Click on picture to read Chaco's poems

Friday, January 8, 2010

Out of the Cold, Wet Tent Tonight!

"Why think about that when all the golden land's ahead of you and all kinds of unforeseen events wait lurking to surprise you and make you glad you're alive to see?"

- Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Tonight we are in a Motel 6 in Pensacola Florida. We have been camping out in the Everglade and the Florida Keys for almost a week and it has been record setting cold temps that have finally driven us to the warmth, hot showers and comfort of a motel room. We have done and seen so much all week that I don't even know where to begin here. We have travelled over 2600 miles and still have a 12 hour drive back to Texas! We have pitched our tent and slept in the Everglades with alligators just 50 feet from our tent! We stayed overnight on the Seminole Indian Reservation and slept in a chickee (chic-KEE -a traditional Indian hut type shelter). It has no windows just screened openings all around and no heat and only a kerosene lantern for light. The temp that night was 34 degrees, but they gave us 3 thick wool blankets for our bed and it was actually pretty warm until you had to get up in the middle of the night to go the privy. Oh.....the privvy.....just one thing.....there isn't one....just pee off the boardwalk into the swamp and watch out for gators! We also went on a swamp tour on the reservation in gigantic swamp buggys with tires about 4 feet tall and saw all kinds of wild life. We went on a ranger tour with the Park Service in the Everglades and saw more alligators than we could count and when we tried to go for a hike the gators were even blocking the trail and we had to turn back! When the weather is this cold they all crawl out onto the roads and trails trying to  get some sun to warm themselves. We also spotted many more birds that we have never seen before in giant flocks. I have never seen that many ergrets, herons, storks and anhingas all together in fantastic numbers. I have put all our pictures we have taken so far up on Facebook if anyone wants to see them. I have not had time to label any, I just threw them up there and will sort through them later. Tomorrow we will slowly head back to Dallas and face the real world again, Sheila has to see her doctor on the 12th.  I will post some more pictures and comments on our trip in the next few days. If the doctors give us the all clear it looks like our next trip may be to drive Sheila's car up to Jamestown, Rhode Island. My sister Imp says she wants to buy it and we sure would like her to have it since Sheila is going to sell it anyways.                                            See ya later........

The cover picture at the top of the page is the sun setting behind the palms across the swamp from our chickee on the Seminole Indian Reservation in Big Cypress Wilderness Preserve near the Everglades

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