Sunday, September 7, 2014

Florida Road Trip Day16 - The Everglades

One of the things I did know for sure I wanted to do before even getting to Florida was to make it a point to visit the Everglades. My mom of course gave us ideas about where we could get in, but even they haven’t been all the way through, so Mr. Rogue and I were on our own.

There isn't much around the Everglades, except marsh and the natural preserve so the closest we could stay was 2 hours away from the nature center at the end of the Everglades drive. We woke up early at the hotel, ordered room service and packed up the car. It was a super overcast day, and since we wanted to take a boat ride we were really hoping that it wasn't going to pour down rain.



We drove slowly through the Everglades National park so we wouldn’t miss anything, and thankfully we were driving slow. I made Mr. Rogue pull over so I could save the turtle trying to cross the road. Cuz I am an animal lover like that… and thankfully this turtle was much smaller, less aggressive and much better smelling than the last turtle I saved.


There were tons of stops along the way with hikes and paths and nature trails but since we had my Little Cricket and the stroller we had to limit ourselves to the accessible ones. The visitor center at the entrance was sadly under construction but we were able to talk to a ranger to help us decide which spots would be best for us to stop at. The walks were not long but we did see plenty of fun things.






There was also plenty to see off the boardwalks in the water, particularly the tons of alligators. I was surprised there were so many in such a small area. They didn’t seem to bother each other at all. Man are some of those guys big.





Finally we made it to the end of the Everglades at the Flamingo Visitors Center. Thankfully we were able to get space on the next boat going out and although it started to really rain we were all hopeful that it wouldn’t last too long. Florida is notorious for their short little sparatic burst of rain. We got on the boat and it was still sprinkling but you could tell it was no longer a deluge and it was lightening up to sprinkle. Thakfully the boat was covered! Just as we were pulling out we got a great view of the elusive American Crocodile. This is our second sighting of this rare lizard on this trip… really blessed with the best of luck.




We didn’t see any wildlife at all once we left the doc and the crocodile. Our captain was amazing and we learned so much about the mangroves and how unique the Everglades are. My Little Cricket had a blast on the boat and was such a great little baby. Again they let us bring on our stroller which just made everything so much easier.






The boat ride was long, over three hours. At one point the assistant pulled out a map so he could show us how far into the Everglades we came. He also explained how you can do an outback trip through the Everglades. There are routes to follow as well as platforms where you can park your boat and set up your tent at night. Mr. Rogue looked at each other and grinned, seems like this would be a fun trip, once the kids get WAY older though.


The highlight of our boat ride was when Mr. Rogue lost his hat. The captain and the first mate had fun trying to find the dark hat in the dark water and then to fish it out. We rung out the water and hung it up on the front of the boat to dry.


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