Friday, May 8, 2009

Day 21: Everglade City, FL

Friday, May 8
Everglade City , FL
Time spent traveling: 1 hour airboat tour in Everglades
Other: Color of dog biscuit raccoon prefers; red.
Wx: sunny high 80s F:
States traveled through: FL

Hello Kuzmerlain followers! The posting has recommenced. If you think that we have been spending the past post free days, drinking frappuccinos, soaking up rays on white beaches along turquoise oceans and starting cocktail hour at 4:00; your assumptions would be correct! But today is our last full day on Marco Island and we hit the road north tomorrow.

Jen joined us yesterday so now there is five in our party and Amy is not the only girl! We drove down into the Everglades back along the west side of Alligator Alley (which has been closed at times this week due to wildland fires) this morning and took an Airboat tour. It was a very touristy thing to do but it was great! Even though there are things about airboat tours that feel inherently wrong; loud fan engines that create a gale behind them, food trained was cool! On the website we found $10 off per couple or free alligator heads coupons. Although, becoming the owner of an genuine gator head was tempting, we used them for the $10 off.
We went out on a 6 person airboat with captain Javier, in my head I kept calling him a pilot because it felt more like flying than boating. A huge fan on the back of the boat propels the flat bottomed boat forward and also creates this wave of water that the boat is practically skidding on. At the start of our tour we had a brown pelican land right at my feet. Now, I am not going to lie to you, pelicans kind of freak me out. They are not the most attractive birds and they have bulging eyes that look human! Our friend, the brown pelican joined us for about 5 minutes waiting, quite expectantly, to get fed. And he did, by Captain Javier. When the boat reached a certain point just before we sped up, he took off. I think they may have done this before.
Our tour took us through a maze of Red Mangrove corridors and into little ponds where we saw (and Capt. Javier fed) cute little raccoons (they are smaller down here) and HUGE catfish. One raccoon in particular was partial to the red color dog biscuits as opposed to yellow or green, which he/she would drop out of the tree after greedily taking it. We also saw some small wrecked boats that the good Captain said was brought in by previous hurricanes.

The Everglades are in the dry season so the brackish water is more salt than fresh. The alligators don't really like salt and we didn't see any while on the tour but Capt. Javier told us where we could see some. We drove out to the spot and there they were!

Tonight is our last night in Marco Island and I am ready to hit the road. The others are at the beach but I don’t think I could handle another afternoon of radiation, so I am in the condo posting this, but because it is now after 4, it’s time for a cocktail!

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