December 15-18, 2003 - Lake Okeechobee and Miami, FL

We were finished with our coupon stay in Bradenton, FL and so were about 70 other campers who also used the coupons, it was about the busiest we had seen a campground with people leaving.  We drove 142 miles to Okeechobee Landings RV Park in Clewiston, FL, on the south side of Lake Okeechobee.  Our route took us through the center of Florida, a new experience for us.  We must have seemed like a good catch since they gave us a prime campsite on the lake:

This car for sale was decorated in an interesting way, but I don't think it will help sell it.

They said there were gators in the lake so we kept Evita away from the water, but never saw a gator.

One day we circled Lake Okeechobee, here are some pictures from our journey:

A couple butterflies:

Here is a little blue heron coming in for a landing and then on the ground:

This is how it looked for many miles:

The city of Okeechobee didn't impress us much.  We found the area around Clewiston had many poor people and later learned that the local sugar industry has special tax and legal breaks to "stay competitive", including operating something like the company store.  I guess it does help to be on the East Coast, since the Hawaiian sugar industry does not have as good a deal, they must be too far away to provide the proper bribes, also called lobbying money.

On December 18th we drove 99 miles to Miami KOA, now called Miami-Everglades Campground for one night.  Here is our campsite:

It does look like the Everglades at the edge of the campground, which is in the south part of Miami. 

We drove into Miami and bought snorkeling fins for use in the Keys, which is where we are going tomorrow.  Miami is the first Florida city we have visited in the motorhome that we had been to before.   We had toured Miami after a Caribbean cruise in November 1997.  We were in Fort Lauderdale in April before our Panama Canal Cruise, but had not ventured into Miami during that stay.

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