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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

Adjusting to the Weather

~Tuesday, February 21, 2023~

Day 983

Still trying to get used to the bugs and humidity that Florida brings. Sadie too. It’s definitely not the best state suited for high energy labradors as she’s missing forested trails and inviting beaches that she is used to swimming in, without the fear of being a snack for some hungry alligator. She’d much rather hang with her people than stay in an air-conditioned trailer all afternoon. And even though she can’t be off leash at our campground, there are some nice grassy areas for her to sneakily chase a ball in the dark (can’t risk getting caught during the day). When we are in circumstances where she can’t sightsee with us, we make sure to give Sadie her time as well. Bonita Beach Dog Park (about an hour away) looks promising for Thursday. I think she’ll even have a little pedicure time before we hit the water. There are also a few dog parks that will allow off-leash.

The Florida weather is also making us reevaluate the humidity in the trailer and the potential for mold. Even though we are keeping windows open and fans on for good air circulation, it’s the areas that are hidden we’re worried about. It’s not good for the trailer, and it’s certainly not good for our lungs. And it’s not just mold you might SEE, but where you can’t. So we’ve decided to purchase a small dehumidifier. Luckily our state campground accepts packages/mail. So thankfully for that and Amazon, we’ll have it here by the 23rd along with a few other things we’ve ordered.

Before heading out for the day, we had a nice phone call from our daughter Hannah and the grandkids. Easton (5) was getting ready for preschool and Carson (2) was eager to show off his scooter. We can’t wait to see them in April where we’ll be able to help out as Hannah and Devin get ready to welcome their daughter, Sophia. Since Hannah has had 4 to 5 week early pregnancies, chances are this arrival date of June 23rd, will be too. We can’t be more thrilled to have a third grandchild and first granddaughter.

While Jeff headed out to Ace to find us a new hitch bolt and hitch pins, Sadie and I took a walk around the campground/park sticking to areas that were in shade. Inside the park is the first building that was ever built designed to look like a fort from the Seminole War era. It would become both the park’s caretaker’s residence and visitor center back in the 40’s. Another historical artifact within the park is the Walking Dredge…… a piece of specialized equipment used to dig canals

that would encase rock fill for the roadbed used to complete the Tamiami Trail, otherwise known as Highway 41. Its purpose was to connect the southern area of the Sunshine State from Miami to Fort Myers. The way this piece of equipment worked was “walking” over rough, swampy or slippery ground. And way before modern day decided to replace dirt with asphalt, this unique landscape just outside Everglades National Park was the last refuge of the Seminole people. But plants and animals also found this abundantly rich ecosystem the perfect place to call home, especially the Bald Cypress. These dense hardwood trees can live hundreds of years, having dominated the wetlands for over 6,500 years.

A few hours before sunset, we drove over to the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge just 5 minutes from our campground.

It’s best accessed by airboat, but there is a 2.2-mile roundtrip trail that is smack in the middle of it and one of the best ways to view wildlife. And it wasn’t too buggy (thank goodness). I can’t afford anymore bites since I am already covered. Even though we didn’t see any gators today (which is fine with me, as I had my fill yesterday), we did see plenty of birds.

We took the Marsh Trail which led us to an observation tower near the beginning of the hike. From the top we could spot many wading birds, even some resting in trees and a few walking turtles. For the canoe or kayak lover, there are also 4 canoe trails to satisfy any paddle enthusiast. I’m telling you……should have had those kayaks!

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