A trip across Florida’s Everglades to pick up our RV - Wednesday, April 1
We saw Austin and Kielyn off to school, then took off in our rental car to drive to Tampa. Our RV has been there at the Lazy Days service facility for the past three and a half months, getting repaired, serviced, treated to a new set of tires and generally spiffed up for another year of travel. We are anxious to see her.
There are several ways to get to Tampa from Parkland. This time we chose a combination of the Sawgrass Expressway and Highway 75, with the most interesting part of the trip a section of Highway 75 known as Alligator Alley.
Alligator Alley is a four lane toll road that crosses the Florida peninsula from east to west, and goes right through the heart of the Everglades. The drive is beautiful and intriguing, and the only danger is crashing your car while you’re looking up at the birds. The Everglades, sometimes described as ‘the River of Grass’ is home to dozens of species of birds. Many of them inhabit the highway corridor, and you see them everywhere as you drive the highway.
There are cranes and egrets, cormorants and anhingas, white ibex, black vultures, soaring gulls and ungainly wood storks. There are undoubtedly also alligators, but they are well camouflaged and at 70mph they are hard to see. Parts of the glades support tall cypress trees, but most of the landscape is low grass and shrub. Water is everywhere, so whatever survives here must do so with wet feet.
The State of Florida charges motorists $2.50 to drive the hundred mile stretch, and it’s a bargain for sure. Occasional roads cross the highway, and there are rest stops along the way where you can park and get out to walk the banks of the more open waterways. In some places boat rides are offered, and this is something we will do one of these days. But not today.
Today is for re-uniting with our Winnebago, and paying the ransom to get her out of hock. At the Gulf town of Naples Highway 75 takes a right angle turn to the north, and for the rest of the way to Tampa we paralleled the Gulf Coast. We arrived around 2:00 and it was a happy reunion indeed! The pricy repairs were partially offset by the fact that we didn’t have to pay for storage this winter, and our insurance picked up some of the expense.
We have reservations for the next two nights at the Lazy Days Rally Park and we checked into our site, but when we went to put our slide out, we discovered that it is not adjusted right. We found that and a few other items to be corrected, so we called the service rep and made an appointment for tomorrow morning. We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening doing housekeeping chores, and we turned in early - very glad to be back in our little home on wheels. :-)