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.
After another beautiful sunrise, we spent all morning bird-watching and enjoying the company of like-minded people from all over.
The Anhinga Trail on the eastern side of Everglades National Park is a very popular, easily accessible walk. The wildlife is close and used to people. On this visit, there were Anhinga chicks in the nests.
Six days ago, we were riding our bikes on the 15-mile paved road around Shark Valley when we got rained out. Check out this blog post: Return to Shark Valley. We returned today to finish the ride for some exercise, and to see if there was anything new. Well, we did have new experiences and added some more great photos and videos to our Shark Valley collection.
Almost five years previously, we visited Shark Valley in Everglades National Park for the first time - First Visit to Shark Valley. Back then, we just scratched the surface, so this time we took our bikes to ride the entire 15-mile paved road. We got a lot more photos on this visit before getting rained out on the second half of our bike tour. Birds and wildlife are concentrated around a narrow canal, so it can be a wildlife photographer's dream.
I had been to Everglades National Park as a kid, but this was the first time Linda & I visited together. After a brief stop at the Gulf Coast Visitor Center, we discovered Shark Valley, a section of the park we had never heard of. It's a great place to see Florida wildlife, especially birds and alligators, up close.