I was living in Canada at this time of this trip and then I measured driving distances in kilometers (km)
but in this document the corresponding miles will also be given following in brackets.
||For my daughter’s 21st birthday I took her to Arizona, so I asked my son to think about what he
would like for his 21st birthday, which was the following year. That summer when he was working at Flin
Flon in Manitoba I received a letter from him telling me he had decided what he wanted. He asked to
go on a driving holiday with his Mum. However he was unable to make time for such a trip between
his studies and his summer employment until a year and a half after his 21st. What follows is the story
of our trip together.|
Day 1 - Saturday April 18 - Kingston, ON (Canada) to Massena, NY
We left Kingston, Ontario, at 6 p.m., just one hour after Stu’s had finished his final exam
for the year. We took 401, the McDonald-Cartier Freeway in Ontario as far as Johnstown where we
crossed the St. Lawrence River via the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge to New York at
7:15. We had done 111 km (69.0 miles) when we paid the $US2.00 toll at the US side of the bridge.
||We felt like fugitives when held up by the U.S. Customs, because they did not like our
answer when they asked where we lived and where were we going. If Florida was our destination
why had we not taken the first crossing over the St. Lawrence after leaving Kingston? Had we tried to
enter into the US at any other border crossings?|
||On leaving Kingston, Stu, who worked as a guard at Fort Henry during the summer, had
expressed a desire to visit Fort Ticonderoga, so we had driven northeast on the Canadian side of the
St. Lawrence to take advantage of a better road.|
||After getting gas ($1.159/gal) we followed NY-37 to Massena, arriving at Flanders Inn ($55.00) at 8:20. We ate
at the hotel restaurant ($30.00) before settling down for an early night.|
||Distance for the day
Day 2 - Sunday April 19 - Massena, NY to Fall River, MA
We had an early wake-up call and were on the road, NY-37 by 6:45 a.m. Stu
commented that he had never seen a land border, because previously he had only entered the States
by crossing a bridge, either over the St. Lawrence or over the Niagara Rivers. So we turned north to
make a short detour to Fort Covington, N. Y. Suddenly I noticed the American Customs and said that
we had better turn back, especially after all the trouble the previous night. Well we did a U-turn, drove
past the US Customs and proceeded south. A loud siren suddenly sounded. We stopped
immediately, and felt quite silly having to explain what we were doing!!
||After this episode we headed south on NY-37 to Malone, seeing wild turkeys along the
side of the road. At Malone we turned east on County Rte 24 to Brainardsville, then south on NY-374
through Merrill, where we stopped for photos of Upper Chateaugay Lake. In Dannemora we down a
long, big hill past the beautiful stone buildings of a huge jail and correctional center, and continued on
to Plattsburgh. It was 9 o’clock when we reached the junction of NY-374 and I-87, but we continued
on to US-9 before turning south. We stopped in Plattsburgh to walk around the monument in memory
of the 1814 Battle of Plattsburgh, and before leaving we bought milk for breakfast! From here we
followed US-9, a scenic road south along Lake Champlain to Ausable Point Beach State Park. We
spent just over half an hour here in the Picnic Area on the beach, which we had all to ourselves for a
Fifteen minutes further down the road we scouted around trying to get a view of Ausable
Chasm, quite an impressive place, but unfortunately we were there too early in the season and,
having closed for the winter, it wasn't open to the public yet. From here we drove through Keeseville
and joined I-87 with beautiful views towards the Adirondacks. We exited the interstate at NY-9N for
Westport, where we joined NY-22 and again followed the western shoreline of Lake Champlain.
Between Port Henry and the NY-903 turn-off for Crown Point State Historic Park and the bridge to
Chimney Point, Vermont, was a very scenic piece of road.
We stopped in Ticonderoga at McDonald’s to pick up some lunch (a Big Mac and a Filet
of Fish - $3.67), then proceeded to the fort. What a disappointment! Once again we were here too
early in the season, and were unable to see inside the fort. Our disappointment was the greater after
the lengths we had gone to crossing the border!!
We continued south on NY-22, to Whitehall, crossing the southern tip of Lake
Champlain. Whitehall claims to be the birthplace of the U.S. Navy, but we did not stop to learn the
reason for such a claim. The AAA Tour Book does say the Skenesborough Museum in Whitehall
includes a Navy room with models of 1776 and 1812 shipyards and ships models. See the following
From here we went east, crossing the New York Vermont border at 1:15.
At Whitehall we turned onto US-4, driving east and crossing the Vermont State Line at
1:15. Shortly after entering Vermont we turned south on Scenic Route VT-30. We stopped to change
drivers and I drove for 97.5 km (60.6 miles) through the area of Manchester Center, a city with big
beautiful clapboard, shuttered houses, and marble sidewalks. From here our scenic route followed
highway VT-7A until just past Arlington when we switched over to US-7, and minutes later we
reached the highest elevation of US-7, (1,054 meters / 3,458 feet).|
In Bennington we left US-7 and turned onto VT-9, also marked on the map as a scenic
route crossing the Green Mountains of Vermont. We stopped for a coffee break by a rushing
mountain stream with ice and snow along its banks. After this Stu took over driving again. There
was still a lot of snow around and we saw a lot of skiing country. The weather, however, was not
good and distant views were marred by fog. The roads were steep, up and down, with truck escape
ramps off to the right.
Signs along the way indicated when the various areas were settled - Wilmington,
chartered 1751, has- large wooden houses, stores and churches. There was still a lot of snow
feeding the rushing mountain streams. Marlboro (El. 1,736 feet), founded in 1763, was home to
the currently close Hogback Ski Area. Here at the Skyline Restaurant there was supposed to be an
incredible 100 Mile (160.9 km) View, but all we saw was cloud!! Then we continued on, up and down,
up and down, up and down. I could pick out the many beech trees scattered in the woods. Suddenly,
within 15 km (9.3 miles). of Marlboro, we realized the snow was gone.
We passed the intersection with I-91 and drove through Brattleboro with its covered
bridge, slate roofs and “cool looking main street”. Brattleboro, originally Brattleborough, a town
located in the southeast corner of Vermont, is the oldest town in the state. Here, at 4:15, we crossed
the Connecticut River and entered our third state for the day, New Hampshire. We followed NH-119,
after stopping for gas ($1.099/gal), driving through Hinsdale, Ashuelot (with its covered bridge),
founded 1864, turned north for a short distance at the junction of NH-119 with NH-10 and NH-78 just
south of Winchester, settled in 1733, then went east again on NH-119 as far as Fitzwilliam. Here we
turned south on NH-12 and six minutes later crossed the Massachusetts State Line.|
||We stopped briefly in Fitchburg to study the map and decide upon which route to take to
the coast and reach our unknown destination before dark! We took MA-2 east from Fitchburg
to I-190, the interstate south to first exit, then MA-117 east through Lancaster, established 1653, and the
Village of Bolton, established 1738.|
||Just after Bolton we joined I-495, exited onto I-95, going south, crossed the Rhode Island State Line
and entered Providence. Eight minutes later, in the heart of the city, we switched to I-195, going east,
and within four minutes we crossed the State Line back into Massachusetts at 7:15. We left the
interstate on entering Fall River and fifteen minutes later we found a Days Inn ($45.35) and had
||In spite of some disappointments (both Ausable Chasm and Fort Ticonderoga being
closed) the trip was most interesting and we’d had a great day.|
||Distance for the day
Day 3 - Monday April 20 - Fall River MA to Glen Ridge, NJ
We left the motel by 7 o’clock via MA-24 and were in Rhode Island six minutes later.
We exited onto RI-138 to go to Newport. It was a dreary, foggy morning, but promised to improve as
the day progressed. We passed many stone fences, made of flat stones, all matched together to
make even tops and perfect corners.
||We spent over an hour in Newport, first walking around Barrister’s wharf and seeing
many beautiful boats. Our next stop was Bellevue Avenue, known as the Avenue of Mansions -
homes of the rich and famous (Astors' 1855 Beechwood Mansion; 1892 Marble House, built for
William K. Vanderbilt). From Bellevue Avenue we took Ruggles Avenue east to "The Breakers", the
1895 summerhouse of Cornelius Vanderbilt. "The Breakers" overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, and we
were able to take a stroll along the ocean walk in front of this mansion. The we returned to Bellevue
Avenue turning south to follow the Scenic Drive. From Bellevue Avenue this went west on Ocean
Avenue to Benton Point State Park and from the park joined up with Ridge Road.|
||We wended our way back at Bannister's Wharf and from there north to RI-138, then
west, crossing Narragansett Bay (toll bridge $2.00) to Conanicut Island and a second bridge, the
Jamestown Bridge. Leaving RI-138, we turned onto 1A south to Pt. Judith, passing a farm,
established in 1750, with highland cattle behind beautiful stone fences. Going north on RI-108 from
Pt. Judith we detoured to Galilee, a quaint village of cottages, very rocky, with streets names such as
Starfish, Conch and Periwinkle. From here there were no bridges over Judith Pond, and the road
dead ended so we had to return to Point Judith Road (RI-108) and go north before continuing west on
US-1 along the shoreline. Stu had read an article in National Geographic about US-1, so was interested in this
particular highway, and we hoped to more or less follow this route all the way south.|
It was 10:25 when we crossed the Connecticut State Line and we were just 136 km.
(84.54 miles) from the motel. We stopped in New London to do some shopping. At the A & P
Supermarket we bought supplies for a picnic lunch ($12.47) and first aid items ($10.78) at the drug
store. We also telephoned Frank and Zelda to let them know that we were running late and would not
be able to see them until the next day. It was during this phone call that we first learned that we could
use their Florida house in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea.
||After leaving New London and wishing to remain as close as possible to the coast, we
turned onto CT-156. We found a good picnic spot at Rocky Neck State Park and had a great lunch of
salads (including red potato with fresh dill) and pita bread sandwiches. It was 12:45 when we left the
park and rejoined CT-156. When this intersected with I-95, also US-1 at this point, we had to join the
interstate for the bridge across the Connecticut River, but left it to again follow US-1. We drove
through Old Saybrook, settled 1635, Westbrook (with a huge marina), settled 1635 and incorporated
1840,, and into Clinton, which was incorporated in 1838.|
||Noticing historic plaques on some of the old wooden houses we stopped to take some
pictures. We found one built in 1710, another in 1735 and others in 1765 and 1787. We drove
through the lovely main street of Madison, a part of Guilford until 1650. Magnolias were in flower and
it was hard to believe that we had been driving through so much snow-covered country the previous
day. Stu remarked, “I could retire here!” Soon after Guildford, settled in 1639, and,
with still a long way to reach our day's destination, we decided to take I-95 and head for New Jersey. We were to be
staying with my old neighbor from Mississauga, Megan, who had moved to Glen Ridge, NJ, to live
with her son and daughter-in-law, Carl and Jean, and their daughter.|
We crossed the New York State Line at 3 o’clock and ten minutes later were in the
Bronx, settled 1639, and the start of particularly heavy traffic. Three minutes later we were in a traffic
jam! Still in traffic at 3:50, we were glad that we were not running low on gas! By 4:18 we had done
8.6 km (5 miles) in an hour and 5 minutes. Then we passed a broken down truck which appeared to
be the cause of the problem! Finally, at 4:32, we reached the George Washington Bridge. It had
taken us an hour and 22 minutes to cover 14½ km (9 miles) from the Bronx to the bridge! Crossing
the New Jersey State Line, we enterer our fifth state for the day.
||When I-95 turned south we continued west on I-80 just beyond Paterson where we
bought gas ($1.019/gal). New Jersey is not the easiest of places to find one's way around, but we
managed to get onto Ridge Road (CR-641) south to Bloomfield Avenue, which took us all the way
into Glen Ridge. Forsythia was in bloom everywhere. It was just after 5:30 when we stopped in Glen
Ridge to phone Megan (.20¢) for directions from a drug store at the corner of Park Street and
Bloomfield Avenue, only to discover that we were just around the corner from her. All we had to do
was turn left on Mountain Avenue, go under the railway bridge and turn right onto Snowden Place.
Minutes later we were with Megan. Carl and Jean have a beautiful Victorian home (built in 1882) on
a lovely street and we had a most pleasant evening with them.|
||Distance for the day
Day 4 - Tuesday April 21 - Glen Ridge to Cape May, NJ
It was after 10 o’clock by the time we finally left Megan and family, having had breakfast,
looked around the garden and taken some photographs. We drove to Morristown to see Frank, who
gave us maps and all the information for going to their Florida house. Frank (Zelda was busy with a
client) took us to Arthur’s Steak House for lunch (only $23.45 for steak dinners for three people!!) and
it was 2:10 by the time we got on our way! Frank gave us directions from their place to the Garden
State Parkway - toll ($0.35). Wanting to headed out to the coast right away, we left the Parkway at
the first opportunity, taking US-9 for a short distance before getting onto NJ-36 to Highlands.
Arriving in Highlands we crossed the first of many bridges, this one over the Navesink
River, as we worked our way down the coast. Before turning south, however, we drove north through
Sandy Hook National Park, Gateway National Recreation Area and Fort Hancock near the tip of the
point of land which guards the entrance to New York Harbor.
On each side of lower New York Harbor, peninsulas of sand stretch
across the water towards each other forming a natural gateway for ships
going to from the nation’s greatest port. One of these peninsulas is Sandy
Hook, the northern most point on the New Jersey Shore. It’s proximity to
New York Harbor made Sandy Hook a navigational landmark as well as a
defense site to protect the city from attack by sea.”
We spent some time at the Spermaceti Cove National Park Visitor Center, the building
having been originally the Spermaceti Cove Lifeboat Station. I found the museum most interesting,
particularly the presentation of the Faker Line used to rescue people from stranded ships.
From Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48
faking box Fake \Fake\, v. t. (Naut.)
To coil (a rope, line, or hawser), by winding alternately in opposite directions, in layers usually of zigzag or
figure of eight form,, to prevent twisting when running out. [1913 Webster]
Faking box, a box in which a long rope is faked; used in the life-saving service for a line attached to a shot.
Shot Line & Faking Box: The shot line is tied to the projectile and is the first line to reach the
shipwreck. This is the thinnest line used in the drill and is stored in a special pattern the faking box.
This special pattern allows it to pay-out freely as the gun is fired. After the drill, the shot line is
returned to the box by carefully laying it in the faking pattern ensuring that it is ready for the next use.
We parked by and walked around the area of Sandy Hook Lighthouse, which was
constructed in 1764, and is the nation’s oldest continuously operated lighthouse. We drove among
the various fortifications at Fort Hancock. We looked at the Mortar Battery with its 30 second firing
cycle, and which consisted of an extensive tunnel system meant for the storage of guns and
ammunition; the Battery Granger, 1897, with disappearing gun carriages; Battery Potter, 1890-92, big
guns on disappearing gun carriages, but which became obsolete almost as soon as it was finished. It
was after 4 o’clock when we left Fort Hancock and turned south for the next leg of our trip!
From Highlands Beach to Seaside Heights the whole area is very built up and around
Deal huge mansions both sides of the road, also private beach clubs. There were casinos and one
got the feeling of money, money, money everywhere! The area between Long Branch and Asbury
was magnificent with many large wealthy homes. You could tell that Asbury Park had been a lovely
place in its heyday, but its hotels and casinos now looked very rundown. Ocean Grove, an area
south of Westley Lake was very nice. There were Victorian houses all along the way. We wondered,
"Would the whole U.S. coast be like this?"
We left the ocean for a while, taking NJ-71 to NJ-35, which brought us onto a narrow
strip of land separating the Atlantic Ocean from Barnegat Bay, which also serves as the Intracoastal
Waterway. Large beach "shacks" lined both sides of the road. Just south of Mantoloking, the road
divides and off to the right there were canals with houses on both sides. In some open water there
was a house on its own island. Around Seacrest Beach Center to the left were poor persons' "huts"!!
The scene changed in Lavallette where small beach cottages were packed in like sardines.
At Seaside we left NJ-35 and the coast for NJ-37 which we planned on taking to US-9
south. We crossed a big bridge over Barnegat Bay, noticing many houses along numerous canals,
and finished up on the Garden State Parkway (toll - $0.35)!! Since time was getting on we decided to
stay on the Parkway (another $0.35 toll) until after we passed Atlantic City! We had quite a change of
scenery, a groundhog at the side of the road, driving through woods, a food and fuel service center in
the middle serving both north and south traffic (a good idea rather than separate ones on each side!),
tree tips red with buds bursting into leaf, three deer at the side of the road, forest changed to mostly
||We exited Garden State Parkway at Exit-30 ($0.35 toll), taking NJ-52 to Somers Point
and Ocean City. We crossed flat islands and lots of bridges over Great Egg Harbor, and again, the
Intracoastal Waterway. As we drove back to the coast we could see the buildings of Atlantic City to
the north. At Ocean City, we strolled along the boardwalk and had a snack (two large salty pretzels
and coffee for $2.41) at a restaurant which was decorated with large pictures of bygone days. After
Ocean City we drove past miles and miles of lovely homes, which we assumed were summer homes
as there were no cars to be seen! We also noticed a Food Mart chain by the name of Wawa and
depicting a Canada goose!!|
||14.5 km. (9 miles) south of Ocean City we crossed Corson’s Inlet, a toll bridge, the first
of four in the next 38 km. (23.6 miles). Here, at Corson’s Inlet, there were real beach cottages as the
road meandered through sand dunes to Sea Isle City and Townsends Inlet, a very interesting piece of
coastline. We crossed another toll bridge over Townsends Inlet and into Avalon. The whole area
was made up of inlets and marshlands with signs along the way for “Coastal Evacuation Routes.” At
Stone Harbor we crossed a bridge over the tidal marshlands of Grassy Sound, then another toll
bridge over Hereford Inlet. We drove past the Hereford Inn Lighthouse in North Wildwood and into
Wildwood, with a large business area which appeared to be totally seasonal!!! We noticed fishing
trawlers and evidence of the fish industry. Marshlands Bridge was the fourth toll bridge (and last one
off islands) in 38.5 km. Fishing trawlers abounded and lots of industry, such as the Borden Clam
Products. It was a $0.50 toll for each of the bridges.|
||It had turned dark by the time we reached the Cape May ferry terminal (8:15) and
learned that the first ferry out was 7:30 the next morning. We drove into Cape May, crossing the
Cape May Channel (and Intracoastal Waterway), and although it was dark, we could see that it was a
beautiful place. We drove around looking at all the beautiful Victorian houses. What a lovely spot!
One thing which caught our notice was the stop signs as far as the eye could see! The more
luxurious hotels/motels had no vacancies, but we managed to find a motel a little north of town and
not too far off the route to the ferry. After checking into the Lido Motel ($42.80) we phoned LP,
unpacked the car, got an alarm clock to wake us next morning, then left for supper. We went to The
Lobster House where we sat by a window overlooking the water and a fishing trawler. The
atmosphere was wonderful and we both had lobster - a delicious meal. It was 10:50 when we
returned to the motel.|
||Distance for the day
Day 5 - Wednesday April 22 - Cape May, NJ to Morehead City, NC
Wanting to be on the first ferry and not knowing what kind of line-up there was likely to
be we left the Lido Motel, Cape May at 6:30 and were at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal ten
minutes later. We paid the fare. $22.50, and were fifth in line! The ferry left at 7:30 and arrived in
Lewes, Delaware an hour and 20 minutes later. Lewes is Delaware’s oldest settlement, dating back
||As we drove off the ferry we noticed how green everything was; there was lots of
blossom out and the trees had more leaves than we had seen previously. From Lewes we took US-9
to DE-1 (US-1 was further inland and goes through Baltimore and Washington, DC), to Dewey Beach.
We drove south on DE-1 along the coast through Delaware Seashore State Park, a narrow isthmus
separating Rehoboth Bay from the Atlantic Ocean. There were a lot of sand dunes on the ocean side
of the road just before we crossed a bridge over Indian River Inlet. Driving through Bethany Dunes
we noticed that the houses, of many different styles and designs, were quite large and were built on
wooden stilts. To the right of the road were many canals so all the property owners had waterfront
lots. The density of house all along the coast is quite incredible! After Bethany Beach and South
Bethany the road went through Fenwick Island State Park, another narrow strip of land between the
ocean and Assawoman Bay.|
||It was 9:15 when we crossed the State Line into our third state for the day, with a sign,
“Maryland Welcomes You”. Here the Coastal Highway, DR-1 became MD-528. Entering Ocean City
with its large hotels and motels and a lot of commercial establishments, we were reminded of Surfers
Paradise in Queensland, Australia! The morning became quite foggy! There is no bridge from Ocean
City across to Assateague Island National Seashore, so we had to take US-50 west for a short
distance. As we turned onto US-50 here in Ocean City, MD, there was an interesting sign above the
road for travelers: SACRAMENTO CA 3073 MILES. Both Stu and I said how great it would be to
travel that highway all the way from Ocean City to Sacramento! We couldn't help noticing how very
green Maryland was with lots of dogwoods flowering in the woods, and how the trees were becoming
||We only went as far as US-113 on US-50 before turning south again. US-113 ended at
the junction with US-13. We entered Virginia, fourth state for the day, at 10:40, but we did a U-turn
and returned to the Maryland Welcome Center for breakfast in Maryland! Crossing the Virginia
border for the second time, we were driving through very rich looking farmlands and, as the sun tried
to shine through the clouds, we noticed that the lilacs were in bloom. In Accomac Perdue Foods Inc.
had a very large processing plant. Masses of big azalea bushes were in flower. It was certainly a
very beautiful time of year to be traveling through this area. Passing by Accomack Vineyards, the
only winery on Virginia's Eastern Shore, we saw an interesting sign for things for sale: "Unique and
Antique - junk and good stuff.”|
||We stopped for gas ($1.109/gal.) in 11.732 gals. (44.41 lts.) $13.01 Nassawadox, and
whilst there a big Perdue tanker truck, marked "Vegetable Oil" drove by. Flowering shrubs and
blossom were everywhere and wisteria creeper was all in flower, all of which made me realize how
much I miss having these things around. Near the turn off for Cape Charles was a long circular drive
edged by an azalea hedge. Also we were beginning to see camellias in flower. It was 12:25, just
after Kiptopeke, when we paid the toll of $10.00 to use the bridges and tunnels across the entrance to
Chesapeake Bay, a distance of 17.6 miles|
From Shore To Shore
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel measures 17.6 miles and is
considered the world’s largest bridge-tunnel complex. Construction
required undertaking a project of more than 12 miles of trestle roadway, two
miles-long tunnels, two bridges, almost two miles of causeway, four man-made islands and 5½
miles of approach roads, total 23 miles.
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padding-right: 0.2in; border-left: 0.04in double; border-right: 0.04in double;
border-top: 0.04in double; border-bottom: 0.0266667in solid" align="left" valign="top">
Acclaimed One Of The Seven Wonders Of The Modern World
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel allows you to see the mighty surge of
the Atlantic Ocean , the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay, and the soaring
grace on an engineering marvel. Both a tourist attraction and travel
convenience, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel saves you 95 miles and
1½ hours between Virginia Beach/Norfolk and New York,
CHESAPEAKE BAY BRIDGE-TUNNEL CONSTRUCTION INFORMATION
TOTAL PROJECT COST - $200,000,000 (No Tax Money Used)
BUILDING TIME - THREE YEARS SIX MONTHS
SHORE TO SHORE LENGTH - 17.6 MILES
THIMBLE SHOAL TUNNEL - 5,738 FEET LONG DESCENDS 90 FEET BELOW SEA LEVEL
CHESAPEAKE CHANNEL TUNNEL - 5,423 FEET LONG
ISLANDS - FOUR MAN-MADE ISLANDS 30 FEET ABOVE WATER
SAND FILL - 6,000,000 TONS TO BUILD ISLANDS
GRANITE BUILDERS FOR RIP-RAP - 1,375,000 TONS
OPENING DATE APRIL 15, 1964
NORTH CHANNEL BRIDGE - 311 FEET HORIZONTAL CLEARANCE 76 FEET VERTICAL CLEARANCE
FISHERMAN INLET BRIDGE - 110 FEET HORIZONTAL CLEARANCE 40 FEET VERTICAL CLEARANCE
DEPTH OF WATER ALONG ROUTE - 25 to 75 FEET
CONCRETE - 825,000 TONS
STEEL - 55,000 TONS
PILES - 2,523 CONCRETE PILES, 54 INCHES IN DIAMETER TO SUPPORT TRESTLES
HIGHWAY ROUTE - US 13 NORTH-SOUTH
AWARD - AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CIVIL ENGINEERS
“OUTSTANDING ENGINEERING ACHIEVEMENT OF 1965"
We left the highway and spent half an hour at the Sea Gull Fishing Pier. This is on the
most southerly of the four man-made islands, created for the construction of the two mile-long
tunnels. The two tunnels were built at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay to allow two channels for ocean
going liners entering the bay. Having taken 3½ years to build, the bridge-tunnel complex opened in
April, 1964, saving motorists 95 miles and 1½ hours between Norfolk, Virginia, and New York.
||We arrived at the southern end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge at 1:20. "Terra firma"!!
Trees were in full leaf and some had creepers covered in yellow blooms right to the top. At the
junction of US-13 with I-64, we took the Interstate, skirting east around Norfolk for a few miles.
Leaving the interstate for VA-168, we muddled around looking for a grocery store, crossed the
Chesapeake and Albemarle Canal, also known as the Intracoastal Waterway and stopped in Great
Bridge. We shopped at Farm Fresh supermarket ($10.97) to replenish our supplies. Everywhere
flowering trees, shrubs and creepers were a profusion of color.
Pressing on we entered our 5th state of the day at 2:20 - “Welcome to North Carolina.”
We couldn't help noticing that there were a lot of smaller, poorer looking houses.
Rte-168 ended at US-158, on which we continued south. Just after crossing the North River (Atlantic Intracoastal
Waterway), we observed that someone had been stopped for speeding by a policeman in a T-shirt
and jeans, wearing a baseball cap and driving a pickup truck!!
We stopped at a Rest Area for a lunch break, before continuing on through townships of
Grandy, where the dogwood trees were thick with flowers, Powell’s Point, Harbinger and Point
Harbor. Here the next exciting part of the trip was to start, the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We
crossed the 4.5 km. (2.8 mile) bridge over Currituck Sound to Kitty Hawk at 3:40. Prior to this trip I
was not aware of the string of narrow islands along much of the US east coast.
At a Rest Area and Information Center, we got the schedule for the ferries we would
need to take at the southern end of the Outer Banks. So desirous were we of taking this route, but
hoping to make the 6:00 p.m. ferry from Ocracoke to Cedar Island, we could not dilly-dally at any of
the points of interest along the way such as the Wright Brothers Monument, a National Memorial, at
Kill Devil Hills “Where Flight First Began”, or Jockey’s Ridge State Park at Nags Head.
There were many beach houses on stilts at Kill Devil Hills and people were hang gliding from the high sand dunes
known as Jockey’s Ridge.
“Jockey’s Ridge is the tallest natural sand dune system in the Eastern United States. Located in Nags
Head, it is one of the most significant landmarks on the Outer Banks, North Carolina. Always
changing, always beautiful… the Friends of Jockey's Ridge State Park invite you to visit and explore.”
There was a lot of development in the area of Nags Head (such interesting place
names!), but there was still lots of room to pack more in!! South of Whalebone the road entered the
Cape Hatteras National Seashore - a beautiful place to visit. We saw a lot of water birds (even a
rabbit) and boats with long fishing rods for catching marlins. We crossed bridge, 3.8 km (2.4 miles)
long over Pea Island and Oregon Inlet onto Hatteras Island. We also had to forego stopping at the
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.|
HATTERAS ISLAND / Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest in the nation and famous symbol of North Carolina. The
lighthouse site houses a visitors center that is open throughout the year and houses displays on the
island's maritime history. The beacon from the light can be seen some 20-miles out to sea and has
warned sailors for more than 100 years of the treacherous Diamond Shoals, the shallow sandbars
which extend some 14 miles out into the ocean off Cape Hatteras.
It is said that the engineer who was originally assigned the task of painting North Carolina's
lighthouses, got the plans mixed up and the diamond-shaped figures, suitable for warning traffic away
from Diamond Shoals, went to Cape Lookout and the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse received the spiral
striping, thereby forever gaining the nickname ''The Big Barber Pole.''
It was built with 1,250,000 bricks baked in kilns along the James River in Virginia and brought in
scows into Cape Creek where it was hauled by oxen one mile to the building site in Buxton. Its walls
at the base are 14 feet of solid masonry and narrow to eight feet at the top. Weighing 6,250 tons, the
lighthouse was built with no pilings under it - just a foundation built of heart pine. Towering 196 feet
from the base to the top brick and then topped with an iron superstructure it become the tallest brick
lighthouse on the American coast at 208 feet and at a cost of $155,000.00.
At Mirlo Beach - interesting houses of wood construction, almost like fairytale castles.
We passed through a wonderful strip of wildly natural land. I hope to return here sometime when not
just passing through! At Avon we were back into sand dunes, and after Buxton, where there is a
lighthouse, we drove into some woods, where creepers covered the trees and there were also
dogwoods in flower. We entered Hatteras Village at 5:23 and five minutes later pulled up at the Cape
Point Ferry and were lucky enough to be able to get on! We drove straight onto the ferry for the 5:30
departure. Although we had not stopped anywhere the drive had been both interesting and enjoyable
and well worthwhile. There was lots of development in various areas, but still lots of open space.
||The ferry from Hatteras arrived on Ocracoke Island 37 minutes later, but then we had a
21 km (13.3 mile) drive into Ocracoke, so we knew we would have to wait for the 8:30 ferry to Cedar
Island. Oh, well! As we continued southwest we could see the breakers rolling in from the Atlantic,
and we were also surprised to see big pine trees as we neared Ocracoke.|
||With two hours on our hands in Ocracoke, a real seaside village (a more low-key resort),
we made a booking ($10.00) for the 8:30 ferry, then went for a drive. I noticed a lot of cottages
among the trees and was reminded of the campground at Wilson's Promontory in Victoria, Australia.
We parked the car and went for a walk along the beach with Atlantic breakers rolling in. We picked
up some shells and found a watch. Then we returned to the terminal, parked the car, first in line,
ready for boarding the ferry, and strolled back into the village for a beer and supper (fish and chips -
$10.80) on the patio of the “Jolly Roger, Good Food and Grog” in the light of the setting sun.|
||The ferry was late arriving and hence late leaving. It left at 8:45 and it was 11:00 when
we disembarked at Cedar Island. There was no sign of any motels here, nor along 65 km (40.4
miles) of winding road, until we reached Morehead City an hour later, where we found
accommodations at a Comfort Inn ($47.09). It had been a very long day, but also very exciting!|
||Distance for the day
Day 6 - Thursday April 23 - Morehead City, NC to St. Augustine, FL
We woke to another foggy morning!! Or so I thought! At least that was what I thought it
was when I first peered through the window. Stu carried our bags out to the car and returned with a
big smile on his face. It was a gorgeous day and what I had thought was fog was in fact a solid
concrete block wall which had been painted gray!! We had set the alarm for 6:45, had the continental
breakfast at the motel before leaving and were on the road by 7:30.
We left Morehead on US-70, but a few minutes later turned onto NC-24 for Jacksonville.
There were lots of tall trees, pines and magnolias, dogwoods in bloom and flowering azaleas, 4 feet to 5 feet
high, clustered together. At White Oak River two bridges crossed a large bay and inlet. There were
lots of red poppies along the roadside. We tried to stay as close as possible to the coast, so turned
onto NC-172 thus by-passing Jacksonville. Wilmington was 60 miles. It was a much quieter road,
passing through a forest. We passed a sentry when this route entered Camp Lejeune Marine Base,
and noted that there were lots of tank crossings, also tactical vehicles - speed: 10 mph slower. We
crossed a drawbridge over New River Inlet - a new bridge was under construction.
NC-172 ended in Thomas Landing where we turned onto US-17. Hampstead was a
beautiful town, its streets were lined with large overhanging trees and moss dangling from the
branches. There were large amounts of moss on some trees, though not on all; daisies were in
flower along the roadside. We were amazed by the tall trees, pines, magnolias, and dogwoods, and
the 5 foot high azaleas. Just south of Hampstead we saw an Historical Marker about a peanut
plantation, but did not stop.|
||Shortly after this and just before entering Wilmington we passed the eastern terminus of
I-40, the interstate that runs between here and Barstow, California. We entered Wilmington at 9:15
and it was a lovely drive as we continued on US-17 into the city, the road lined with trees which
created an arch over the road - very lush. As we crossed the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge over Cape
Fear River, we could see the top of the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial, considered the
world's greatest sea weapon when commissioned in 1941.|
||After this US-17 became a double highway with lots of new young pines and daisies
along the road. There were still a lot of flowers around but the land was not as lush looking. Wisteria
growing wild along the side of the road. Going through Bolivia there were more trees.|
||At 10:20 we crossed into South Carolina, and stopped for gas ($1.099/gal) in Little
River. We again crossed the Intracoastal Waterway to return to the coast at North Myrtle Beach,
where we saw our first palm trees. It was so commercial, but a beautiful spot when there were no
billboards! Then we drove south on Ocean Boulevard for 10 km (6.2 miles). There was a lovely
looking hotel and some rather nice private homes, more luxurious than some of the others we had
seen. There were brick houses as well as the wooden ones which seemed typical along the coast.
The road was actually along the beach front for some of the way and we looked out on a calm sea. In
other parts older motels were on the right and would have had beach views until new high-rise hotels
sprang up opposite.|
||We left the ocean to return to US-17 and were back amongst beautiful trees. We could
have stayed on the Business Loop as the two roads converged. Litchfield had a lovely median strip
with shrubs and palms, and Pawleys Island was most attractive with nice homes and shops among
trees. As we approached a bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway we were looking ahead to a very
industrial Georgetown, a seaport city established in 1732, and which is South Carolina’s oldest city.
A second bridge took us over the Pee Dee and Black Rivers. Trees overhung the road as we drove
through Georgetown. We passed the Georgetown Steel Plant.|
||US-17 joined US-701 just prior to crossing the bridge over the Sampit River. The stretch
of road ahead of us and all the way into Charleston is marked on the AAA map as a scenic route. We
stopped at a Food Lion Supermarket to replenish supplies ($6.04). It was a really warm day and it felt
just wonderful. We saw some interesting pine trees (had actually noticed them earlier) with very long
needles. We passed a forest fire tower, and noticed a sign at the entrance to a plantation, circa 1740.|
||In the Santee River/Santee Delta area the road was built higher than surrounding
marshlands. Further along there was a carpet of red flowers, maybe clover, along the side of the
road, and Stu commented, “Very interesting land around here, but very little foliage!” We suddenly
became aware of all the dead trees, all fallen over in the same direction from halfway up their trunks.
Momentarily we wondered what had happened.!|
||The sign for “Evacuation Route” made us think about what people in this area live with!
There were more red flowers carpeting the land, and more trees all snapped off in the same direction,
and suddenly we realized that the whole area had probably been devastated by a Hurricane Hugo in
1989. For about sixteen kilometers (9.9 miles) before Charleston there were many basket weavers
along the side of the road, weaving and selling their wares. Just after 1 o’clock we made a detour to
see a 1671 Plantation, but it was closed due to filming of “Queen”. The drive into the plantation was
beautiful. Signs of "disaster" were still apparent as we returned to the highway and approached
||Passing the interchange for I-526, the ring route around Charleston, we continued on
US-17 and were soon approaching the twin memorial bridges, the Grace Memorial going south and
the Silas N Pearman Bridge for northbound traffic, over the Cooper River. Minutes later we crossed
the Ashley River Memorial Bridge over the Ashley River. It was very tempting to stop and explore this
famous city, but we made the decision not to stop, because Florida was our destination and we still
had a long way to go!|
||By 1:30 we were out of the city, and the trees were still showing signs of devastation.
Finally we read a sign:- Hurricane Hugo in 1989, $5-7 million damage. From Charleston we gradually
worked our way over to I-95. We crossed a couple of creeks with extensive marshlands, stopped at a
Rest Area and I took over driving for a while; marshlands continued. We crossed the Combahee
River, then at the junction with US-21 we turned south. We saw a lot of white herons as we crossed
the Whale Branch River onto Port Royal Island.|
||Next we turned onto SC-280 very briefly, then SC-170. There were treed hillocks in the
marshlands, ferns along the road and palms among the trees. The road took us off Port Royal Island
over Broad River with Port Royal Sound and Hilton Head at its mouth. At the junction with US-278 we
turned to the right towards the interstate. US-278 to the left goes to Hilton Head Island. We took a 12
minute break (Coke - $0.48) and Stu resumed driving. He commented, “Not much variation in this
whole countryside!” At 3:30 we joined I-95 and eight minutes later we came to the Savannah River.|
||Crossing this river we also crossed the Georgia State Line. Moss was hanging on the
trees, and we saw a turtle was on the road. We crossed another broad river, the Ogeechee River,
another broad river. The Interstate is the only road, close to the Atlantic, through Georgia, crossing
vast areas of swamp and many rivers just before their deltas or as they empty into numerous sounds
- Elbow Swamp, Jericho River, North Newport River, and South Newport River. The coast line is
dotted with many islands. It was a good section of road on which to make some time! Stu remarked
about the change in signs when approaching bridges; they now read, "Bridge may ice" whereas
previously they said, "Bridge freezes first". We also noticed what looked like baby armadillos (dead -
roadkill) on the side of the road.|
||In the distance of 6 miles we crossed Cathead River, Darien River, Butler River,
Champing River and Altamaha River, all emptying into Altamaha Sound. Oleanders were in flower
down the median. We continued to cross numerous waterways - Gibson Creek and Turtle River,
South Brunswick River, Little Satilla River, White Oak Creek (a pretty big creek!!), Satilla River and
Crooked River. Crossing St. Mary's River, with an osprey hovering above, we entered Florida at 5:20.
We were in Georgia for 1 hour 40 minutes and covered 180 km. (111.8 miles). The landscape was
pine forests and swamps alternating.|
||Withing ten minutes into Florida we left I-95 for I-295, a ring route around Jacksonville.
In the distance we could see what looked to be great white sails, but drawing closer we discovered it
was the cable-stayed Dames Point Bridge over the Saint John River - the longest new cable stay
bridge in the U.S. The roadway is concrete, 3 feet thick, and the aviation beacon is 472 feet above
The Dames Point Bridge
The Dames Point Bridge, also known as the Napoleon Bonaparte Broward Bridge, is part of the
future I-295 ring route Interstate highway that will eventually circle Jacksonville. This bridge is one of
the larger cable stay bridges in the US, and it features a harp-style cable arrangement for strength.
The harp style has two sets of cables in parallel. These cables total a length of over 21 miles.
We left the Expressway at Monument Road, turned east on Atlantic Boulevard (FL-10)
and crossed bridges over San Pablo and Tolomato Rivers, which also serve as the US Army built
Intracoastal Waterway. At Atlantic Beach we turned south on FL-A1A, a scenic route following the
coastline. The palm trees made the landscape appear more like what I imagined Florida would be!
like what you imagined Florida would be! We stopped at a Publix Supermarket to buy some groceries
($8.64). After that it appeared as if we were driving through a jungle! The road went through Guana
River State Park. We thought it would be lovely to rent a place on the beachfront at South Ponte
||At Vilano Beach the road turned west over thr Tolomato River and into St. Augustine, a
lovely city with gorgeous houses under trees and an old fort, the Castillo de San Marcos National
Monument. We would have loved to do some exploring here. We turned east over the Bridge of
Lions, decorated with Columbus banners, leading onto Anastasia Boulevard. This bridge crossed the
Matanzas River (Intracoastal Waterway).|
||It was time to call it a day and we stopped at the Seaway Motel in St. Augustine Beach
to enquire about accommodation ($34.88). The manager's first question was what part of Canada we
were from!! He had noticed that we had driven in with our headlights on - only Canadians drive with
their lights on!! After unloading the car we went to a nearby restaurant where we enjoyed an open-air
counter meal, sitting on high stools looking out to the beach. It had been a long, but most interesting
day, so by 9 o’clock when we returned to the motel, we were ready to sleep.|
||Distance for the day
Day 7 - Friday April 24 - St. Augustine to Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, FL
We left Seaway Motel in St. Augustine Beach by 7:10 on a beautiful day. We had set
the alarm but it did not go off, so we missed seeing the sunrise over the ocean! We crossed a bridge
onto another island or spit of land between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway. It was
very lush. and with lots of palms, very pleasant and much nicer than taking the Interstate. The road
went through Washington Oaks Gardens State Park and the trees were now quite high and very
dense. We rued the fact that we did not stop at the lovely open-air fruit and vegetable market in
Flagler Beach, where we saw our first Eastern Brown Pelicans as they flew overhead. We left the
coast here to see some sugar mill ruins at Bulow Sugar Plantation.
The Bulow Plantation Ruins turned out to be a State Park and we were there before
opening time! We drove down the long driveway, live oaks on each side, before discovering that the
park was closed. We decided not to wait, but were so impressed with the drive into the plantation we
planned to return when we were on our way north again. As we were leaving a deer ran across the
road in front of us. From here we drove south on CR-4011, Old Dixie Hwy, under a canopy of trees,
crossed marshlands, then back into a canopy of trees, moss hanging from them, palms and vines
before entering a beautiful residential area.
||We turned left at Granada Boulevard and onto a high bridge over the Intracoastal
Waterway to return to Rte. A1A, the coastal highway, a few miles north of Daytona Beach, a very
built-up area. We would be crossing the Intracoastal Waterway many times before reaching
Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. We stopped for gas ($1.079/gal), and ten minutes later A1A turned away
from the beach; at this point County Road 4075 continues on to Ponce Inlet, but is a dead end. A1A
crossed the Port Orange Bridge, and turned south again at the junction with US-1.|
Oak Hill, about 80 km. (49.7 miles) south of Daytona Beach, we turned off onto the
Kennedy Parkway, which took us onto Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, a wonderful sanctuary
There were orange groves in the area and we saw
raccoons, lots of eagles and even an eagle’s nest. The Kennedy Parkway continues south to the
John F. Kennedy Space Center and is closed to the public. There was a disused guard gate and a
sign about entry into the area, but we decided to follow the map and go ahead anyway! The next
sign read "Hazardous Road -Travel at own risk" - we didn't want to turn back at this point, so pushed
on. The road was in very poor condition for a short distance with many potholes - obviously not kept
in good repair and probably few people travel this route! However, we took it slowly, and on reaching
CR-402, the road was much better.
We crossed a long bridge into Titusville where we rejoined US-1 and again turned
south. We drove out FL-405, the Nasa Causeway West and the Nasa Parkway to the JFK Space
Center. We made a brief stop near the Visitor Information Center for the John F. Kennedy Space
Center, but, unfortunately, we felt that we did not have the time to visit the museum. We were able to
view some of the rockets in an outdoor area. From near the Space Center we turned south on the
Kennedy Parkway, actually the continuation of the road we had first turned onto soon after Oak Hill.
Left the John F. Kennedy Space Center Area: drove through orange and grapefruit groves - still
seeing squished armadillos!
Through the swampy areas in Georgia we saw a
number of dead armadillos by the roadside.
All the way down the coast we saw many birds of prey.
At Bulow, a deer ran across the road in front of us.
An eagle’s nest with birds in residence.
We had already seen a turtle on the road, large white
herons, and near Flagler the first Eastern Brown Pelicans.
At the junction with FL-528 we turned east, crossed the second section of the Bennett
Causeway over the Banana River (the first section crosses the Intracoastal Waterway) and went into
Cape Canaveral. Here we went to Jetty Park ($1.00 entry to park; 80¢ for coffee) on the south side of
the entrance to Port Canaveral where a cruise ship was tied up. The area to the north of the entrance
was part of the restricted area of the Space Center. We had a meal stop here and I enjoyed seeing
close up a number of pelicans. I thought the Eastern Brown Pelicans seemed to be slightly smaller
than the ones I was used to in Australia.
We were 224 km. (139.2 miles) from Augustine Beach at 11:25 and we were on our way
again, continuing south on A1A. What a wonderfully interesting drive! We passed the Patrick Air
Force Base, which is also a Missile Test Base, in Indialantic we again we had to turn away from the
coast because the road is not continuous along the narrow islands. We turned ontoUS-192 and the
start of the double bridge into Melbourne and the junction with US-1. The pelicans flying overhead
were close enough to see the movement on their wing tips. It was a lovely strip along the inner
waterway with wonderful views both before and after Barefoot Bay - islands, palms. We passed an
Ocean Spray plant and cranberries came to mind, although this plant probably produces other juices!
At Vero Beach there were Citrus Packers, and, two minutes later, another citrus plant, then we found
ourselves driving through sand dunes.
At Fort Pierce, where FL-A1A again left US-1, crossing Indian River and the Intracoastal
Waterway, and a few minutes after turning south we stopped at a beach where oleanders were in
flower - the tide was in. At this point it was only a narrow strip of land between the beach and the
inland waterway. There seemed to be a lot more natural areas in Florida than we had seen along
other parts of the coast, for instance, when we were driving along the New jersey coast we would not
have been surprised if the entire coastline had been built up!
We thoroughly enjoyed our drive to Lauderdale-By-The-Sea with so much to see along
the way - St. Lucie nuclear power station; Hutchinson Island, a very beautiful area with lovely
buildings and glorious gardens along the foreshore, and attractive fence interspersed with oleanders
and other plants; causeway west over the St. Lucie River; south on US-1 at Palm City; saw the first
Jacaranda tree in flower; high sand dunes, with lots of vegetation around Hobe Sound; a cluster of
large Norfolk pines.|
Before reaching Juno, there were some very beautiful resort areas with a lot of Spanish
architecture and tiled roofs. There were cruise ships in the Port of Palm Beach, a poorer looking
area! Then turning onto A1A again I thought that Palm Beach looked like Hawaii with an avenue of
palms, coconut palms and a hotel like the Royal Hawaiian!
There were expensive villas and gorgeous mansions overlooking the sea, magnificent gardens and big
pleasure boats - a ritzy, ritzy area! After a bit the road turned away from the sea and houses, some
with hedges, some with walls, lined both sides of the road; there was lots of flowering bougainvillaea
and hibiscus; large trees looked like Australian sheoaks!
We continued to enjoy the drive as we passed a golf course and magnificent gardens;
big boats moored all along the Waterway. Then the road returned to the ocean side, with house to
our right - beach shacks with tiled roofs! At Boynton Inlet we crossed a single-lane bridge whilst work
being done on bridge; arch of trees, maybe tamarisk; a post and rail fence and red and purple
bougainvillaea; Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach was a little less luxurious (but not much) - just along
the public beach; canals with lots of boats and houses as well as high-rise buildings and after Linton
Avenue a thick "jungle" where there were no buildings; another golf course and a drawbridge over
What a beautiful drive on a glorious warm day! We left A1A and finally we arrived at
Franks’s Uncle Herb’s place at 4:30. We sat, talked and enjoyed a beer for about an hour before
being taken over to Frank’s Florida house, which was to be our headquarters for the next few days.
After unpacking the car, we went out to find a book store (Walden Books in a local shopping center),
then went to “The Olive Garden” for dinner ($28.00). We were back the house by 9:15 and ready for
a good night’s sleep!
||Distance for the day
Day 8 - Saturday April 25 - Lauderdale-By-The-Sea
We really enjoyed a lazy morning after all the days of traveling we had done! We had
seen so much and we had taken in such a variety of coastal landscapes. Early in the afternoon we
went to the Thunderbird Flea Market, where we spent a couple of hours wandering through all the
tents. It cost us $1.50 to enter the huge parking grounds of the Market, the likes of which I had never
seen before. We bought a belt ($9.00), a bracelet of Australian coins ($14.00) and sunglasses
($5.00). Before returning home we went to the Publix Supermarket where we bought grocery
supplies for the next few days.
Later in the day I drove to the Fisherman’s Pier, going via Commercial Street. The
drawbridge went up just ahead of me and came down three minutes later. I found a place to park and
went for a walk along the beach.
Having rested up for a day we decided we should do our two long day trips over the next
two days, so we could have another rest day before heading north for the long trek home. We both
wanted to see the Everglades and to go to Key West.
||Distance for the day
||Distance whilst in Ft Lauderdale and environs
Day 9 - Sunday April 26 - Everglades
No alarm to get us up this morning! Left when we were ready - 9:30, and the first thing I
noticed were the frangipane trees in flower. We took Commercial Street to Fisherman’s Pier, then
headed south on our favorite route, FL-A1A, where mature trees were growing along the median strip,
and soon after entering Fort Lauderdale the road followed right along the beach front. We crossed
the Intracoastal Waterway where huge luxury yachts lined the banks, and turned back to the beach at
Dania, noticing that the Jai Alai Palace on Dania Beach Boulevard was closed for the season!
Traveling south again we could see mangrove swamps on the west side of the Waterway.
En route we drove through Hollywood, where Stu stayed last year when he and his
friends from university had driven down to Florida, Bal Harbor, and on into Historic Miami Beach.
Some parts were quite garish and in other parts there were old boarded up buildings. Miami Beach is
located on a barrier island between Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic, and at the bottom tip of this island
we took a causeway west across Biscayne Bay where we noticed the mansions along the Waterway.
In Port of Miami we again saw beautiful cruise ships awaiting departure, whilst in the middle of the
road there was a beggar in a wheelchair!! The Metrorail train and station were elevated in Downtown
Miami. FL-A1A ends in Miami at US-1, which continues along the Florida Keys all the way to Key
West. After stopping for gas ($1.059/gal), we remarked about two interesting billboards we noticed
along US-1, “Bud Light-Brew Haul” and “If you’re under 21 it’s not
Miller time yet”.
It was noon when we reached Florida City and turned off US-1 on FL-9336. It was
extremely flat around Florida City with hundreds of acres of market gardens with squash and fields of
tomatoes. We also saw banana palms with green bananas on them. Fifteen minutes later we were
driving into Everglades National Park (entry fee $5.00) and spent almost an hour at the Visitor
Information Center. First we watched a film about The Everglades, then had our lunch at a nearby
picnic table where a chorus of ravens, perched on the adjacent picnic table, entertained us!
Heading into the park we detoured to see most of the points of interest along the way.
( ¾ hour) - The trees around the parking lot were covered with air plants, which are not a
parasite, large and small and many in flower. The whole area is beautifully set up to allow visitors to
view the wildlife without disturbing them. We saw great white herons, alligators, one hiding in the
sawgrass, turtles and anhinga or water turkey.
- an elevated boardwalk which allows good viewing of wildlife (turtle, alligator).
- a 15 minute walk through the slash pine forest and scrub palmetto palms.
Rocky Reef Pass
, elevation 3 feet - this is where a 3 foot high harder limestone ridge rises out of the
otherwise flat landscape (porous limestone underlies the entire park).
- the dwarf size trees, which lose their leaves in winter, are the same age as their
larger counterparts and may be 100 years old.
(10 minutes) Overlook Trail leads to an observation tower from which visitors get a
good view of part of the vast "river of grass". The tree islands, or hardwood hammocks, no more than
about 2 feet high, make a big difference in the vegetation from the various grasses - muhly,
Everglades beardgrass, and arrowhead to name a few (sawgrass also grows here, but is a sedge, not
a true grass).