Friday, December 24, 2010

Seeing the Florida Keys

Today Sandy prepared us a quick lunch to take along and then we headed out on a road trip to see part of the Florida Keys. (We drove towards Key West, but not too it.) On the way, we stopped at a Visitors Center in Florida City to gain as much information as we could before going out on our adventure.

This represents a significant change in plans for us. We were going to drive the motorhome all the way to Key West and then stay at the American Legion Post. However, when we started to get real serious about the trip and what we'd see, we backed out or got cold feet. Friends of ours had driven to the far western end where it has some of the world's best sunsets. As he said, they were sitting at an outdoor cafe, enjoying a slice of Key lime pie and a cup of coffee while the sun did its thing. When the were leaving, they thought the prices were a bit high when they had to pay $25 for two slices of pie and two cups of coffee. It kind of took the joy of the view out of the picture.

The drive was uneventful (its best that way) and similar to the drive on the island of Kitty Hawk, NC. There was a fair amount of vehicular traffic but with no stop signs to slow us down often, we did make good time. I had told Sandy earlier that I wanted to drive until I saw some Key Deer near the center of the islands. It was noon when we reached the Key deer National Wildlife area. So it was a quick stop at the visitor's center and then off to see some deer. The refuge is more like a town where the deer roam freely from house to house. Also, the towns people understand the tourist traffic during the day.

As we had read before, the Key deer are very tame or people friendly. They are so friendly that they will walk right next to your car. As friendly as your neighbors dog.

Again the drive back was uneventful (best to keep it that way). We did stop at a state park to learn about it. However, we learned that the standard entry fee of $9 applies everywhere and we decided it just wasn’t worth it for 20 minute park tour. Even the gate attendant admitted that $9 was too steep just to look around.. So maybe next time. Now I think of it that the entry fee for one park would have been for all parks that day, so we should have entered each one.

Back in Florida City, Sandy spotted a Cracker Barrel ad and suggested that we eat out. It was a different one with no entry off of the main street. You have to drive over a block and come in from the back side. Many Cracker Barrel’s have nice parking lots and often times RV users stop at them for dinner and then stay over night. We wouldn't recommend it at this one, as the RV parking lot was the most uneven lot we have seen.

Back at the motorhome, we settled in for a quiet evening. Since the solar panels hadn't quit topped off the batteries, we started the generator for an hour. Now we have power to burn.

The temperature outside is mild (mid 50s) and no wind. Very nice.


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