A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.





Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Not Liking Florida




People say driving across Texas is boring.  Well I say driving down through Florida is boring.  It was like this for hours upon miles yesterday.  The picture shows a more cleared view to the sides.  Some long stretches had tall trees on both sides.  It was like being in a green corridor. 
In Texas you can see for miles and miles.  In Florida you can see for feet and feet.

Today has been like driving in southern California's Los Angeles County.  I'd been driving for two hours when we first started this morning and covered only 30 miles.  It was maddening.  I gave up, headed inland for 25 miles just to get on Interstate 75 and leave the stop and go traffic behind us.  Once on the Interstate it was a slow crawl for miles and this was just approaching Tampa. 

Yep, so far Florida would rank at the top of my list of states I'd never return to.  It is too much like California.  The gas prices are the same.  The weather is the same but here you get humidity and hurricanes thrown in as a bonus.  The people drive like those in California.  But I have gone this far and I'll press on to see the Everglades.  The return trip north up the east coast does not look all that promising in any sort of improvement of my opinion of Florida.  
That drive may be entitled Escape from Florida.

The above was composed and posted when I stopped to eat breakfast (so much for that early start advantage I thought I had) and now, having stopped for the day I see the post never took so I can add this.  Things only became more dismal looking as the day went on.  I wanted to stay near Naples before heading east through the Everglades leaving that for a slow day's drive to enjoy the sights.  A check of camping: Two state parks nearby.  One closed under reconstruction (nice timing) and the other reserved out full (naturally), or so said the reservation site.  Private parks are all in the $50 range!!  You gotta be kidding me.  They obviously do not want riff-raff like Sinbad and I staying there.  There are some National Forest Campgrounds on the stretch of road across the Everglades but all are small or for tenting only.  There are 6 Walmarts in Naples and all have no overnight parking.  That's not Walmart  but some ordinance by the city of Naples.  I was gearing up for a long day, not getting to see the Everglades as I had hoped but instead as I drove madly on through the evening towards Miami.

We came upon the turn-off for the first State Park, the one that was reserved out full.  It was only 2 miles off the Interstate so I pulled off for just the heck of it.  Pulling up to the kiosk I asked the ranger if they had a spot for one night.  "Yes, we do.  Pull over there and park and come on inside."  I couldn't believe our good fortune.  Inside I told him how I had checked online and couldn't make much sense of it as it showed everything was reserved.   He said they can't make much sense of ReserveAmerica.com either.  So I get my leisurely drive across the Everglades tomorrow and maybe, with a little bit more luck may get to camp in one of the small National Forest campgrounds.
After that, it will be The Escape from Florida.


10 comments:

  1. just a hint of suggestion you had a frustrating day on the road John. Look forward to The Everglade post

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  2. Sure glad it worked out in the end.

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  3. I didn't care for Florida when I visited one time either.

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  4. This road could be here, although we have mostly more cars around. I hope you will make a boattour with those typical high boats through the Everglades. That must be great I think.

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  5. I like Florida. To me, you can drive half a day and it seems like just a few minutes.

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  6. I guess your kind of place is out in the desert with those spaces you need to feel good with. Some people do like that area, and I guess it depends on what one likes. I don’t think I could handle the weather there.
    A friend of mine thinks you should go to Vermont. Another couple friends said when they lived in Naples they called the drivers “Qtips”.
    The gators haven’t eaten you or Sinabd up yet. You have to be having a good time the two of you.

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  7. Well, how do you REALLY feel about Florida? Well, I've never been there and thanks for the warning. I do have a high-school buddy who lived in Sebring for years and somehow managed to avoid direct hits of the hurricanes, but now he is living in Buffalo, N.Y., --a fate worse than death, as he puts it.

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  8. We plan on going to Florida this October on the tail end of our trip. WE'll be staying at Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park (that's a mouthful, right?) for 4 nights before we swing back north. I'm looking forward to our stop in South Carolina more, hope it lives up to our expectations.

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  9. I agree you with you about Florida's highway scenery. They do give away a great booklet at the highway information centers about camping spots, which I know you probably do not see since you follow the byways and not the highways. You could have stayed with us but we left the second of April.

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