From the boonies back to the city - Garfield and Tango Travel the Long and Winding Road - CycleBlaze

February 25, 2022

From the boonies back to the city

Everglades NP to Naples, FL

Since we didn't have much to pack, we were actually on the road by 8, heading out of the Everglades to our next stop in Naples. It took over an hour to get out of the national park because we stopped at a couple of trails to look for critters. I been hoping to see Roseate Spoonbills but they've remained quite elusive. Plenty of egrets, herons and cormorants but no pink birds. Bummer!

Once out of the park, it still took awhile to reach Highway 41, the Tamiami Trail. This is a highway that follows a canal from Miami all the way into Naples, and was one that we rode on our last bike tour through here. It was a highlight of our ride at that time with views of waterbirds and gators next to the water. 

We enjoyed the drive again but we went too fast to see much. I wanted to stop at Shark Valley which is in another area of the national park. There is a 15 mile drive through here (even a bike paved trail which was too far from Flamingo to drive to) along with a visitor center. 

But when we got to the turnoff, we found a long line of cars waiting to enter. A ranger finally came by and said that there were several bus school tours in the park so they were full and not letting anyone else in until the kids left. She also said there weren't any long parking spots available now for anyone with a trailer. Don had to back us around and make a u-turn which was quite difficult, but he managed and we returned to the highway.

Back on 41, we went several more miles until we reached a visitor center in the Big Cypress Preserve. The parking lot had plenty of space for us and we spent a bit of time walking along a boardwalk on a canal in front of the building. There were a lot of large alligators and many different birds to see. 

From here we drove the rest of the way into Naples and our campground for the next 4 days - the Marco Island/Naples RV Resort. It's a mix of park models like in Mesa along with RV's. Kind of a small version of Towerpoint. 

We checked in and located our site. Things are a bit tight here but Don got us parked. 

While he worked on organizing things outside, I did housecleaning after we unloaded the bikes. The floor was filthy so it took a while to get it clean. 

Doing these chores took us up to dinnertime. Don grilled up some steaks, and then we cleaned up (yea for hot showers!!), and then we dressed for our night on the town. We're going to a local dance studio for a dance.

It was a nice place and there were only about 10 people in attendance. They had a class in mambo followed by a dance with recorded music. Despite the travel and setup day, we had enough energy to dance for a couple of hours. We were a bit rough at first as we haven't danced since being in Fort Lauderdale, but finally got warmed up. It was nice to dance again! They even served snacks and wine!

We enjoyed ourselves and the studio so will likely come back next week as we'll still be in Naples. Back home, the long day finally caught up to us and we headed off to bed - no mosquitoes to be seen!

Last night we drove over to the bay to catch the sunset (the better to avoid the mosquitoes on the walk back to our campsite)
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Beautiful color tonight.
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Tai chi ? on the bay at sunset. Very zen.
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One of the different types of gulls we've seen here.
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Bill ShaneyfeltTern. I will guess maybe common tern.

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Common_Tern/id
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2 months ago
marilyn swettThanks, Bill!
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2 months ago
Another gull perched on a NOA weather station in the bay.
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Scott AndersonOne good tern deserves another.
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2 months ago
We stopped to walk a trail on our way out other park. They're serious about the vultures.
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You can borrow a tarp to protect your vehicle.
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Small lizard I saw on my walk.
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Bill ShaneyfeltLooks like a brown anole.

https://www.inaturalist.org/guide_taxa/627661
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2 months ago
marilyn swettThanks. That must be a common lizard in Florida as we see similar ones here in Naples at the RV park.
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2 months ago
Blehhhhh!
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Bill ShaneyfeltI think great blue heron.

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Great_Blue_Heron/id
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2 months ago
marilyn swettYup - I've posted other pictures of these birds and thought this one was a little different.
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2 months ago
A different type of heron in the marsh.
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Bill ShaneyfeltMaybe tricolored heron.

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Tricolored_Heron/id
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2 months ago
marilyn swettThat's what I was thinking.
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2 months ago
These tiny flowers were growing next to the water.
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Bill ShaneyfeltArrowhead.

http://www.southeasternflora.com/view_flora.php?plantid=210
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2 months ago
The "snake bird" - just another anhinga, but the first one we've seen in the Everglades. Mostly we've seen cormorants.
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There were lots of water lilies floating in the water.
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This lily looking flower was growing out in the swampy grass.
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Bill ShaneyfeltLooks like Florida swamp lily.

https://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/photo.aspx?ID=617
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2 months ago
marilyn swettThanks Bill!
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2 months ago
On our way to Naples we stopped at a visitor center in the Big Cypress Preserve where there was a boardwalk along a canal. These gators were HUGE!
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Black Crowned Night Heron?
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Bill ShaneyfeltLooks like you got it!

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Black-crowned_Night-Heron/id
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2 months ago
marilyn swettWe see a lot of these at home. It was so intent on the water, looking for lunch, I guess.
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2 months ago
Got fish?!
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