Between Spring Showers

I always have the best intentions of being consistent about posting on my blog, and when I’m not I can usually blame lack of good internet connection for my delays. Most of the parks I stay at offer free WiFi, but it’s usually slow at best and that makes blogging (not to mention the other online chores I have to attend to) tedious, time consuming, and often times extremely frustrating. I can’t blame lack of connection for my latest delay though. Instead I’m blaming my friends! I know several people in the vicinity of West Palm Beach, some I’ve known a long time, and others I’ve meet during my travels. I chose to make quality time with them a higher priority than blogging. So, to the rest of you I offer my apologies for the silence.

Backing up once again… to the Florida Keys. My drive from Fort Meyers to the Keys took me through Everglades National Park. The first thing that struck me as I entered the park were the numerous “Panther Crossing” signs as I traveled down the highway. I guess it never occured to me that Panther existed down here. I don’t recall seeing them on any episodes of Flipper anyway. An Alligator Crossing sign would not have surprised me at all, but there we none posted. I stopped and put my long lens on my camera in hopes of seeing one of these big cats from my safe mobile viewing platform in The Beast, and was a bit disappointed when I got all the way through the park without one sighting! I resisted the urge to go on an Airboat/Alligator tour. I’ve just never been big on paying to be crammed in with a bunch of other tourists listening to a tour guide telling us when to look left and when to look right. Instead I took my chances, hoping to see some in the wild as I drove. I was not disappointed.  These big boys were hanging out right next to the highway.

My first destination in the Keys (for no other reason than it looked like a nice park on the ocean) was Grassy Key, just north of Marathon. I loved my spot right on the water where I could kayak and snorkel only steps out my door. Most of the time I spent there was under a torrential downpour, but I was able to take advantage of pockets of sunshine from time to time. The rest of the time I was feeling lucky to have my cozy RV to climb into. There were several people tent camping right down the beach from me. Having grown up in the northwest, I’ve spent more than my fair share of time holed up inside a tent in the pouring rain… for days on end.

Double-crested Cormorant

Jazzy and Sadie were happy to see the sunshine as well. We got soaked more than once, when the sky suddenly opened up and started to pour while we were out walking.

Great Egret

Brown Pelican

I have to say that the storms did lend themselves to some amazing sunsets!

With lack of internet access there was little “work” I could do during my down time. It really is amazing how much I’ve come to rely on the internet for business and banking and researching new destinations and almost all forms of communication! I frequently find myself sitting down to my ongoing list of things to do, and scan down the page only to see that almost everything on it involves the internet in some way. While passing the time by scouring and organizing inside my RV I came across a little bucket of skipping rocks I’ve been dragging along since my time along the Columbia River Gorge. Nothing like a bit of boredom to get the creative juices cranking.

And then I came across my little chest of treasures I’ve gathered along the way….

One of the greatest blessings of this journey has been reconnecting with old friends and meeting so many new ones as I travel. Here at Grassy Key I met two delightful couples from Florida, Tracy & Jorge and Sandy & Jim. We shared a few beers, and a sunset the last night we were all there and promised to get together again when I was in their part of the state. I’ve since had dinner with Tracy and Jorge in West Palm Beach. Sandy and Jim will be on my route when I return next winter.

This little crab lived in a hole between Jim and Sandy’s RV and mine. 

I had every intention of making my way by car to Key West for an afternoon, but with all the storming it just didn’t seem worth the hours on the road, so I broke camp for my next stop, John Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo. I spent time here on a scuba diving trip almost 20 years ago, and hoped to do exactly that while here. Unfortunately it was not to be as the weather continued to be more than partly nasty. I did find a few breaks to put the kayak in the water, and managed to get on a snorkel trip that took us about 5 miles off the coast when the weather finally cleared the last day there. All in all, if not for my fun neighbors- The Daniels Family, my time in Key Largo would have been a pretty much a bust.

Green Heron

A family of White Ibis right outside my RV

With a break in the weather and no dive or snorkel boats going out, I had no choice but to go to the office. 🙂

I’m on my way to Savannah Georgia today, but still have more of Florida to share. Stay tuned!! I promise it won’t be long.

Happy Mothers Day to all of you wonderful mothers out there!!!

 

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  • John T S

    Ah, you caught the S. Fl. monsoon season. The pictures remind me of my youth down there.
    Glad you didn’t get too friendly with the gators. I’ve only known one person who’s actually seen a panther there. Happy travels!

    • fran

      Thanks John. I kept a respectable distance from the gators. Saw one while out kayaking today in the Savannah area too. And can you believe it… it’s storming here now!

  • Lisa Gregory

    Love the office!

    • fran

      I’m loving it too! Thanks Lisa!

  • Ahhh, Florida Keys. Love it.

    Great, fantastic photos.

    My grandparents lived in Big Cypress Preserve (right in panther crossing territory) for over 25 years and never saw a panther. They saw eyes at night but never a confirmed panther. Plenty of gators, snakes, and other animals.

    • fran

      Thank you Charles. Glad you enjoyed! I did get to see gators in the Everglades. For free! 🙂

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