Flying over the Everglades is something I do for special guests who come to town. Everyone has heard of it, but few realize how wild it still is with vast areas of wilderness that have never seen a human footprint. From the air it looks like a massive network of rivers, bays, grass prairies and dark green swamps. I tell people (honestly) that below us are alligators and crocodiles, rattlesnakes and giant pythons, panthers, bears, sharks, stingrays and about everything dangerous you can find in Florida. Of course, the danger is remote and Everglades National Park is actually a gem to explore nature in the raw.
We made a beautiful map of the Everglades with the help of my business partner Tim Hall, an expert naturalist who grew up on a farm and would canoe from one end of the National Park to the other, well over 50 miles ending in the Florida Keys. On one trip, by himself, he was bitten by a water moccasin too far from anyone to paddle for help. He didn’t panic and tied up his canoe, sitting down with a gallon of water for what would be a day or two of delirium until he came out of it, alive. He thinks he had a little resistance built up from another moccasin bite on a golf course where the hospital gave him antivenom. Tim is one tough bird.
All snake stories aside, our Everglades map is one of the best ones ever made showing the network of trails and camp sites Tim knows like few others. Even the National Park Service appreciated the copy we gave them and commented on its accuracy.
If you visit Miami, Marco Island or Naples remember there’s a huge national park in between them to be explored and appreciated, Everglades National Park.