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. 

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