Making this short video was something I had in my mind since a while. I finally took the time to scroll through all my US photos since 2007, when I started using a (small) digital camera. I’m no filmmaker, and the quality of the video is … I know, you don’t have to tell me. But I had fun making it and I really love the music.
During my many travels by car through the US I made hundreds of photos out of the windshield.
And yes, most pictures were taken while driving … but, either on empty roads or in some traffic jams, so no worries, all are save shots, and I’m doing fine 🙂
Part of the love I feel for the country is closely related to the driving along the roads through both, the sometimes breathtaking landscape or the (boring) emptiness. You just have to have some good music accompany the driving and the road movie can begin!
Music: „Dock of the Bay“ (Steve Croppe/Otis Redding) performed by Nils Landgren & Joe Sample from the album „Creole Love Call“
Floridas East Coast between Palm Beach and Cape Canaveral
The east coast, up north to the Kennedy Space Center was our plan for the second week traveling through the southern part of Florida. Because we already had spent a lot of money for hotels/motels in the more touristic areas Miami, Key West and Florida City, the ‚gate‘ to the Everglades NP, I decided to save some money by taking the route through the (kind of boring) inland roads to our destination Cape Canaveral and the beaches on the east coast.
I’ve had worse roads during my many drives through the country over the years, but my brother – who’s never been out of Europe before – was not used to miles and miles of straight boring roads. Though I had warned him, after two hours of driving through flat land, nothing to see, no curves at all, he started to complain 😉 We stayed overnight in Clewiston, a small town at Lake Okeechobee, and drove around the lake the next day, without actually ever seeing the water, cause its hidden behind the 110mi long Herbert Hoover Dike. I’ve read that you actually can hike or bike along that dike surrounding the lake.
We hit the coast at Fort Pierce and took highway A1A to Cocoa Beach, crossing all the islands and peninsulas off the coast. Though there are many private properties along that road, you always find access to the endless beaches and there are also some beautiful State parks and National Wildlife Refuges.
For a crowd-avoiding traveler like me, this part of the east coast was perfect. Compared to the coastline between Miami and Palm Beach, it was quiet, lots of wildlife, beaches you partly had for yourself, many parks to hike, watch birds and other animals, and reasonable hotel prices.
The Kennedy Space Center
Visiting the Kennedy Space Center was on my list in the first place. I thought we would have a short look at the Rockets, the Apollo programm, the space shuttles, takes us maybe 3-4hrs and we are done. Well, in the end we spent more than seven hours there and didn’t have time to go to the gift shop – I’m sorry, no postcards, no shuttle, no shirt or cup 😉
It was fascinating to see all the space stuff, particularly the Saturn V/Apollo rocket, the launch pad we drove by on the bus tour and the Space Shuttle Atlantis. I also dived into the IMAX movie about the Hubble telescope.
And yes, it is very ‚US-American‘, lots of hero-talking and ‚pat on the back‘, but there is also acknowledgement for connecting nations all over the world to join on a common space programm and finally working together in space on the ISS.
This was my second time at the Everglades NP in Florida and I’ve seen so many more animals than on my first trip, which was in early November. Back then I had stayed on the campground and was nearly eaten alive by mosquitos.
Staying in a Motel in Florida City seemed a much better idea, though there are by far not as many mosquitos this time of the year – I got stung anyway.
We drove all the way through the Park to Flamingo and took a boat trip along the shore. We were very lucky and saw dolphins, the fins of a shark, white pelicans, ospreys flying above and in their nest, many different herons and again a pair of manatees. Really amazing.
On our way back to the Park entrance we stopped at any ‚lookout‘ and endet up at Royal Palm. It was already 4pm when we started the Anhinga trail, where all the alligators were lazily lying or swimming around. Vultures, blue herons, anhingas and ducks are everywhere. Seeing an owl, a turtle and a stork was probably kind of luck too.
As the day was just too short to see everything, we came back the next morning for another few hours, before we left the Everglades to drive up north.