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Day 128 - We Finally Leave the Keys (Video Added)

We stayed at Long Key State Park until checkout time, then drove as far North as we could get with what was left of the day - just north of Miami.

sunny 78 °F


Miles Driven - 108
Weather - Warm & Muggy, Light Breezes (e.g. Shorts & Swimsuits)
Camped at Hallandale Walmart (Between Miami & Fort Lauderdale)


Mom is in no hurry to leave South Florida, she was pointing out Trailer Parks today where I could buy her a unit if I was so inclined. Hopefully, by the time we start moving west again the cold snap up north will have passed and she'll forget all about it. Maybe I'll haul out the shots we took at Flamingo and remind her how cold it got down here?


Long Key State Park, where we stayed last night, is the only SP in Florida where all the campsites are on the water. It is so popular, people book it up as soon as they start taking reservations (11 months in advance) - at least for December & January. The ranger said there is usually space available in other months. We just got lucky and happened to stop by after someone cancelled!

Checkout time is 1 PM, so we stayed as long as we reasonably could and didn't get much travelling in today. But we did get a full morning of relaxing on the beach! Mom actually managed to catch me in action:


I decided to spend some time picking up shells (mostly it was an excuse to putter around in the water), this beach had some little, tiny spiral type shells that I thought would be fun to bring back and share with folks. Of course, it takes a whole lot of little tiny shells to fill a small cup... Anyway, while I was playing around and standing in about six inch deep water, I heard a splashing sound close by. A few feet further down the beach was a stingray!

Of course, the first thing I did was jump out of the water. The second thing I did was grab the camera and called Mom. A few other folks from another campsite came over and we all enjoyed a rare treat. My hunch is this one may not have been too well - I don't think you're supposed to see ribs, he was also missing his tail although it didn't appear to be a recent wound. I'm not sure they normally come up to the edge of the water like that, but maybe they do, I don't know much about these animals. He seemed to be keeping an eye on us and hung out on the edge of the beach like this for five or ten minutes, then took off.



Somehow we did manage to hit the road again just before Checkout, but here are just a few more shots of this special place to remember it by...


We stopped for gas a couple of Keys later, I couldn't resist taking a picture of the side of the convenience store building. This is what they use for stone down here. The Keys are the tops of ancient coral reefs that are now hard and turned to stone (fosselized?). This makes their rocks most unusual.


In Islamorada, near the end of our Keys journey, is a Memorial to the victims of the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane (9/2/35). The town suffered sustained winds of 200 mph for an extended period. The fancy 1912 Railroad was destroyed as well as some of the bridges that had been built between islands (Hwy 1 was not completed until later, so the RR was the only link between Key West and the mainland other than by boat).


We did succumb to one more tourist trap, but a tasty one? We found a Key Lime store that was open, and indulged in some more pie slices as well as a few other treats that may or may not make it home...

Finally, we made it back to the mainland and drove up Hwy 1 at least into South Miami. The traffic started to stall, so I decided to take I-95 and bypass downtown Miami. Mom wanted to do some more sightseeing (Biscayne Bay) but I think we need to start heading north and eventually west. Like all the other states we've been in so far, we won't see everything we want here, but we have also still seen a lot!

The freeway wasn't much better than Hwy 1 - it just didn't have stopsigns. After crawling along for another couple of hours we finally made it to a place called Hallandale, a few miles shy of Fort Lauderdale. The local RV campground is booked up until next April, so we found a Wal-mart and will continue our journey in the morning. Who knows, we might even find something interesting?

Posted by jl98584 19:10 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel

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Nice video of the rayfish. You know, fish don't have ribs as we have them, I think the structure on its back was its spine. I did notice its missing tail. I did see gills ( not ribs). on another topic, this morning Shelton schools were closed due to snow. its raining steadily here, 36 degrees at 6 am this morning. Aer you sure you want to come back? ha ha

by drque

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