Monday January 28, 2013
Site 16 Midway Campground
Big Cypress National Preserve
No problem getting a site.
We leave Highlands Hammock about 9:45 Sunday morning and pull in to Midway at the perfect time, just after the noon check out time. There are several spaces available and after taking on water, we get ourselves set up in site 16. We have electricity and the dump station is right here so we are all set.
Sunday afternoon, after lunch, we head over to the Oasis Visitor Center about 2 miles away.
We check out all the hikes and paddles and ranger talks that they offer. David asks lots of questions. We watch the film, and enjoy the gators and birds in the canal outside the visitor center.
I love looking at alligator details.
Sometimes I think my skin is beginning to look like this.
Someone needs a manicure. Or is it pedicure?
There are so many gators and I think they are so cool.
Grandma, what beautiful teeth you have.
Hey big boy, are you smiling at me??
Ha, ha my pretty and your little dog too!
There is a down side in Big Cypress.
I had a terrible time trying to update the pictures on Where is Winnona and the Duckie View. I spent most of the evening trying to make that happen.
Both internet and phone are sketchy here. Especially after dark which is when I do most of my blog things. So I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to read others’ blogs or post my own for the next almost 3 weeks. When we leave here in one week, we go even further away from civilization down into the bottom of the Everglades at Flamingo.
So if you don’t hear from me. It’s my internet problem. Crossing my fingers I’ll be able to get some posts out or I’ll sure be mighty backed up when we surface again.
But, it’s a Gorgeous night here in site 16.
The high today is 82 and the low 63.
A few mosquitoes find us after the sun goes down and force us inside but not before I get a picture of the sky.
Mosquitoes in January!
Hiking IN the swamp
This morning I call bright and early to see if we can get 2 spots on the Wet and Wild Swamp Walk at 9:00. SCORE! We also snag the last two spots on the Saturday Heart of the Swamp Canoe trip. Amazingly the Wednesday trip was completely full.
Luckily we are quite near the Oasis Visitor Center so we have no trouble getting on our gear and arriving in time. Gear is, long pants and tie shoes both of which you are willing to get wet and muddy. And boy did we.
Ryan our Ranger gave us a preview of where we would be going.
We started right out in the muck.
And then in a little bit of swamp water.
And then deeper water.
You can see that this is actually the low water time of year by looking at the water marks on this cypress. Wonder what this hike is like in the spring! Sure wouldn’t want to come in the summer though. I think the bugs would carry me away. Actually, they only do this hike from December to April.
A nearly knee deep discussion of bromeliads, orchids and other swamp plants.
All the bromeliads on the cypress look like nests in the trees.
Bromeliads are air plants and don’t hurt the trees.
Will I end up swimming?
Being the shortest one on the hike, I have the highest water marks!
But it is really wonderful being out here in the middle of the swamp.
I’m loving it!!
We are stop to talk about this gator hole.
One of its residents notices us but seems to be more worried that we’ll see him than we are that he’ll see us.
Ibis and other birds fly pell mell in and around this swamp. They must have radar to be able to get around so well in such close quarters.
You never see them run into limbs even at those speeds.
This is SERIOUS fun!!
It really is a fabulous hike that we would definitely do again and again and recommend HIGHLY to any of you who are near Oasis Visitor Center.
BUT when you finish you do have to clean up. I do the pant legs and socks. David does the shoes.
Back home, we have three resident pond dwellers.
After dinner I go out to see the sun set and find one of the pond’s resident alligators swimming toward the shore.
Great skies end a terrific day.
We cap it all off with a full moon. Full moon was Saturday. So this isn’t really THE full moon but close enough and beautiful.
Another day to remember.