Sunday, January 13, 2013

Shark Valley

After getting our first taste of South Florida's natural beauty at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, we headed east across the northern part of the Everglades on the Tamiami Trail.  Our ultimate destination was Homestead, which would be our base of operations for the first two nights of our vacation.  But rather than drive straight through we took the opportunity to stop at the Shark Valley Visitor Center along the way.

We knew we'd be pretty fatigued from our overnight flight.  So rather than hike or bike the trails we took advantage of the tram service for the 15-mile loop ride to a very unique spiral ramp and observation tower.

The view from the observation tower had two things you don't see much here in Colorado -- the curvature of the horizon and an alligator.  One's pretty obvious; can you spot the other?

American alligator
The alligator should be a little easier to pick out in this shot.  Look closely ...

The tram driver had a schedule to keep so she didn't actually stop when we came upon interesting wildlife, but instead just slowed down for people to take pictures.  Coupled with the vibrations from the engine getting a really crisp photo was almost impossible.  The best I could manage was this female Anhinga.  Still, the tram ride overall was interesting and informative.

Less than 10 hours in the state, and we'd already been to two amazing places!

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