Thursday, April 7, 2011

Kayaking in the Everglades - Mar 24 and 25, 2011

I apologize for the delay in getting this posted. I have been having (and continue to have) issues with getting my pictures uploaded to this post for some reason. I have had these pictures on here for about a week, but haven't posted it yet because I still had some pictures to add. I will just post what I have and try to get the other kayaking pictures into another post. We arrived in Everglade City, Florida in the late afternoon on Mar. 24 to find that our cabin had been rented to another person. Apparently there was some sort of glitch in the computer system that booked our cabin rental for January 24, 2011 instead of March 24, 2011. We didn't have time to stay and sort out the details before it was time to head out on our evening kayak tour through the mangrove tunnels, so we headed over to our meeting place for our evening kayak tour. (Those are the pictures I am having troubles getting uploaded.) After our evening kayak tour, we went back to get the details of our cabin straightened out, and luckily there was another guy who had an open cabin that we were able to stay in that night. Gage checking out the back bedroom of the cabin we stayed in. It was a nice little place. This room contained 2 twin beds which Scott and I slept on and the kids stayed in the front of the cabin on a futon and bench that was just the size to fit the futon mattresses on to make into a bed.
This is a shot of the 2nd twin bed in the back room.

Scott and Emma check out some of the pictures and decorating details on the walls.

This is an outside shot of what our cabin looked like.

We stopped at this little store to find some breakfast before heading out onto our early morning kayak tour the following day.

As we were waiting for our guide to arrive, we had some time to drive around the little town and check some things out.

This building is the Smallwood Store that is described in the plaque above. (I am also unable to reorganize pictures for some reason! UGH!) The store, as well as many of the houses in this area, are built on stilts to prevent them from flooding during hurricanes.

This dugout canoe was located underneath the store. I'm not sure if it is just displayed for looking at, or if they still use it today.

Scott at JT's Island Grill and Gallery as we wait for our kayak guide to arrive for our morning tour.

Taking a break in the hammock swing on the porch.

Emma found a new friend during our wait! There were 3-4 different cats running around but this one was the friendliest. Inside the store they had little quarter machines that you would normally get gumballs or candy out of. Here, you get cat food. The quarters are used to help with the ferral cat population by finding them veterinary care and homes to be placed in. What a good idea!

Our guide has arrived! Before we left for our morning tour, he and Emma went around and fed all of the cats. That was right up her alley.

Not sure what kind of flowers these are, but just thought they were pretty and would make a nice picture.

This picture is the decal on our guide's truck. It speaks for itself.

We saw lots of different palm trees and were excited to find a coconut tree. We aren't sure of the difference between the coconut tree and the other palm trees we saw. I guess I should look that up!

We started our morning kayak tour in the Everglades National Park.

Our guide pulled up one of the crab traps to show us the blue crab that it contained.

This is an island made up of all different kinds of shells. We were able to get out of our kayaks and explore and search for some unique shells.

We get a little history about the island and information about some of the different shells we might find.

We are on the hunt to see who can find the best shells.

These are mangrove tree roots.

Emma found a huge cluster of oysters! She had to be very careful because they are sharp and she could have gotten cut.

This is an oyster bed under the water. Many of the shells are empty in this picture, but there were several huge clusters that looked like the one Emma was holding in the previous picture.

Emma and our guide (I can't remember if his name is Ron, or what?) looking for some good shells.

In our hunt, Gage found this little mangrove crab in the trees. He's a weird looking creature!

At first Gage was afraid to hold him, but after Mom let him crawl around on her hand and arm, he decided it must be okay. It felt weird when he walked on your skin, but he was a pretty cool little crab.

Between the two sets of trees, you can see an oyster bed in the water. It is low tide right now so they aren't completely submerged at this time.

We kayaked several miles out in the bay around the Ten Thousand Islands area. We were near Chokoloskee Island. The area is a mix of fresh water and salt water and we were on the lookout for Manatees. It was a great place to be to find them, but they were all hiding somewhere else on this particular day, which totally bummed Gage out.

After our kayak tour ended around lunch time, we headed to Big Cypress National Preserve where the kids became Junior Rangers by taking an oath and doing several different activities.

"I, Gage Stephens.........." and "I, Emma Stephens, do swear..................."

They earned their Big Cypress Junior Park Ranger badges!!

This is the smallest post office I have ever seen!

We were the only people being guided on this early morning kayak tour so we were able to do just about anything we wanted to do. We were on a quest to find manatees, but unfortunately the weather was warm enough that particular morning that we weren't able to find any in the wild.

1 comment:

Shannon said...

What great photos and what a wonderful vacation you all had. So did you leave Disney Land then and went over there for a couple days for that? You going to have to send my your itinerary of what you all did, when and IF we ever do make it down there!Could you do that, really? Before you forget what you did each day? Just email me it to me and I will put it away in-case we do make it down there in a couple years!! It looks like the kids as well you both had a trip to remember forever!!