Monday March 11th 2019
One day is just blending in with the next. The temperature got into the high eighties today, but otherwise was a clone of the previous few.
A couple of days ago one of my neighbors was extolling the beauty and wildlife along one of the loop roads in the Big Cypress National Preserve. Today I checked it out for myself. The road loops through the Preserve south of the Tamiami trail for twenty four miles. More than sixteen of the miles are on a gravel road. The swamp comes up to the road on both sides. At regular intervals a large culvert allows water under the road. Stopping at each of these crossings gives you an opportunity to see alligators, turtles and possible snakes. I saw lots of alligators and a couple of turtles, but no snakes. I wanted to see birds, but they were not visible.
It is necessary to stop almost in the middle of the road. The road drops off into the swamp without any real shoulder. Traffic was light, but when a car did go by it kicked up a dust storm. My car was covered in a fine white dust when I got back to my RV home. Overall, I wasn’t that impressed with the loop drive. Most of the road was in good condition, but you needed to watch out for the occasional pot hole and washboard area. It wasn’t really possible to pause and watch for wildlife at your leisure. There are walking trails in the Preserve that have better opportunity with less effort. Stopping at the Oasis Visitors center gives you better access to gators in a single place. There were over fifteen this afternoon. Stopping at or driving by all the culverts on the loop road didn’t produce as clear a view of that many gators.
Back at the Midway Campground during the afternoon, I watched the park fill up for the night. It was more than half empty this morning. It has been full every night I’ve been here.