Final, peaceful morning paddle as I completed my solo trip in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.
It was a six-mile paddle from Mixon's Hammock up Minnie's Lake Run through one of the prettiest sections of the Okefenokee to reach the Minnie's Lake Shelter where I spent the night in the middle of the swamp.
Lot's of HUGE alligators, a nice paddle, solitude, and sleeping in the woods to the sound of nature. Just what I was looking for.
After my father passed away in late 2016, and after spending two months flying around speaking at RV shows, I needed some nature time. Our RV was parked in Linda's sister's yard in Jacksonville, Florida and Linda was helping with projects, so she suggested I do an overnight trip in the Okefenokee Swamp in southern Georgia, a place we have enjoyed in the past.
Our goal today was to do a paddling trip in the Flamingo area. Due to high winds, we selected the short and sheltered Noble Hammock Canoe Trail. It was a great choice for this chilly but pretty day in Everglades National Park.
This was the second time we've done this paddling trip. Both times were great, but today was without the thick wildfire smoke that we had last year, and the views were exponentially more stunning.
We did this same paddle last year, but the view of the Grand Tetons was obstructed by smoke from wildfires. This year, the view was clear and magnificent.
This two-lake combination paddle is a great way to get up close to the mountains without the crowds (if you go early enough). Though the smoke was still thick from wildfires, this was a great day of paddling in Grand Teton National Park.
Today was a wonderful wildlife viewing day as we launched our inflatable kayak at Oxbow Lake and then did a leisurely float down the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park.
We love being on the water, and paddling is often a way to enjoy beauty, wildlife, and solitude. So, on this day, we chose to find a place to paddle away from the crowds in Acadia National Park.
Today we did a little paddling on the Hell's Bay Canoe Trail in Everglades National Park. We carry three Sea Eagle inflatable boats with us as we travel, so it was time to get one of them in the water. They are quite durable, but they aren't as much fun in high winds, so we had to take this somewhat sheltered paddling trip on this beautiful, but windy, day.
Today was one of those special times out in nature where we reflect, ponder, and appreciate. The remote Juniper Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park was the perfect setting.