What a vast treasure the Everglades are. Not to be missed amongst our jaw-dropping national parks. Yet the Everglades feel so different. A bit more mysterious, serene, and to be explored differently. You boat them, you walk cautiously, you study the seven different ecosystems that reside within them (hammocks are our favorite). Flamingos, alligators, crocodiles, purple gallinules, Burmese pythons; all lurking or subtly flashing their gorgeous colors to those who can find them. Grateful to be in nature once again; yet different. Grateful for neighbors (as seems to be par for the course these days). Grateful the bugs weren’t bad and the winds kept us cool. Grateful this land is protected and we got a glimpse. Grateful we got to spend a day at a Guy’s pace to slow us down and find the teensy; use our eyes, settle in, and go slow.
And though probably cliche to elevate this above all else, but worth naming: grateful to know when Joe leaps out of the way of a hidden alligator, he takes the kid whose hand he is holding with him.
- We stayed: Flamingo Campground in the National Park (five stars for space!)
- We explored: Shark Valley Tram Tour (we did this from Miami since it was closer to that Campground), Clyde Butcher Big Cypress art gallery, kayaked the Buttonwood Canal, rode bikes on the Guy Bradley Trail, watched manatees and crocodiles from the marina, hiked the Eco Pond and the Anhinga Trails, looked for crabs along the shoreline of the Florida Bay, earned our National Park junior ranger badges
- We enjoyed: our neighbors! They shared their fresh baked bread with us, gave us some sourdough starter, and played guitar for us one night
- I read: The Everglades: River of Grass by Marjory Stoneman Douglas (five stars!)