The trip is from New River, West Virginia, to Stinking Creek, Tennessee, by way of Long Key, Florida.
Big Cyprus National Preserve, Florida
The campground was nearly deserted. There was one other RV and the resident campground host. And 4 alligators. Our site was on the side of a lake and on the edge of the swamp.
Once again, it was like staying in a bird sanctuary.
The campground host said there were 4 alligators staying in the lake.
I hiked all around the lake.
See all the birds by the lake?
I kept walking toward them while snapping pictures, wondering how close they would let me come. As I neared the lake without them taking flight I was so intent with my camera I didn’t see the alligator lurking at the water’s edge. I came within 10 feet or so before I saw him. He was eyeing me.
So I slowly backed off. Last time I walked around not looking where I was going while snapping pictures. That evening we took a stroll around the lake at sundown.
As we approached the only other RV we saw the campground host was there with a park ranger. We learned that the couple had a little dog with them, and an alligator was hanging around their site eyeing their dog. The ranger said there was nothing he could do about the alligator, this was a wild place and not a zoo, so his advice was to keep their dog inside if they didn’t want it eaten. We walked on, but it got dark quickly before we could make it around the lake, so we turned back. Sure enough, the park ranger and campground host were gone and the couple and their dog were inside their camper. But that alligator was still lurking around.
He’d gotten a whiff of that dog and was after a meal. But it was a pretty sunset.
One big drawback to staying here were the no-see-ums. The campground had no hook-ups, so we couldn’t run our air conditioner. It was too hot to close the windows. And these tiny black flying bugs were so small they came right through the screens and swarmed us. It was an infestation. All night long we swatted at them while trying to sleep. The next morning I went for a walk into the swamp. There was a road.
As you can see, it was flooded. But I have waterproof hiking boots. So I set off.
But the water got so deep it came in over the tops and thoroughly soaked my feet. So I gave it up before going very far. Instead, I walked another circuit of the lake and said good morning to all my friends.
Next Location – Fort DeSoto, St. Petersburg, Florida