Friday, February 3, 2012

Everglades National Park - 02/03/12

We traveled to the Everglades National Park today to scout out new campground locations. Our Golden Age Passport allows us free entry into the National Parks and National Forests, so we saved $10.00 on the entry fee. The Visitor Center to the park is located about 11 miles southwest of Florida City, Florida. There are two campgrounds located within the park; Long Pine Key and Flamingo. Long Pine Key is located 5 miles from the Visitor Center and Flamingo is located 38 miles from the Long Pine Key campground.

We visited the Long Pine Key Campground and were pleased with the layout of the campground and the semi-privacy of the individual campsites. We plan to extend our stay through Sunday night at the Midway Campground in the Big Cypress National Preserve and arrive at the Long Pine Key Campground on Monday. There are no electrical or water hookups at the campsites in Long Pine Key, so we will have to use our generator and solar panel to service our electric power requirements.

The camping fee is $16.00 per night at Long Pine Key. With our Golden Age Passport, the fee will be $8.00 per night.

Once we are settled in at the Long Pine Key Campground we will check out the Flamingo Campground. The Flamingo Campground is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the Gulf of Mexico on the west. A couple from Alaska, who had just camped there, told us it is a very scenic campground.

Internet access is not available with our T-Mobile service at the Long Pine Key Campground. However, I found excellent service is available at a Post Office located 14 miles from the campground. That is an improvement over the 27 miles I now have to travel from the Midway Campground to the Everglades Safari Park to access sporadic Internet service.

Today’s trip was a 146-mile round trip fun-filled adventure. Our route took us on US-41 east to FL-997 south to FL-9336 west to the Everglades National Park. There are major farming communities along FL-997 and FL-9336 that grow tomatoes, strawberries and bananas. To see the hundreds of farm workers bent over in the fields, tending to the crops, makes one truly appreciative the sacrifices some human beings make to provide our population with fresh fruit and vegetables.

Tomorrow, another new adventure begins!

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