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The unique Everglades National Park: You’ve gotta see it with your own eyes!

On April 17th we started our ride from our usual gathering spot. We filled our fuel tanks and started off.

We were thinking about visiting one of the most famous US national parks: the Everglades.

First we headed towards Biscayne Bay. It was originally discovered by the Spanish navigator Juan Ponce de Leon in 1513. Prices for real estate started to grow significantly after 1926 and the region experienced a significant economic growth, which resulted in population growth. The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science was founded in the Biscayne Bay area in 1947, and Florida International University's Biscayne Bay Campus in 1977.

We spent some time enjoying the turquoise waters of Biscayne Bay and headed towards the Everglades National Park.

The Everglades is truly one of the most beautiful and unique places of the USA. It was designated the status of National Park on May 30, 1934, but only started functioning as a park on December 6, 1947. In October 1976, UNESCO declared the Everglades territory an International Biosphere Reserve. In November 1978, most of the park was declared a wilderness area. On October 24, 1979 It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and on June 4, 1987 as a Wetland of International Importance.

The flora of the park is incredibly diverse. The first thing that struck our eye was the absence of palm trees. We felt like all of a sudden we had been translated to the Russian midlands, surrounded by broad-leaved trees and bushes. In total, there are over 2000 diverse kinds of plants found in the Everglades. For example, in the mangroves you can find red mangle trees with their huge bow-shaped roots.

There is a vast network of motorways and pedestrian paths in the park, which allows visitors to watch local birds and animals from a close distance. There are 36 kinds of endangered and threatened animals and many exotic bird species such as great blue herons, terns, etc.

The southern part of the park is inhabited by otters, a rare species of panther, and of course, the dangerous alligators and crocodiles. If you are careful enough, you can snap a picture of a monster and even touch its tail. The Everglades population of gators numbers at over 2 million specimens!

We were stunned by the splendor of what we saw, heard, smelled, touched and otherwise experienced in the Everglades. We had a great time there.

From the National Park we rode along the State Highway 9336 towards Fort Lauderdale, a tourist city on the East coast of South Florida. The city is named after a series of forts built by the United States during the Second Seminole War. The forts took their name from Major William Lauderdale, the commander of the detachment of soldiers who built the first fort. The development of the city, however, did not begin until 50 years after the forts were abandoned at the end of the conflict.

Fort Lauderdale is a popular tourist destination. Its nickname is the Venice of America.

The city’s waterfront location, fine climate, diverse underwater world and many natural bays make Fort Lauderdale a major yachting center. The developed yachting infrastructure helped the city to become the venue for the world-famous Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. The boat parade is held there annually on December 14 and has been every year since 1971. Every edition is dedicated to a new theme. It is one of the world’s major events in the yachting industry.

We made a tour around the city’s sights, enjoyed the ocean views and then went to a tiny and comfortable Greek restaurant, where we tasted some delicious Mediterranean cuisine and shared our thoughts abouts the ride.

We also talked over our next ride, but let our next destination remain a secret for a while. We’ll share it with you quite soon.

Stay tuned, soon we’ll share a new portion of our riding adventures!