We communed with nature. The government shutdown, didn’t slow us down a bit. In fact, it probably helped to keep the crowds away. There were the two minor inconveniences of having most of the bathrooms locked and not having a brochure, but we overcame both of these challenges. We saw lots of birds, including many species that we had not seen before, but like most of the other tourists we were fascinated by the alligators. At least the pictured one was moving, the rest could have been stuffed as far as I could tell. We entered the park from Homestead and traveled the main road all the way to the sea at Flamingo. We stopped at most of the turnouts, did many of the short hikes that were available and left the park after sundown. It was glorious!