Okay, I will try one more time. I have not been able to download my photos all day. Something with the LJ program.
This is Janes Scenic Drive in Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park. Twelve miles of dirt road that goes through the most interesting wilderness in Florida. This is the orchid and bromeliad capital of the United States.
The park staff has had problems for years maintaining the road, and finally came up with a good solution. So I can finally drive on it without having my truck disappear in a hole. The road is looking good now.
But it has been so dry. One of the views of the ditch and you can see there is no standing water in the swamp. We really need some rain.
Most of the swamp walks start from an area we call K2, about midway down the road in the strand swamp. The walk there is half the fun, and if there was water here, you will get your feet wet, no if's about it. Here the trail quickly turns into a small boardwalk. I think the boards are more there to keep your feet from sinking in the mud when it is wet than any other reason.
I have slipped off and gone in the water from this small bridge once or twice. You can see that right now it is totally dry.
At first the boardwalk is okay, but that is only to fool you.
The further you go, the boardwalk gets smaller and more pointless.
Soon the path turns into a patch of ferns almost as tall as I am. I turn around at this point.
This is my kind of fun.
Further along Janes, there's some good scenery. This area was recently burned and already coming back very well.
Janes Scenic Drive used to end at Prairie Canal. About two years ago the canal was filled in as part of the Everglades Restoration plan. It is not a series of fishing ponds. We found out as soon as the canal was filled in, that it raised the water table underground. So there was a positive impact immediately.
Here is the beginning of Picayune Strand State Forest.
You can continue down Stewart to Everglades Blvd, in Picayune. But don't do it. As bumpy as Janes was, Picayune is a nightmare and not maintained at all. It is not as scenic and looks like a palmetto and cabbage palm wasteland. Compared to Fakahatchee with just five full-time staff, Picayune does not look as good. Turn around and return by Janes Scenic Drive.
I am really jealous about Fakahatchee. I don't want other people to find out about it and ruin it. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and I don't want other people crowding it out and ruining the experience. I don't want people to know about this place.
Whenever I drive down Janes Scenic Drive, it is always peaceful and serene for me. I love it.