Friday, September 12, 2014

South Through the Florida Keys

After arriving at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, we settled in for our short stay. We tried to book a week but no sites were available for our size rig, so we had to improvise. We booked one site for four days then had to move across the road to another site for another four days. Kind of a pain, but there was a lot we wanted to do, so we took what was available. (Turned out our original site was only booked for ONE night by a single guy in a tent!) Anyway, we had a great time in the park. The beach was clean, the water dirty but warm..probably too warm. We got some snorkeling in, went on the glass bottom boat out to the reef and spent a day with the kayaks. Enjoyed several hikes around the park as well. Word of caution though....actually three words....mosquitoes, mosquitoes, mosquitoes......!

Once we turned off Hwy 1 onto the entrance road to John PenneKamp, I wasn't convinced we had made the right choice. After about 1/4 mile, this road widened and the we approached the guard shack, checked in and headed to our site.

Lots to do at Pennekamp

Snorkeling, canoeing, kayaking and just laying on the beach.  They have a gift shop, a marina, small store, bait shop, rental equipment and boat bottom, fishing and snorkeling on one of the reefs.

 Many folks wonder if the Overseas Hwy, also known a US 1 is simply one long bridge. The answer is no...there are many bridges connecting the islands or keys as they're known but for the most part, Hwy 1 is like any other scenic road across America. It is, however, only one lane in each direction so you're pretty much at the mercy of the slowest vehicle.

We stopped at several beaches and tested the water. Most of it was clear but really warm.

These are just sample pictures taken along Hwy 1 south of Key Largo.

If you're looking for fresh crab, I'm sure this fellow would welcome you to his fish market and diner.

Besides snakes and alligators, Florida is home to many wild iguanas. The guy hung around our campsite for most of the time we were there. He was pretty tame and Jasmine wasn't too sure what to think.

He would come into our site and wander around every morning and evening. I think he sensed that I posed no threat and I kept Jasmine on a short leash so he wasn't harassed.
When not foraging for food, he lounged on one of the tree branches and watched the world go by.

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