Everglades National park

Published: February 25th 2011
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This was one of the areas that I really didn't schedule enough time in as I knew that it would be easier to visit after moving to Tennessee. We were here only two nights but there was a lot to do there. We stayed in Flamingo Campground which meant that we were using our generator for electricity and according to park rules all generators had to be turned off between 8 PM and 8 AM. It basically meant that after going hiking we rushed back to the camper to prepare supper and do dishes before the power went out. Thankfully Jordan and Aaron had given us a rechargeable lamp so we had a little light at night. Speaking of night the stars in the sky were incredible with virtually no light present after 8 PM, no car lights, no street lights, nothing. There were so many stars visible it was impossible to count them all. We saw a presentation on the night sky the first night that we were there. The ranger pointed out various constellations and how different planets were visible at different times of the year but that they all had a silmilar orbit. We saw Jupiter and for the first time in my life with my naked eye I was able to make out the swirls of the milky way tumbling across the night sky. I really wish that I had been able to capture it in a photograph. The other thing that was different for us was that with no electricity after 8 PM we gathered around the kitchen table in the evening for some card games...lots of fun. The first day was spent setting up, going to the visitors center and attending the night sky presentation. The second day was spent hiking and then hiking some more...the first trail that we went on was the snake bight trail, bight referring to the stream nearby. This was a little over 2 miles one way and while there were lots of plantlife to see and a few birds ( we got there at low tide or there would have been more waterbirds visible ) there were no alligators. So it was off to the Anhinga trail where we saw not only lots of Anhingas ( you can see them in the photos drying their wings as they lack the water resistant oils that other waterbirds have and can't fly when their wings are wet ) but tons of alligators. There were 16 gators in one spot alone. Chris was thrilled especially on the way back when right next to the fence post there was an alligator relaxing approximately 1 1/2 feet away from him. I told him that unless he takes up alligator wrestling that was probably the closest that he'll get to a gator!

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