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Old 01-06-2011, 08:49 AM   #1
nickel512 OP
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gators and loop road everglades

I have spent the last two days in Big Cypress National Park just above the Forida everglades. As I headed west out of Miami on Tamiami (rt 41) I eagerly anticipated the Loop road I had read about on this site. After about 20 miles I found the entrance and even though it was tarmac either side was covered with swamp and canals. Imediately I began spotting gators, both on the grass (10 ft width) between the road and the canal and in the canal itself. This tarmac went on for about 7miles with homes and even a school (all Muscogee reservation I think). Just before the tarmac ended was a campground free unmonitored and surrounded by gators. I spoke to a couple of the characters there and they said the route ahead was to rough and wet for travel. I and my trusty KLR grinned and took of down the road. Sure enough it was whooped out with whoops that reminded me of Spring Creek Millville MX track, and 6 inches deep in the center, so as I rode the edges aound the mini ponds (I didn't want to melt ofcourse) I discovered that is where the gators like to sunbath. So as I approached gators resting , which I often didn't appreciate til I was upon them, they would scurry into the water. Some I went past so as not to disturb them and would either come back on foot for photos or turn around and with my camera in my clutch hand accelerate towards them then coasting with my camera now in throttle hand snap a photo while slowly cruising past them. I finished the loop (about 15 miles dirt road) which brought me back to Tamiami trail and immediately was a campground by Monroes park station and took off my happy trail panniers and tank bag and after a great cheap night stay the following morning I proceeded to go back down the loop road all the way to the tarmac and turnaround back to camp only this time at speeds and challenging my KLR to serious offroading. In the end I had a ball just riding my bike standing up navigating the really rough trail and seeing, racing, numerous very cool birds and of course gators. By the way I had nothing more for defense than a small pocket knife, and at no time felt threatened by the gators, I even sltly taunted them from time to time to get a response and was never fearful, just to much fun.
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:57 AM   #2
aldntn
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Tamiami Trail

Rode there a couple of years ago and really enjoyed the area while on the way to the keys.

Pics?
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:11 PM   #3
MiamiMotorcyclist
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Yep- it's a fun little road.

Another place the gators like to hang out is in the water at the little bridges where the water passes through. Usually a good place to snap a picture.



If you are out there again, get on Tamiami trail heading east from Monroe station and stop at Clyde Butcher's gallery. Amazing Everglades photography in large, expensive format photos.

Also you can ride the first 15 miles west from just past Krome ave, on or next to the levy and then cut back out to tamiami trail.

Not sure what's going to happen now that they are building a bridge to restore the water flow though.
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:22 PM   #4
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View of the work in progress from the levy


And a bad shot of what the plan is. The red line is the bridge they are building. Not real sure what that means for the levy.

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