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Monday, September 6, 2010
Exciting Adventures in South Florida
About 50 miles east of downtown Naples, heading through The Big Cypress National Preserve on Route 41, lies an adventure of a lifetime. Back behind Clyde Butcher's gallery, along Loose Screw Sanctuary Road, deep into the pristine swamp forest, the understated majesty of the 400 year old cypress trees and still dark waters call out to those brave enough to venture in...
For much of the 90 minute hike through the slough and ponds we walked in water up past our knees...unable to see below the surface...feeling our way with walking sticks...stepping over the hidden roots and submerged logs...at times waist deep in the cool murky waters. [click on photo inset to enlarge] It was a wilderness that normally I would not venture out into, even in a kayak. Yet there I was, wading through my fears into the peacefulness of this hidden treasure...There were 17 of us in our party plus Johnny, our guide. Included in the group was a retired couple in their 80's...a mom and dad with their 3 daughters ages 5, 6 and 7...at times the water so deep they had to swim across the ponds because it was over their heads! A middle-aged woman alone on her adventure because no one she knew would join her...And a beautiful, bald cancer patient conquering a fear which in my mind was a day in the park compared to the chemo treatments she's endured. This was a last minute decision for me and Gina. We read in the Naples paper that this might be Clyde's last Labor Day "Muck-About"--we knew if we didn't do it this year, we may never get the chance again! During the entire walk I was thinking...there is nowhere else like this on the planet--how blessed am I to be experiencing this beauty, and to be doing so with my dear friend Gina.
Naples' beauty stretches out far beyond the white sand beaches and perfectly manicured golf courses...I would recommend this adventure to anyone and everyone who seeks to find a rare and untouched corner of our world.
For more information about The Big Cypress National Preserve, and Clyde Butcher's photography, as well as other information about Everglades Tours, Airboat rides and Kayaking in South Florida, please click on the links below: