Friday, December 20, 2013

Everglades NP - 12/20/13


Friday – December 20, 2013
Homestead, Florida
Everglades National Park
Long Pine Key Campground

We departed the Miccosukee Resorts & Gaming Casino near Miami, Florida at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 19, and arrived at the Long Pine Key Campground in the Everglades National Park at 9:10 a.m. This is one of our favorite campgrounds in all of Florida.

Long Pine Campground had just opened Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. after being closed since June for repaving of the campsites and the campground road. The campground Park Rangers, at the check-in kiosk, provided a hearty welcome and informed us we were the first campers to arrive at the campground since it reopened. We had first choice of any campsite out of the 108 campsites in this campground. We chose site #29 and settled in for our fourteen-day stay here.

The weather here in southern Florida is warm and sunny with the temperature in the mid-80’s during the day and dropping into the mid-60’s at night. We can definitely handle this, compared to the cooler weather we endured in northern Florida.

Ah… but all is not peaceful here. At 2:00 a.m. Friday morning we were awakened by a knocking noise. At first I thought the noise was coming from under our trailer. Then I realized it was someone chopping wood at another campsite near ours. From the voices we could tell there was more than one camper in their group. They started a campfire and carried on loud conversations until 3:30 a.m. They showed a total lack of respect for the other campers near their campsite that were sleeping at the time. I made a mental note to fire up our generator at 8:00 a.m. and went back to sleep!

This morning we discovered the campers were two young couples sharing a tent. They had two vehicles, each one with Florida license plates. We reported them to the Park Rangers whom had a chat with them regarding the campground rules of the quiet period from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. They also cautioned them to show respect to other campers sleeping when arriving late at night to a campground. The Park Rangers reported back to us of their conversation with the campers and reported seeing an empty vodka bottle on the ground in their campsite. The Park Rangers attributed that empty bottle to their noisy behavior. The campers offered their apology to the Park Rangers and stated they were leaving in a couple of hours. We were grateful to hear they were leaving. Fortunately, in our travels, this incident was one of those rare events.

Our time spent here will be filled with our daily 5-mile morning walks, reading and lots of sight seeing.

Camping Fee: $16.00 per day ($8.00 with Golden Age Pass)

Total miles traveled Thursday: 38

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

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