Notes from our adventure trip to Southern Florida.
January 30th, 2014
We’re in Florida, trying to beat back the darkness and cold of winter. Camping at Colier-Seminole State Park, a little south of Naples, along the edge of Big Cypress National Preserve.
I’ve never driven this far south before. It’s beautiful country - a mix of touristy beach towns, everglades, island, and pine forests. Best of all, it was 82 on New Years Day. It’s bright every day, even in the shadows of all the huge RVs from Canada that threaten to blot out the sun.
If I lived in Canada, I’d come to Florida in the winter, too.
We will have put about 7000 miles on the Sportsmobile since November. From California to Kentucky to Florida. We’ve come to love it and the freedom that it represents. It’s made me think about how people define our homes, and what the definition of home really means. We sleep in the same bed every night, cook in the same place, and are getting to know every nook and cranny of this thing. We know how to pull into a strange place in the dark and make our place with a minimum of cursing.
Reflections on South Florida.
It’s easy to get stuck in traffic in tourist towns like Naples or Ft. Myers, but there’s plenty of cool stuff in Old Florida. Here are some of the highlights:
- We found a fishing village named Goodland that had a profusion of cool little bars and restaurants with the perfect Margaritaville vibe. Great fish sandwiches and cold beer on a deck looking at the water, with reggae on in the background. The perfect meal. Our favorite was Mile Marker 7.5. There’s a crusty old WW2 Navy vet who eats there three meals a day. Don’t ask him his opinion on Japan’s role in world affairs unless you want a long, expletive filled history lesson.
- One night we went running under the full moon here at the park. There’s a monument in an open field that looks like an old Greek temple, complete with doric columns under palm trees. Under the light of the moon the trees cast almost fairy-like silhouettes across the field. Cool.
- Traveling along the Tiamani Trail through Big Cypress National Preserve. It’s all wilderness and palm trees, cut by canals full of gators. For reasons I can’t explain it reminds of the desert, even with all of that water and life. Maybe it’s the absolute flatness of the landscape. There’s something stark about it. Plan your trip so that you’re coming back west as the sun sets - you’ll have forever to watch the millions of shades of red.
- Kayak fishing the cypress liquid forests of the Ten Thousand Islands. Catching redfish and snook while avoiding gators, bears, panthers, bull sharks, and feral wild hogs. More on that particular adventure in a later post.
- Escaping the swarms of mosquitos in Ft. Meyers for a night or two at the Tiki Bar at the Outrigger Resort, which is like a 50’s throwback.
More to follow. . .