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Collier County & The Everglades travel blog - a different perspective...

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avatarUdut, Kenneth -- on Jan. 12 2009, from Golden Gate Estates, Naples, FL
Founder of this Naples site of NeighborHelp Referrals.

A New Zealander's Trip to The Everglades

A snippet from a New Zealander's Blog about their current trip to The Everglades...

" Our RV park is on Collier Road in Collier County. The Collier in question is Barron Collier, a major earlyday investor in SW Florida (he eventually owned a million acres). He also was publisher of Collier's magazine. Anyhow, the state had planned a road, called the Tamiami Trail, to connect Tampa with Miami (get it?). They had built the road from Tampa to Naples, bud didn't have the money to continue the road across the Everglades from Naples to Miami (call it the Namiami Trail). Collier said, I'll build it for you if you will create a new county and name it for me. They did and he did (this was in the 1920s). (Oh, where have all the Colliers gone?) He had a special machine built, like a giant spider, that moved on feet as it dug a ditch across the state, using the excavated earth to build a raised roadway.

Now, since my early days in OK, I've heard the phrase, bar ditch, used to describe the ditch alongside a country road or highway. Never knew why it was called that, never asked, just accepted it. Well, it's a corruption of the term, borrow ditch. You borrow dirt from the ditch to build the roadbed. (And if the road washes out, it's a default ditch!)

The original Everglades swamp covered eight million acres; the national park has 1.5 million acres. You no doubt know that in the last century, much work was done to build canals that would drain (parts of) the swamp to create farmland and retirement property. The Tamiami Trail highway is itself a barrier to the natural southward flow of water through the Everglades. To many, this was an environmental disaster - one of Hiaasen's favorite themes. Now, there is a restoration project under way, but not without controversy. A high priority is to do something about the Tamiami Trail, but there are issues. For one, the Miccosukee Tribe opposes a plan to replace about a mile of the highway near its eastern end by a bridge. May have something to do with casinos and tourists, but I don't know for sure. Also, those who fish the canals - and we saw many so engaged - oppose filling in the canals. "

for the full tale, visit:

I rather enjoyed reading it.
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Collier County & The Everglades travel blog - a different perspective... A New Zealander's Trip to The Everglades