Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Big Cypress Swamp

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.


Midway Campground  Day #1 005



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.

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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?


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There are so many gators and I think they are so cool.
Heads Up!

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Grandma, what beautiful teeth you have.

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Hey big boy, are you smiling at me??

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Ha, ha my pretty and your little dog too!

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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!


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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.

Big Cypress Swamp Hike


We started right out in the muck.

Big Cypress Swamp Hike (2)


And then in a little bit of swamp water.

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And then deeper water.


Big Cypress Swamp Hike (18)


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.


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A nearly knee deep discussion of bromeliads, orchids and other swamp plants.


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All the bromeliads on the cypress look like nests in the trees.
Bromeliads are air plants and don’t hurt the trees.

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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!!


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We are stop to talk about this gator hole.

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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.

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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.


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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.


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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.

Big Cypress Swamp Hike (58)



Great skies end a terrific day. 

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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.

Full Moon 005


Another day to remember. 


  1. Girlfriend you find your self in the darndest places with the biggest smile on your face!!! Gotta love it.

  2. Back in 2001, we volunteered in Big Cypress...a great place to spend the winter! Have fun!

  3. You'll probably never see this girly girl hiking in the swamp, but I enjoyed the tour through your eyes.

  4. You went trekking in the swamp with no waders??? holy jeeez ... I agree with the above commenter ... none ... absolutely none of me will go wading in a swamp ... with or without waders....

    great to see this trek through your pictures! beautiful! what fun you two kids have!

  5. Now that looks like an adventure. I would do that.

  6. Looks like a great hike in the swamp. Did anyone wear waders? When my internet is slow I have a hard time commenting on other blogs. I write a nice comment and then it won't post, frustrating.

  7. Glad to see you landed a site at Midway!! The hike was really cool:o)) Be sure to get to Shark Valley and go early. Nice to get out before the first tram. I believe it opens at 8:30 and the first tram is after 9am.

  8. Nope, no way in heck I would do a swamp walk :) Glad you are adventurous enough to do it for all us chickens! Nice!

  9. OMG, walking IN the swamp and no concerns of hungry alligators. How fun! Except I kept thinking how that Ranger had to soggy a pair of clean uniform pants with every swamp walk.

    So if we don't hear from you it's not because a gator got you, it's just lousy internet.

  10. I definitely couldn't do that hike but good for you!!! and sounds like you did it with a smile :) thanks for sharing..so good to see you two out doing fun stuff :)

  11. Nope, not going in those waters. No sirreee! It looks fun and I'm glad you enjoyed it ... but nope, nada, not me.

  12. Wow and double wow! You go girl, I could not make myself do that. Keep an eye out for my panthers down there, they hang out in Big Cypress Preserve.

  13. I'm glad you found such a nice site there. I'm also glad you really enjoyed your hike in the swamp but, like some of the others, that's just no place I will ever be! No, not ever. You are a brave woman :)

  14. I can totally envision our rig parked in the site where you are! I can totally NOT envision hiking through the swamp! Ha! I'll toss roses and kudos to you for doing it and actually ENJOYING it! :)

  15. What a neat hike! We have done enough hikes in England where we got muddy but never a hike that put us up to our knees in swamp water and alligators. I think I may have been a bit nervous with the alligators so near by. I am sure the park rangers know their abilities and wouldn't do this hike unless it was safe. So glad you both had fun.

    Kevin and Ruth

  16. Great picture of the gator. We would love to do that swamp hike. It is on the list!

  17. You have to be kidding me? You walked right into the gator infested swamp? Not in a million years would I ever do that - call me chicken (cluck, cluck!!).

    Great pics though and I'm glad you escaped intact.

  18. What a beautiful hike you took us on and such wonderful pictures - not sure I could do such a thing, but so glad that you have and are enjoying it all so much!!

  19. First you start out with all those gator pictures and then you go wading around in a swamp, even stopping at a gator hole?

    I'm glad you survived that swamp hike with all your limbs still attached. What a hoot of a hike, but then you never cease to amaze me with all the adventures you have.

    That was one hike I was glad to experience from my couch, those gator teeth looked sharp! ;c)

  20. You're brave hiking in that swamp. Imagine how many FROGS there were!

    It sounds like you have better internet than we usually do when there. We normally didn't. I think we'll try site 16 next time!

    I love the pretty yellow flowers growing in the swamp water.

    Great pictures. I can't wait to hear about the canoe trip.

    John and Carol are (were) there. Th

  21. oops...not finished.

    John and Carol have a Dutch Star. Their blog is Our Trip Around the Sun.

  22. Great photos. I love the one of you, Sherry, almost up to your waist in swamp water. You are clearly having so much fun. The photo of the moon is spectacular. Hopefully you'll be able to post again soon.

  23. Great photos. Sherry, you look like you're having the time of your life. Spectacular photo of the moon. Hopefully you'll be able to post another blog soon.

  24. Nice "high water mark", Sherry! :-)

    Lovely guided walk. And that sunset picture looks fabulous.

    That looks like a great place to camp, and the swamps are fascinating. Both of us really look forward to discovering the area, we hope to go out that way next year. I've never been to Florida!

  25. I am another yikes on that hike in the swamp. I love that you enjoyed it so much even though it is something that is not in my future. You and David sure know how to get the most out of life. Love the gator captions and moon photo. Have fun!

  26. Walking in the swamp! That is really getting up close and personal :) Loved the gator pictures and the picture of the moon and the Ibis too. What an exciting day all around!


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