Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Florida's Blue Highways

After the snorkeling with Slate we headed north out of the keys. We planned on making it back to Homestead, where we had spent our first night. The hotel we had that night wasn’t all that bad. It was just rundown like you normally find with a bead not a feather.
We stopped first at the Super 8. It looked like the nicest place in town. Unfortunately  a gang of gold wingers had gotten there just ahead of us. Some of them had already fallen asleep on their bikes and the rest of them were bidding for the rest of the rooms. We were turned away. No room at the inn for us.

This Place Just Screams Look Away Don't Stay Here!
Our choices were narrowing. The Park Hotel with the neon sign that hadn’t glowed since Alaska became a State was out of the question. Across the street though was the Everglades Motel. It had new pavement and fresh paint on the outside. The owner a bead met us as we pulled in. Oh yes the room had wi-fi. We could even take a look at it if we wanted. We looked. The sheets were clean the room did not smell too bad, there was a micro wave and a refrigerator, so why not. We signed up for the night.
After a trip to the Publix for some yogurt, fruit, and empty soup cups so we could make koffee in the morning, we noticed that the carpet was the original carpet installed when the place was built in the 1950’s .The tiled bathroom that looked ok at first glance, had a stall tile shower that we never looked at. It appeared not to have been scrubbed since Florida elected bush II president. The wi-fi wouldn’t work in the room but if you went outside and put your computer on Ford Edge’s hood you could get a couple of bars of signal.
Florida Golden Orb Spider
This guy wasn’t in our room but that’s all it would have taken to be the worst room ever. We rated it the second worst room, and a trip record so far for bad choices in lodging.

We were up, packed and ready to go early!  I had to wake the bead up to get my $5.00 key deposit back Shortly Ford Edge and Zumo had us heading out of town, north on  highway 997. After some sightseeing we connected with highway 41 for a run across the northern edge of the Everglades.

One of our first stops was for a Air Boat ride into the Glades. The establishment had caged alligators, little and big, some turtles, and some invasive snakes.

A Boa Everyone Could Touch

Our guide said the boa’s population has been exploding thanks to people abandoning their pet snakes. The state used to have hunts two times a year but has stopped that program. Our guide said he thinks the eradication program was halted so that the boa could cross breed and create a new exotic snake that would draw more tourist dollars. The guide and I, and maybe a few others thought that was ridiculous, that it would cause harm to the indigenous species, but science just ain’t important in pathetic red states.
On the airboat ride we saw Great Heron, Great Egret, lots, and lots of alligators. Seems the air boat drivers feed them. That way they know where they are, and the tourists get nice pictures.

Our  Air Boat Driver And Purple Gallinule
Our driver was quite knowledgeable of the everglades and showed some  real respect for the glades when he turned the boat around so some litter could be picked up.
Another great day In the sun, But our Florida time is growing short.


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