A Drive in the Everglades

As a kid I was fortunate enough to spend many hunting seasons in the Everglades. I remember parking our vehicles just off the hard road, unloading swamp buggies and trudging through the swamp. While the cabin was only 1 mile from where we would park our cars, often it took well over 2 hours to get there. From high water to breakdowns we were always happy to see the oasis of our camp.

During the evening, fireside stories would be told and one particular story came rushing back to my memory the other day. After an unusually difficult journey, both high water and swamp buggy breakdowns we made it to camp just before dark. Once settled in and after dinner we retired to the fire. My dad began talking about a hunting trip he had made to Georgia. As we swatted mosquitoes and listened intently thinking he was going to talk about a trophy buck he bagged. He started speaking the virtues of this camp, hot and cold running water, indoor plumbing (no outhouse) heat and A/C and you could drive a Cadillac to the front door of the cabin. After several hours trudging through the swamp just to get 1 mile I thought that would be a nice change.

Well, we no longer hunt in the Everglades. The State and U.S. governments have purchased much of the land for conservation. Over the years park officials have created trails and scenic drives through many of the same areas I used to hunt using swamp buggies. A few days ago I had the opportunity to visit land very close to where we used to have our camp. As I drove my car (I have a truck as well but my wife and I were travelling in comfort and was not planning stop) down a scenic trail in Fakahatchee Strand near Everglades City I parked and began to walk down a trail. Before hitting the trail I looked back one last time to make sure I locked the car and the story my dad told came rushing back.

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I drove a Cadillac in the Everglades, not quite to the old camp but close.

Oh, and on the other side of the trail I saw this. Someone drove their Mercedes in there too. LOL

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Danny Kushmer

 

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