Jan 30 2010

Things I Nevah Know

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This is a list I'll add to as things come up. 

Motto of the Day

Things I Nevah Know

  1. After 30+ years of having a dishwasher, I wouldn't miss it. Actually, it's nice to not have one. When the dishes are done, they're done. No waiting for a full load, no loading, unloading. 
  2. That there are places that don't take a credit card. On one side of Lake Okeechobee, the RV park and the restaurant/bar/grill didn't take credit cards at all — cash or check only. Aruba RV Resort will take a credit card, but charge 4% more. 
  3. That it would be difficult to camp in Florida. Most RV parks are retiree communities with half-year residents and planned activities. 
  4. That Hawaii is more economical than Naples, Florida. Talk about high-priced real estate and everything else. 
  5. That Lake Okeechobee is the second largest freshwater lake in the U.S., second only to Lake Michigan. But we have yet to see the water in Lake Okeechobee. All we've seen are drylands and wetlands. 
  6.  

Jan 24 2010

Smallest Post Office in the United States

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Here are pictures of the smallest working post office in the United States. Of course, I had to mail letters from there. 

Ochopee Post Office SignSmallest Post Office in U.S.Post Office Hours


Jan 24 2010

Monument Lake National Park, Everglades

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From Naples, we drove 57 miles to Monument Lake National Park in the Everglades. We drove south on Highway 41 where there are alligators all along the banks of a strand right next to the highway, with no alligator fence. Hwy 41 GatorsMore Photos: Along Highway 41

There were also signs for panther crossings. We didn't see panthers, but they are on the move mostly at night. Sad to say, many of these endangered Florida panthers are struck and killed by automobiles. 

We stopped at Big Cypress Nature Preserve and walked the boardwalk. You can see the photos here: Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk

We stopped at the visitor center along the highway, where we learned there are more than 1 million alligators in Florida. I think we saw them all. ;)            Alligators Five

Monument Lake SignWe camped at Monument Lake National Park Campground for three nights. Now, this is camping. There were no RV hook-ups — no electric, no water, no sewer. The nightly fee, with our Golden Age pass, was $8. The campground had a bathroom, but no showers. Our RV faced the lake and we were able to watch alligators swimming in the lake. It looked like it should also be panther country, but we didn't see or hear anything that made us think panthers were there.

We had an excellent view from the front of our RV. View from Windshield

 

Alligator at Monument Lake3There were alligators, large and small, in the lake. We didn't need a No Swimming sign to keep us from a dip in the lake. Baby Gator2

Alligator-No Swimming Sign

 

As usual, the camp hosts were delightful and we met more great RVers from across the U.S., as well as Canada. 

Sunrise, January 24, 2010On our last morning there, we were treated to a spectacular sunrise. 

Additional pictures: Monument Lake Photos

We plan to go back in a couple of weeks and go deeper into the Everglades. 


Jan 24 2010

Naples Motorcoach Resort

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We left Big Cypress for the 96-mile drive to Naples. We got onto I-75 at the end of the reservation road. That part of I-75 is called Alligator Alley and for good reason. We saw hundreds of alligators lazing in the sun behind the alligator fencing along the freeway. No pictures of these alligators though because we didn't think we should stop along the freeway for the photo ops. 

Naples is a very expensive city. Nearly all of the RV parks have been bought out and converted to RV resorts, ranging in price from $45 to $130 per night. We called one park and found it had recently been converted to a resort and the nightly rate was $45. However, Signature RV Resorts was the purchaser and they had just opened a brand new resort in the same area. The nightly rate was $79 for non-waterfront, but they had a promotion of stay one night and get the second night free. So we accepted the offer and stayed there two nights.

Our BounderIt's a Class A-only resort with a small man-made lake in the center of the property. Fountain_Lake

Other amenities include an owner's clubhouse, exercise room where aerobic classes are offered, and an infinity pool where, again, aerobic classes are offered. Infinity Pool

Our thoughts are that whoever designed the resort has never been behind the wheel of a big rig. There's a huge green gate at the security office that opens inward. It's not easy to maneuver the big rigs around the gate. The sites are either back-in or back-out, no pull-thrus. They do assign a guide to you on arrival. He escorts you in his golf cart to your site and helps with positioning your rig. The resort has trash pick-up curbside throughout the day. 


Jan 24 2010

Big Cypress Seminole Reservation RV Park

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We left Big Lake Lodge and RV Park and drove 93 miles to Big Cypress Seminole Reservation RV Park. We were only there one night as we were going to Naples to visit friends and had a "dinner date" for the next night.

Campground SignIt's a nice park. Most of the RVers are half-year residents. There were a few transients like us. One of the park guests came knocking on our door because we had identical Fleetwood Bounder RVs and he wanted to chat about Bounders. The two Bounders had different floor plans, but the exteriors were exactly the same. 

The park has planned activities, including breakfast for $3.50 each. They also have ice cream at 1:00. There's a very nice pool and plenty of park to walk around. They have the beginnings of a casino a short walk down the main road. Across the road is a museum on Seminole culture. Not within walking distance there are restaurants and general stores on the reservation. 

We felt quite a home with the many thatched roof huts, called "chickees." Chickee HutWe like the park and will go back another time when we can stay longer. Welcome Sign