Florida

Florida Springs

Florida Springs

Northwest of Orlando we went to seven different Florida springs. In Florida, the springs crystal clear water boils up from limestone caverns. In all cases, the water started as rainfall that seeped into the limestone rock formations only to come back to the surface sometimes after spending hundreds of years underground. Crystal Clear Water Water …

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Screamin’ Gator Zip Line

Screamin' Gator Zip Line

Is it crazy to combine an alligator farm, amusement park, and a Screamin’ Gator Zip Line into one location? Gatorland has the answer. To the best of my knowledge, zip-lining above pools swarming with alligators is only found at Gatorland. Gatorland has combined wildlife adventures into a gator-themed thrill ride. We are moving north through Florida …

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Big (bad) Cypress Swamp

The Big Cypress Swamp has lots of shallow water but unlike the everglades, this water doesn't flow from Lake Okeechobee.

The Big (bad) Cypress Swamp is a very wild place. In most areas not only are you knee-deep in water without any dry land but you are always surrounded by plenty of wildlife. Most of the big wildlife is able to kill you. Some of the small wildlife is also able to kill you (mosquitos …

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The middle of the swamp

The sign at the Midway campground in the everglades warns all the campers that alligators are expected in the pond.

We are in the middle of the swamp. It is swamp for at least forty miles in every direction. To the east, everglades. To the west is the Big Cypress Swamp. Beyond the Big Cypress Swamp is a mangrove swamp called Ten Thousand Islands and the Gulf of Mexico. For the next sixty miles to …

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Deep in the Everglades

Sunset Deep in the Everglades

It is hard to go deep in the everglades without special equipment. We went deep into the everglades and found it enchanting. The everglades define the largest contiguous wilderness in the country. The one defining characteristic is that it is a shallow freshwater swamp nearly everywhere. Most of the swamp is covered in sawgrass. We …

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Beyond Key West

Beyond Key West

The Dry Tortugas National Park is well beyond Key West. To get there, you must go by boat or seaplane. That is the only way to visit. I didn’t know you could go beyond Key West I have wanted to visit Key West since about 1974. My goal was always to drive there. Once there, …

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Key West Wildlife

Key West wildlife.

Most visitors have a different view of Key West wildlife than I do. Most people associate Key West wildlife with Key West nightlife. Key West is an amazing vacation location, it also has tremendous sport fishing in every direction. Surprising most people, Key West wildlife is very abundant. No Name Pub It would be an …

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Key West Sunsets

Key West Sunsets

Key West sunsets are amazing !!! Sunsets here are a special treat especially after not seeing sunsets for most of this year. It isn’t that the sun didn’t set all year, but nearly every place we went this summer, during our travels around the east coast, we were in trees. Frankly, we missed the sunsets. …

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End of Year Review – 2021

2021 End of Year Review

This is our end-of-year review. Where did we go and what did we do in 2021? (The states we visited in 2021 are above this paragraph next to the date.) What amazing things did we see along the way? In 2021 we added eleven new states to our route map. Other than Louisana we spent …

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Hunting Crocs (and gators)

Hunting Crocs

For the last two months, we have been hunting crocs and gators as we proceed south along the coastline here in Florida. Frankly, our gator count is very small compared to what I had expected. The way I think of Florida is that every lake, river, swamp, and tree hides a gator. Not true. One …

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Space Launch

Space Launch

Yes, we saw a space launch at Cape Canaveral. It was super. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is my number one attraction in Florida. I don’t have a bucket list, but if I did, seeing a space launch would be near the top. As far as Florida goes, most people think of Disney World. …

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Old Saint Augustine

Saint Augustine Bishop of Hippo Regius, now in Algeria

Saint Augustine in Florida (named after Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo Regius, now in Algeria) claims to be the oldest European settlement in North America. Is it true, or just a marketing ploy? Well, it depends on how you define settlement and on how you define North America. Other cities, now in the United States, …

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Historic Forts in Florida

Historic Forts in Florida

The very first place we went after crossing the Georgia/Florida border heading south was to one of the historic forts in Florida. After Columbus, Spain moved fast to capitalize on the opportunity a “New World” presented. The riches in the new world were ripe for the picking according to their thoughts on the subject. Exploiting …

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