Koreshan Historic State Park in Estero, Florida
Thankfully no big busses here and there are even two other Roadtreks!
We will spend three more nights in this camp after we see the Keys.
There are 60 campsite with water and electricity. They have a full laundry, trails, and canoe rentals.
The website for Koreshan State Park says:
Bobcats, Grey Foxes, River Otters and Alligators are all found along the Estero River. During the Winter Manatees are found in our waters. Koreshan is great for bird watching as it is home to over a 100 bird species. Among them are Swallow-Tail Kites, Bald Eagles , Bobwhites, Belted Kingfishers and others.
Using the Around Me app on the iPhone we found a Winn-Dixie supermarket to stock up on supplies. It's a big chain store that has everything. One thing I found interesting was the amount of white bread offered. They had a hug shelf full of all sorts of type of white bread and only had a little section of wheat bread up high in one area. In the SF Bay Area it is reversed with hardly any of the white stuff offered.
In Sun City Center, Florida while parked at a traffic light we saw six golf carts go through the traffic light. They were everywhere and perhaps 20% of the cars downtown were carts this morning. There were even separate isolated lanes for them to travel in safely, but mostly they were out on the main double laned road sharing space with the big cars. The license plates on the carts were from half from Florida and half from the more northern cold states.
Alafia River State Park, Florida
The Suwannee River State Campground.
Going to the Suwanee River had us humming "Way Down Upon the Suwanee River" (which is also called "Old Folks at Home") and trying to recall anything beyond the first verse from our grammar school days. Thanks to a Google search we were able to read the history and original lyrics that were sadly quite racist. The lyrics have been changed considerably to be more tolerable, but many are still offended and some have tried to change the status of it being the Florida State Song. There was a compromise and now they have a two song compromise with "Florida the Sawgrass Meets the Sky" being the State anthem and they have kept the state song with its less offensive lyrics.
A native Floridian from Jacksonville told me the following:
"the song was written by a damn Yankee who never got near the Suwanee river- Stephen Foster picked the name out of an atlas or something. before the civil war, the only settled parts of Florida were the fringe of clay hills along the Georgia-Alabama border. everything else, including the Suwanee River basin was lowland swamp, full of yellow fever, alligators, and Seminoles. many slaves escaping from Georgia ran south, not north, and joined the Indians. the Seminoles were never actually conquered - many of them got shipped to Oklahoma, but enough of them stayed in the everglades to qualify them as the only tribe east of the Mississippi to still be on a portion of their original land they never lost. the Seminole wars ended when the us army got to the everglades and said, "this looks like a good place for an Indian reservation."'
Wikipedia says - "Written in the first person from the perspective of a black slave (at a time when slavery was legal in half of the states of the US) the song has its narrator "longing for de old plantation" which has long drawn criticism as romanticizing slavery.
My aunt and uncle's cabin was right on the water and use used to swing out on long ropes to drop into the water... the same water that we would go out gator hunting in at night! I've heard that gators used to come up on their lawn where we all sat. I recall going out in a little boat at night looking for the gators red eyes reflecting. If they were far apart you knew it was a big one. I was terrified in a boat so small it could hold onto both sides at once! We did bring a little gator back to the cabin when we were less conscious of the gators well being. We donated it to a wildlife center.