bay Tent Area Walk
Not sure what this is??  It was stalking a grasshopper…which it caught!! At a distance I thought, Little Green Heron.  Closer I thought, Least Bittern.  But maybe it is a juvenile American Bittern.  Regardless, it looked like it had an injury to its neck:o(
01l6 - Afternoon Florida Bay Tent Area Walk01l7 - Afternoon Florida Bay Tent Area Walk
View across Florida Bay towards the Rangers’ Housing
01l9 - Afternoon Florida Bay Tent Area Walk01l9b - Afternoon Florida Bay Tent Area Walk01l8 - Afternoon Florida Bay Tent Area Walk
Time to head back towards the campground.
01l9e - Afternoon Florida Bay Tent Area Walk01l9d - Afternoon Florida Bay Tent Area Walk
As I reached the campground, there on their usual perches,
the American Kestrel and Red Shoulder Hawk had come to say goodbye;o))
One last sunset view from the campground!!01m - Final Sunset
Can’t say it enough…