Florida (West)

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Starting on Saturday, November 02, 2002, 6:09:36 PM

Just across the border into Florida, sitting in the parking lot of the visitor/rest area. I saw this thing again. I had been here a few years ago during a motorcycle trip to Texas and back. Its looked like a full-scale replica of an authentic Blue Angels jet.

Getting a little bored with the highway, I got off of the main road and went down some small dirt roads and it certainly didn't take very long until I found myself out in the middle of nowhere. The trees and brush and undergrowth were quite thick and I could see that it would be very difficult to make it through these woods.

Although everything seemed very wild I could still occasionally find a pretty wild flower growing here and there.

There seemed to be water everywhere I went. With all the isolated swamps around I could see how easy it would be for alligators to survive around this place. 

The sun began to set so I frantically went out in search of a good location to get a nice shot of this beautiful sight.

As usual I took numerous pictures of the same sunset through the different sages of its descent from the sky. The colors changed dramatically as the sun relinquished its reflection on the cloud layer above and sank lower and lower beyond the horizon.

I rode on to St. Petersburg where I found a Kinko's to hang out at for a while. Eventually the sun came up and I resumed my ride. Down through St. Petersburg and to a rest area where I took another break and enjoyed the scenery for a while.

I watched as these pelicans would fly by, just inches from the water. So close that you could even sometimes see their wing tips just barely streak across the surface of the water. What appears to be such a clumsy creature on land is one of the most graceful birds I've ever seen. Right there at the rest area was this small beach. Then out in the water I watched this Blue Heron as it fished in the clear water. Quite frequently the bird came up with a small fish.

Just beyond the rest area was this huge bridge that I would have to cross in order to get to interstate 75.

Along interstate 75 I made quite a few stops to rest and take a break. I stopped at a store and bought me some sunflower seeds to snack on. I was sitting out in the parking lot resting. A group of these black birds were rally enthralled at what I was going so I tossed them some seeds and they loved them. As a matter of fact, this one here kept asking for more, quite aggressively.

Heading across the bottom of Florida is what is referred to as alligator alley. A long stretch of undeveloped land that is a protective wildlife habitat. Actually most of the southern tip of Florida is undeveloped. There's really not much that can be built out there so the wildlife is quite abundant. 

The whole area is covered mostly by water and is full of swamps.

I managed to get in close to this guy here and get a picture of him from about six feet. Don't worry, I think I was pretty safe. There was about a two foot drop off to the water that I think would have been quite difficult for it to get above to get at me. So don't think that I was all that brave.

The plants and flowers were pretty impressive as well.

I'm not sure what kind of bird this is but I saw quite a few of them. 

Kind of looked like some modified duck.

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