Posted by: davepidgeon | October 22, 2009

Everglades profiled by Beautiful Places

I come from where the rivers meet the sea

That’s part of why I’m so wild and fancy free

-Jimmy Buffett


Among my lifelist trips is a kayak journey through Everglades National Park, the swampy and massive sponge of biodiversity in southwest Florida.

I remember as a child boarding a small motor boat, the smell of gasoline in the morning at the dock and driving out with my father, brother and grandfather onto Florida’s Lake George in the northern part of the state to fish for bass. Somehow that memory seems to rise into my conscious whenever I see something about the Everglades. Maybe it’s the vines, the tropical foliage, the alligators poking their nose, eyes and spiny back out of the still water. Makes me wanna go to the Everglades and see the wilderness, chasing after memories and the ghost of my grandfather.

The Everglades appear to be among the most unique and mysterious backcountry experiences in the entire National Park system. At 1.5 million acres, the Everglades are not only the third largest national park but also the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. Sitting here at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains, it’s hard to imagine the United States as having any subtropical wilderness let alone one that spreads 1.5 million acres.

I’ll raise your eyebrow – the Everglades may appear like a swamp but it’s actually one massive river creeping along at about a quarter mile per day.

Tony Farley just posted a new episode of Beautiful Places in HD about the Everglades. Enjoy and watch out for ‘dem gators!

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  1. One of my favorite places in the world — I return every few years. Check out the Turner River — the mangroves grow so close in some places you’ll have to stash your paddle and pull yourself along.

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