February 12-19 Florida Keys and the Locks


Eva has constantly been scouring websites for any decently priced campsites. We can always find a place to stay if we spend $80/night but we try to never do that. Plus a lot of the times they have not as much grenery and room for our kids to run around. The best priced sites are typically Federal owned, followed by State owned and then county owned. The Federal Parks are usually $30 or less a night. State are in the $30-$40 range while county are a few bucks more. The hardest sites to get this time of year are in the Florida Keys. There are only a couple of state parks there and they fill up to the day seven or so months out.  With Eva’s constant checking we were able to get two nights at John Pennecamp Coral Reef State Park on Key Largo. We all had a great time there. Less than 1/2 mile from the campsite is the swimming beach, complete with a mock Spanish Shipwreck. Although the underwater plants and coral are trampled by tens of thousands of feet a year we still saw some life. We did see a stingray, a puffer fish and a number of large tarpon. There were even a few tropical colorful fish. Visibility was not great you get to see foggy pictures.

Since Makai still had his casts he was restricted to the beach but at least he could make sand castles.

They also had a neat aquarium there and we made sure to be there at 11am to see the feedings. The lobsters were the coolest to watch. they ran out of their caves to grab their lunch.

The next two campgrounds were both located near Lake Okeechobee. This is the largest lake in Florida and it is connected to both coasts of Florida with a canal. Since the lake is a god bit above sea level there is a lock system run by the Army Corps of Engineers. We stayed at Ortona locks on the West side of the locks for a couple of nights. We then spent a single night at St. Lucia South on the eastern side of the locks. The kids enjoyed seeing how the locks worked and since it was a nice weekend there were boats going through constantly.

20180216_13062620180216_13092220180216_12594120180217_18165820180217_10524720180217_17565920180217_180719This Sunset was very cool. I wish we could stay at St. Lucie South bit longer, but we were able to get only that one night. Now off to Savannas Recreational Area for next 8 days. This will be the longest time we stayed in one place since we left, but that was not our choice


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