Thursday, March 13, 2014

West Bound

After our Everglades Air boat ride we continued on highway 41. For all the traffic and congestion in the Keys and Fort Lauderdale this part of Florida is wonderful. Our highway is two lanes, hardly any traffic and the everglades are on both sides. We actually get tired of spotting Egrets, Herons, and alligators.

After a bit we enter  Big Cypress National Preserve, and see even more alligators, and birds. The visitor center is busy. People watching wildlife. Wildlife watching humans,  and people with permits driving their swamp buggies out into the swamps, or just aboot anywhere from the looks of them.

 Florida V8 Swamp Buggie

Further along we stop at one of the boardwalks and armed with big glass I hope to shoot the elusive Rosita spoonbill. An Egret is spotted then two large wading birds. Could this be the elusive spoon bill?
Wood Storks

After shooting lots of shots it turns out to be Wood Stork. The spoonbill was not to be seen on this trip.
We turn north on highway 29 and roll through rural Florida. Orange groves ,and other crops are just off the road. At Le Belle we turn east on highway 80 and watch the cows and orchards roll by. At Clewiston we meet up with Lake Okeechobee.
This is the largest lake in the state. Its waters flow through the Everglades, and nurture crops, and humans in the entire southern part of Florida.

Northbound through Pahokee and Indiantown we see more crops. Several little bergs have retirement communities, and lots of license plates from Ontario. All these Canadians could only mean one thing. It’s a government plot to turn this red state blue. Viva La Canada!
Stopped for the night in Okeechobee at the Flamingo motel. Pink neon and a clean room.

 I love Neon!

Didn’t have time for the pool, but dinner at the new Tin Fish was very good, and  I recommend the Tin if you happen to see one.
In the morning its north east to the Atlantic coast. Lots of attractions are closed here on Monday. We struck out at the Manatee Center. The Navy Seal museum, and a boat ride in the Indian River.

Under The Bridge With The Fisher, Men,  Women & Children

The sunshine lunch, picture taking and wading in the ocean keep us busy until we program Zumo for Buddy’s and Kathy’s house. Zumo knows we don’t have a clue where we are. She leads us down the highway for a while, then it’s a right turn. Left turn. Right turn…We think we are getting close as we drive through neighborhood after neighborhood. In Key West Zumo led us to the cemetery instead of out of town, so we keep our eyes peeled for hearses and flower shops, but it’s more left and right.
Florida Swamp Hearse If You Can Get In You Can't Get Out

Finally we turn on the street and into the driveway.
Buddy and Kathy are great! Buddy wiggles all over, and  wants his belly rubbed. Kathy makes us feel welcome in “Buddies” house. We have a great visit but have to get down to Fort Lauderdale since we have an early morning date with an airport that only Zumo knows where it is.
Our last night in Florida we spent at a Motel 6. Not my first choice for lodging but what surprise to find a remodeled modern room with plugs and light switches by the beds. A clean wood floor. Modern shower. A flat screen tv on the wall with inputs for computers. The only downer is Motel 6 charges for Wi Fi. So even though a nice room staying at another is a last resort because of the charge.  

Zumo gets us to the airport without a glitch. Except I programed her for arrivals instead of departures. That always confuses me anyway. I’m arriving but departing.
Delta gets us both were to where our bikes are, and Alaska Air take note. Delta’s 757 although not spacious offers more room and actual padding in the seat, than your sardine can 737-800. Next time I need a sky carriage Alaska you will not be my first choice.  

Tomorrow it’s two wheels east to the mecca of California Barstow.

Easy Read The Only Way To Ride

Get one of these Easy To Read maps when you travel. I recommend it….

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