Saturday, December 7, 2019
Yesterday, we actually were able to post our previous blog post while sitting at the Knaus Berry Farm in Homestead, FL. We had a wonderful internet signal there. We learned of Knaus Berry Farm on our last trip to the Keys while Barry and Donna were visiting. The Knaus Berry Farm is a huge working farm growing all sorts of produce and this time of year wonderful strawberries, lettuce, carrots etc. They have U-pick areas as well as a produce market for those who choose to let someone else do the harvesting. As wonderful as all of those items are, probably the biggest draw to the public is the bakery. They ship produce all over the country but the locals come to the bakery. The cinnamon rolls are amazing. We watched them pull ours out of the oven. Can’t beat that for fresh. They also have garlic knots, cheese rolls, key lime pie, fruit pies and wonderful strawberries. However, the longest line is always for the cinnamon rolls. Don’t worry we didn’t eat the whole dozen. We bought enough to share with our camp hosts. We also went to another favorite place of Donna and Barry. Robert is Here, is a big produce stand with all sorts of exotic fruits grown locally or all over the world. Most importantly (to Donna), they also have key lime pie milk shakes. We just had to drink one for Donna. Yep, it was as good as we remembered.
We also spent some time driving through the Big Cyprus National Preserve. Such a peaceful restful place, unless you are really afraid of alligators. One of the largest we saw was in a large drainage ditch across the road from our campground. We definitely stayed in after dark when we could no longer see if we might be stepping on something that would not appreciate the step. While almost all the gators we saw were simply basking in the sun appearing to be asleep, we know they can be vicious. When we visited the Oasis Visitors Center we met another member of the RVillage group from Michigan. He and his wife are work camping at Preserve. Sounds like fun.
Today was our last day to be in travel mode for a while. We had a beautiful sunny drive down through the keys enjoying the gulf and ocean scenery on both sides of the road. Beautiful!! On our arrival we were greeted by our team leaders whom we know well and are looking forward to spending the next week with them. Since arriving and setting up we have already seen several of the endangered Key Deer. The key deer are a subspecies of the white tailed deer like we have in Alabama. It is the smallest of the north American deer and live only in the lower Keys. From talking to our team, they have seen so many deer, they don’t think they are really endangered. Haven’t researched that subject, but I do know that since the are so protected around here the deer are certainly not afraid of humans. The National Key Deer Refuge is about ½ mile from our campground so we are sure we will visit there and gather more information sometime over the next few weeks. We do know that many of the Refuge buildings were destroyed during Hurricane Irma but a new Nature Center has recently opened. We have also been out walking in the Florida sunshine to see what’s in our neighborhood. Looking forward to a really good project.