For this challenge Ann-Christine has asked us “where or what is our hideaway”. Her description of hideaway says “A Hideaway, is a place to which a person can retreat for safety, privacy, relaxation, to seek seclusion or refuge.”
When I am at home I can hideaway for a few moments by getting out in nature or by reading a book. But for me, a true hideaway is a wilderness area far away from civilization, somewhere with no robo calls, internet, or other interruptions.
Three of my favorite destinations immediately came to mind – the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in south Georgia, Denali National Park in Alaska, and Everglades National Park in Florida. Although these are three unique protected wilderness areas, what they have in common is that they are miles away from civilization and the wildlife is free to roam.
Of these three areas, the closest to my home is the Okefenokee Swamp. When we get to the end of the 17 mile road from the main highway and arrive at Stephen C. Foster State Park I feel like I am in another world. This image and the one at the top were both taken in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge near Fargo, Georgia.
To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world.
There are no other Everglades in the world. They are, they have always been, one of the unique regions of the earth; remote, never wholly known. Nothing anywhere else is like them.
This week, our guest host Xenia of Tranature has chosen Sanctuary for our challenge. She reminds us that “Sanctuary can be found and created in a garden, a park, a field of wild flowers and by the sea …… watching wildlife, listening to birdsong …… along the forest trails and in the mountains.” She has asked us to show where we find it or how we create our calm and healing.
America’s National Parks and Wildlife Refuges are national treasures and wonderful places to find sanctuary.
Closer to home, I can find my sanctuary watching the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean on one of Georgia’s barrier islands (image at the top of the page), walking on the beach, or watching the birds and butterflies in my backyard butterfly garden.
We’re not traveling as much in our fifth wheel anymore so I thought it would be fun to relive some of our most memorable days from previous RV trips. This January I am highlighting our January, 2012 snowbird trip to Florida.
Part 3 of our January, 2012 RV trip around Florida
On this day eight years ago, January 16, 2012, we were camped in Everglades National Park in Flamingo, Florida. This was the southern most location of our 2012 snowbird journey.
One of our favorite drives in Florida is Highway 41, a National Scenic Byway which goes from east and west through the Everglades. We stopped at the Oasis Visitor Center in the Big Cypress National Preserve for a look at the alligators before continuing on to the Flamingo Campground in Everglades National Park.
Our first time camping was three years earlier (more about that stay at Throwback Thursday #13 – December 5, 2009). The big difference between our 2009 visit and this visit was they had added electricity to some of the sites. There were only a few electric sites and they were available on a first come basis so we made sure to get there early enough to score the last one! Woo hoo!
The sunrise was spectacular over Florida Bay.
The birding was also spectacular.
Roseate Spoonbill in Everglades National Park, Florida
Heron in Everglades National Park, Florida
Spoonbill and Egret at Mrazek Pond, Everglades National Park 2012
Cormorant Everglades National Park, Florida
Osprey on nest, Everglades National Park, Florida
Green Heron, Everglades National Park, Florida
Flamingo is remote, natural, and wild. My kind of place.
We’re not traveling as much in our fifth wheel anymore so I thought it would be fun to relive some of our most memorable days from previous RV trips.
On this day ten years ago, December 5, 2009, we were camped in the Flamingo Campground in Everglades National Park. We spent the day exploring the national park around Flamingo.
After entering Everglades National Park, the drive to the Flamingo Campground is another 38 miles through the park. Flamingo is the southernmost place in the mainland of the U.S. (The southernmost point in the U.S. is farther south in Key West.)
I wandered from our campsite in the morning to nearby Eco Pond where many wading birds were gathered.
Later in the day we went for a boat ride on a big pontoon boat in Florida Bay. There were some White Pelicans on a sandbar close to the boat. There were also hundreds of White Pelicans on a sand bar too far away to take pictures. As we headed back to the dock the rain started coming down.
The Flamingo area of Everglades National Park is far from civilization and a wonderful place for bird watching and seeing other wildlife. In addition to the birds visitors can observe alligators and crocodiles in the wild. During certain times of year there may even be manatees in the water.
Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!
I will be featuring the states we have visited alphabetically. If you are looking for Connecticut or Delaware, we’ve never been to either of those states (except to drive through the Delmarva Peninsula without stopping) so the next state is
Florida became the 27th state on March 3, 1845. The capital is Tallahassee.
We started vacationing in Florida back in the 70’s and have traveled all around the state both before and after our RV travels began. For many years we traveled to the Florida Keys at least once a year. We’ve traveled all along the Atlantic Coast, Gulf Coast, to small towns and big cities, gone scuba diving and snorkeling in the beautiful coral reefs, caught many fish, boated to remote islands, visited museums and lighthouses, attended sporting events, tasted amazing seafood and key lime pie, explored two national parks and a national seashore, observed graceful birds and other wildlife, kayaked and canoed in the rivers, swam in the springs, watched many sunsets, and walked on some of America’s most beautiful beaches.
Florida is famous for it’s beautiful beaches and theme parks.
There’s so much more to the Sunshine State than it’s beaches and theme parks.
With it’s many birds, wildlife, and beautiful landscapes, Everglades National Park is one of my favorite national parks.
The only way to get to Dry Tortugas National Park is to take a boat ride or seaplane trip from Key West.
Explore Fort Pickens and walk on miles of sugar white sand beaches in Gulf Islands National Seashore .
There are many small islands accessible only by boat. Picnic Island in the lower keys was one of our favorites.
Cedar Key is one of the small waterfront towns we love to visit.
I loved the Art Deco buildings in South Beach Miami.
It’s always fun to stroll along the waterfronts.
There are interesting structures to discover. The Perky Bat Tower on Sugarloaf Key was built in 1929 to house bats to help control the mosquito population. Unfortunately, the bats flew away and never returned.
The Spring House in White Springs on the Suwanee River was a huge tourist destination in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
There’s a famous headstone in the Key West Cemetery.
U.S. Highway 1 goes from Fort Kent, Maine to Key West and we’ve been to both ends. The Southernmost Point in the continental United States is also in Key West.
The variety of birds never ceases to amaze me.
Tiny key deer, endangered gopher tortoise, manatees, and of course alligators are some of the wildlife to be found.
Florida is home to beautiful springs and rivers.
Don’t forget the lighthouses.
Nothing better than freshly caught fish for dinner! We cooked up this grouper after one of our most memorable fishing trips many years ago.
Many Major League Baseball teams play their spring training games in Florida.
The historic Fort Gates Ferry carries people and vehicles across the St. Johns River.