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2012/02/07 - Midway Campground, Big Cyrpess National Preserve, Ochopee, FL

Posted 02-21-2012 at 04:24 PM by Phantom

2012/02/07
Day 85, Camp 17 (10 nights @ $10 per night)
Midway Campground
Big Cyrpess National Preserve
Ochopee, FL
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Drove out of Everglades NP to Homestead, north on SR 997 to US 41 and west to Midway Campground, 70 miles. Passed Shark Valley, the northern entrance to Everglades (we will go back for a day trip) thru the Micosukee Indian tribal lands. Next day we went back and ate at the Micosukee Restaurant, got ice, then visited Jim, who's camped at one of the free camps on the Loop Road (Mitchell's Landing), a very nice, quiet primitive campground. We decided on Midway for the electric hook-ups. We had been 25 days without hook-ups of any kind. Had to run the generator three times to re-charge batteries. Hauled a lot of water in my 4 gallon cubi-tainer.
Did all the usual stuff in the Big Cypress along US 41. From Midway, had to go 8 miles west to Monument Lake Campground to get a good cell signal (and internet access). Sat in the sun. Sat in the shade. Read a lot.. Went down the loop road a bit. Mostly closed, but re-opening soon. Stopped at all the visitor centers. Saw tons (literally) of Alligators and birds. Hiked the Kirby Storter trail again. Saw stuff. Florida Green Water snakes mating. Woo-hoo. Florida Red-slider turtles. Huge Cypress and epiphytes, amazing. Drove into Everglades City and ate at Camellia's again., a little place on the river where you can sit at a table, under an umbrella and watch the airboat tours run around with pelicans riding on the bow of the boats. Woo-hoo. Then on to Chokoloskee and the Smallwoods store, est. 1906. No road in until 1955. A brisk business was done with the local indians and smugglers. When we left, we counted 30 Kingfishers, on the power lines from Midway to the intersection at SR 29.
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