It was my last day in Florida, and I couldn’t be this close to the Everglades without at least having a look.
My brother was kind enough to loan me his professional camera kit, a bag filled with bodies and lenses for any opportunity I might find. And a warning, there will be clouds of mosquitos, other bugs and of course, alligators, be careful.
Since this was a day trip, I drove South, following my GPS and heading along the 45 through Naples and east across the lower portion of the state. Looking over the map, it looked like I would take a turn at a place called “Monroe Junction” to tak the best route to take in skirting the Everglades along its northern edge.
My first stop was a little roadside stand that looked like a park along the highway. Native clothing and accessories were on display in the shop, and there was a parking area, all closed. I explored around, finding my brother was right about the mosquitoes. Fortunately, I had repellent from my retirement trip in the Caribbean, which did the trick to reduce the attacks. There was a map, which showed a path leading to a boardwalk into the swamp, along with a warning: “keep at least 6 feet away from any alligators”. I didn’t plan on getting anywhere near that close, but appreciated the warning.
As I walked along the sandy path, I met another gentleman coming out and asked how it was, did he see any alligators? “Nah, saw one, but not much to see here”. I hoped that my luck would help me in this, so I kept on down the path.
A few yards farther down, I noticed that the swamp came right up to the path, water on either side. I remembered the pictures I’d seen of alligators in magazines so looked for apparent rocks in the middle of the water and found success. There in the water a few feet away were the eyes of an Alligator.