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Everglades Paddling, Camping (and Birding) Trip Report


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We have had a houseful of kids & grandkids over the holidays, so I am just getting this posted.   

Great trip to the Everglades.  Hubby warned me there would be mangroves for miles.  He wasn't kidding.  We paddled a total of 48 miles over 5 days, and camped 4 nights.  Our campsites included platforms ("chickees" they call them, although not technically correct) over the river, a riverside campsite at an abandoned homesite (the Watson Place*), and a beachside campsite on Pavilion Key.   

On our trip, we saw the usual (but still exciting) Florida wildlife:  manatees, rays, sharks, gators, and dolphins, as well as birds.  I didn't get my Mangrove Cuckoo, but I did see a late Yellow-billed Cuckoo and got my Lifer Worm-eating Warbler at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary (https://corkscrew.audubon.org/)   and Lifer Great Cormorant at Myakka River SP ( https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/myakka-river-state-park) on the drive home.   On our final paddle back to the launch site, just before we emerged into Chokoloskee Bay, a pair of dolphins entertained us, one of them displaying a series of 5 full breeches mere yards from our kayaks.  Hubby said it was because he likely just escaped from Sea World.  ? 

*Mr. Watson was quite a character--either a cold-blooded murderer, or a misunderstood victim.  I had read a book about him many years ago--"Killing Mr. Watson" by Peter Matthiesson.  I recommend reading it (or at least the Wiki plot) before trip to the western Everglades.  It will familiarize you with many of the places, families, and historical events of the area.




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