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FAMOUS - NOT
Written By: OC Fotoguy
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FAMOUS - NOT
FAMOUS - NOT
FAMOUS - NOT
FAMOUS - NOT
FAMOUS - NOT
FAMOUS - NOT

    My sojourn through south west Florida is getting mixed reviews, but no major problems, so no complaints. I’m back parked under an osprey nest (or really close to it, not right under it like I was several years ago).  The State or someone has put a row of big rocks to prevent getting there or to Estero Bay with a vehicle.  Who knows why, but it’ll keep people who don’t know better from getting stuck or leaving their vehicle there as the tide rises and covers the underside or engine with salt water. I’ve been here two nights and no enquiries from any fuzniks, so I may be here a while. I did see a four-wheeled vehicle with flashing red lights drive around my nest (slide-in camper on a pick up truck) last night, but it didn’t stop
    It’s warm, 80 degrees. I can put my kayak in the Bay from where I’m parked, there’s great walks along the beach across Estero Boulevard in Lover’s Key State Park and along the beach in Ft. Myers toward where I eat and enjoy HH. Plus the Atlantic Coastal Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament is starting on TV, so that’ll give me extra something to do.  Then March Madness begins. I doubt if I’ll be here that long though.
    My stop at Marco Island, my perennial place to collect conch to put in my tacos I make when I out in the desert and other remote places, after three glorious weeks 26 miles deep in America’s Jungle, Big Cypress (www.nps.gov/bibe/), was topped off by Seacret’s Jim Long antics at CJs this evening. On the way I always stop to check out the eagle nest at Fakahatchee Bend State Park (www.floridastateparks.org/fakahatcheestrand/) and at the Goodland Bridge which carries Rt. 92 high above the Marco River at the mouth of Florida’s 10,000 Islands WildLife Refuge. It’s a wide bridge so there’s plenty of room to walk and sightsee. The panoramic view is fantastic to see, but look down ... there’s always something nearly unbelievable. There’re ospreys soaring and nesting on the surrounding pilings, dolphins are common, and many kinds of water birds and ducks. This time I was also treated to a herd of sting rays, then a dolphin! Some are at least 6 feet wide and are always a challenging photo as the fish rapidly come towards the surface, then dive as quickly.
    Jim really does an incredible act there with an audience of about 500 people, who love him and what he does; that he wants to keep a secret! Ask me when you see me and I may tell you about it. I got chased from my regular parking spot, then again from a place close by I thought would work, but neither time was it nasty.  Actually the policeman at the second place was rather friendly! I’m not paying, not the $100 most RV parks want and where I’m at I make no noise, leave no trash, and make no problems, but sometimes I do get chased. The Marco Island Beach at the south end of the island is gorgeous and the best place I’ve found to collect sea shells.  Yes, better than Sanibel Island, which is what all the tourist books say. That may’ve been true several years ago, but the hurricanes over years have washed the section of beach away near the bridge to Captiva, where I used to find so many shells.
    I found a new overnight place near the Sand Bar Restaurant, where the locals go for HH & good eats in the Santini Shipping Center in Ft. Myers Beach. Lots of times the chase = another good spot! A mega mart east of Naples near Rt. US 41 is good “plan B” if I get hassled too much in Marco. There’s another north of Naples on 41 for overnighting, too, when I stop and walk the long Naples Beach and out on the pier. The pier is a license-free fishing spot, too. Someday I’m going to do some fishing; I’m just not sure which day... The library for internet wifi is located in the she she (sp?) part of Naples near the restaurants if you like those kind of places. I’d rather eat at a diner and there’s one, the Country Club, left over from a golf course that was once there, towards the north outskirts on Rt. 41. The fish sandwich is tremendous!
    As I watched Jim Long, a guy walked up to me and said, “you know you have a double.” Thinking of all the nutso stuff I do, I said, that’s doubtful. He said, yeah in Ocean City there’s a guy...”  I laughed, showed him my O.C.FotoGuy card on the back of my hat, he laughed too…  I do get a kick out of being recognized way out there though. It happened again yesterday here in Ft. Myers Beach. It was a friend of friend who receives my forwarded emails.  Maybe someday I’ll be famous... no, probably not.
    When you’re in Marco be sure to stop at Konrad’s near the Wintergreen Shopping Cntr. for Bouillabaisse, NeNe’s Kitchen, 297 N. Collier Blvd. for Seafood Cippono - both are as good seafood gets!!!
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