Sunday, January 15, 2017

#11 - Saturday, 14 January 2017 | Homestead, Florida

If you read the previous two blog entries you'll know that the second day of the road trip south was killer. When I woke this morning I felt as run down as I have in a long time and my head still ached. I had hoped to fall back asleep but instead endured another poor hotel lobby breakfast before heading to Everglades National Park. I wasn't up for much activity and knew today would be mostly about resting. But I had time to kill before I would be able to check into the Floridian Hotel in Homestead, so I did a little shopping at a Target I had spotted near my Cutler Bay La Quinta Inn, and then I drove down toward Homestead and into Everglades National Park.

In the park I paid the $25 entrance fee, which is good for seven days and I'll use today or tomorrow when I am up for hiking. This visit was about visiting the two campgrounds and the visitor center and just doing a bit of bird-watching before I could get into my next hotel room and nap. The only trail I hiked was the Mahogany Hammock. During my last visit some years ago I had found a nice everglades rat snake on the trail, but this time I only spotted 2017's first reptile – a green anole. I stopped at the Anhinga Trail parking lot, but decided not to hike as the parking area is inundated by black vultures. Signs warn you of the damage they can do to your vehicle and most of the cars had blue tarps bungee-corded over the roofs and hoods. There was no way I was going to get a scratch on my new ride! I wanted to walk the area, but decided I'd spend the time protecting my truck when I felt much better and would be able to enjoy the trails. The skies were overcast and intermittent rains fell so another day would be better regardless.

I returned to Homestead and found the hotel at about 2 pm, but the lady at the front desk was determined to enforce the 3 pm check-in time. So I did a little more shopping in the area while I waited. Once I got in the room I didn't leave and a nap was followed by watching a bit of TV before sleeping through the night. The weather here is wonderful and my room sits next to the outdoor pool. I normally only swim in natural bodies of water, but it is tempting to soak my road weary bones in the evil chlorine. We'll see .... M

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