Sunday, August 10, 2008

JOURNAL: Loop Road, Everglades, FL

After our tram tour of the Shark Valley National Park, the last item on our day-trip to the Everglades was Loop Road, something that we spotted on the FL road map labeled as a "scenic drive", so westwards we continued.

We followed the signs to Loop Road and found ourselves driving for several miles along a tree-lined paved country road -- it felt like we were back in Anderson. Then, once we were deep enough into it, the road turned into gravel/dirt. This un-scenic-so-far ride quickly became bumpy as the road was highly-pocked with dirty pot-holes, and Jerrico wasn't able to take Joy's now-once-new CR-V over 15 mph. I was starting to feel guilty.

We passed a car going the opposite direction. The drive asked us "how much further?". Maybe we should've taken that as a sign.

It was several miles of this until we saw our first visible marker. And stopping there for a moment and found an indention in the line of trees that reveal a peek into water that lined our path. This was in fact scenic, but I wasn't sure if it was quite worth the journey so far. At the next marker, we saw an alligator in the water. Okay, that's a little better.

So we drive on and on and on. Long story short, we used Joy's navigation system to track how many more miles we had, and it was a long and bumpy ride (hold on!).

Towards the end, there was a big(ger) bridge that opened up to a substantial creek. We got out and saw an alligator... then another one, and another one, and then another two. We would've stayed and taken more pictures but the mosquitoes were ruthless!

Anyways, we continued on and found the other end of Loop Road -- the end that was more "Welcome to" than "we'll dump you out here". There was even a "Last Chance Turn Around" sign. They need one for the other end.

Well, we saw some deer on that last stretch, which was a cool way of capping off a somewhat-different-from-our-non-expectations drive. On the way back east to Miami, we had our windows rolled down, and a dragonfly flew in and smacked Jerrico in the face, spilling bug guts under his eye and on his lip (ewww). He was a good sport though.

Instead of going back to the hotel, we went out for dinner at the Cheesecake factory at the nearby Cocowalk, a local outdoor mall. We were quiet because we were so tired; we ordered the dessert to go, and we ate it back at the hotel.

It was a long short scenic day in the sun.

Joy, I owe you a car wash.

Next: Butterfly World

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