Warren & Emily SwanTrips → 2005 Florida Everglades

See the 1985 Florida Everglades Trip for a general discussion of these somewhat regular/irregular snow-bird excursions. 

Interesting items about this trip were:

We stayed the first night in Pensacola, FL, and got to see Olive & Heidi at college the next morning before continuing the trip.

We ate supper with Warren’s dad, stepmother and uncle at a restaurant near Venice, FL, where his uncle lives.

Shark Valley Trail/Road

We brought 4 bikes, as before, for Emily and the kids.  Warren mostly hiked (over 14 miles in major hikes).

On day six of the trip, Warren rented a bike at the Shark Valley portion of Everglades National Park, and we all biked the 7 miles down to the tower, which is barely visible in the background in this picture.  →

The ride back North on the same road was against a very cool, stiff headwind that tore the breath from our mouths.  But there was a lot of wildlife to see in the canal along the road.

We went to the beach twice, once was down on the upper keys, and the other time was near Miami.

Daniel & Amy at the Beach ← Here’s Daniel and Amy at Harry Harris Park in the upper keys. 

We visited the free Wild Bird Center also on the upper keys.  We got there in time for the 15:30 feeding of the birds that supposedly can no longer shift for themselves in the wilds.


Warren hiked a lot on this trip, having lost 80 pounds since the previous February (and previous trip).  One day he hiked 3.5 miles, then 2.5 miles, then 3.8 miles, then 3 miles.

On Warren’s 3.8 mile Hike This is taken from the Pinelands Hike of 3.8 miles, which Warren had also hiked in 1988 and 2002.  There is a lot of solitude and beautiful pine land scenery.  Acid from the tree needles and hardwood leaves eats through the limestone leaving so-called pinnacle rock in odd shapes, and big solution holes.  →

The Everglades are not anything like the Hollywood image of swamps with cedar trees with Spanish moss hanging from them (although there are swamps like that North of the park).  Instead the glades are a very wide (many miles) but very shallow (a few inches) river flowing through saw grass, which the Indians called Pa-Hay-Okee, the River of Grass.

Daniel on the Pa-Hay-Okee Overlook Trail

← Most of the Everglades looks like what you see to the right in this picture.  Daniel is coming down the Pa-Hay-Okee Overlook trail.  A hammock on the left hides the small tower that overlooks the River of Grass here.

Everglades National Park was the first National Park to be commissioned not for its geological significance, but because of its biological significance.  There is an abundance of species of birds here, and other subtropical animals and plants. 

Two Crocodiles at Flamingo

Although we see lots of alligators on each Everglades Vacation, views of crocodiles are rare.  The tip of Florida is the Northernmost extent of their range.  This is the closest we ever got to crocodiles (we are up on a bridge looking down at them).  There is a big one and a smaller one snoozing here at Flamingo.  →

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