Saturday, March 6, 2010
Jonathan Dickinson State Park to Long Key
Tuesday March 2, 2010
We woke up at 7:00 after sleeping for 9 hours. Hopefully we will catch up from last week! The main north-south train route goes through this park and numerous trains were heard during the evening and night – well the early part – and again this morning. When this blogger goes to sleep it takes something pretty loud to wake me so I have no idea if they continued all night!
We packed things back up much better and were on our way by 8:30. When we get to Long Key the Sprinter deserves a good cleaning inside. We drove through several parts of the park before leaving. It will be nice to explore on our return visit and we will have most of the afternoon unless we visit Palm Beach as I have on my mind. The drive to Long Key took only 4 ½ hours so we will definitely have some time to waste along the way. The highest point in south Florida is in this state park – Hobe Mountain – 86 feet high!! There is an observation tower so you can see both Hobe Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. We were directed by Garmin (our GPS Lady) to head south and before we knew it – maybe 3 miles we were in Jupiter. We came to the lighthouse we visited last winter and turned west back over to I 95.
The urban sprawl continues all the way south for the remainder of our trip. We were soon directed to the Florida Turnpike as I 95 goes right into Miami – we turned to the west and began paying tolls – a total of $8.50 but I am sure saved a great deal of time and aggravation that we would have encountered on I 95. The scenery consisted of palm trees, occasional fields of crops, shopping centers, apartments and condos, land-fills with thousands of gulls circling and finally we came to the end of the Florida Turnpike and were dumped into Homestead. We continued on through Key Largo, Islamorada, and finally made it to Long Key a little after 1:00. Total mileage for our trip from Kingsport to Long Key was 993.
Our campsite is # 19, and as with all the campsites here is directly on the ocean. When the tide is in the water is about 10 feet from our campsite. The temperature was 77 degrees and partly sunny. The ranger told us it was going to rain in the afternoon and a cold front pass through. We ate lunch quickly and set up the tent over the picnic table so we could have it up if it rained for an extended period.
The tent went up much easier than last year when we nearly took off with it in a gust of wind….but we barely had it up when the rain drops started. It may have rained lightly for a total of 10 minutes and then the sun and blue skies slowly blew in from the west and the rain was gone. It has remained partly cloudy for the afternoon and there is a breeze. At 5:20 as I write this the temperature has gone down to 72 degrees and I put back on a long sleeve shirt. When I look at Kingsport with 37 (snow) and Durham with 36 (icy rain) I feel very fortunate.
The afternoon activities were cleaning out the Sprinter, putting away things, riding the bikes, and playing with our new i-phones. We have internet on i-phone but not the computer. We will have to search out an internet hot spot for posting the blog tomorrow as well as hunt a grocery in Marathon (12 miles south). For tonight we will just eat what we have and see how the TV works. Jane went to the library on Saturday, has a whole tote of books and plans to read a LOT.
The tide has gone out and the water is 150 feet from our campsite. There are many shore birds in the tidal waters and several of the people camped here have small boats moored in the shallow water.
There is a full moon so Jane had hoped to get some good photos but the cloud cover kept that from happening. We can get 3 TV stations here but all are in Spanish so we will probably not watch much. No watching NCIS tonight!!! The water is lapping at the shore just about 10 feet from the back of the Sprinter.