Joined: Mar. 2006
||Posted: Dec. 13 2006,05:30
Full of eagerness and ambition we paid no mind to the grimacing smirk that the Ranger gave us when we informed him that we were going to kayak from Everglades City to Picnic Key. It made no difference that we were embarking on a voyage that would cause us to paddle against the tide for 8 miles, take us 4 hours, and would be 40 degrees at night. Such impediments were mere pittance compared to the adventurous spirit we had.
A couple of hours into the paddle we realized that this mission would be more difficult than anticipated and the look of the Ranger’s face played like a broken record in my head. Nevertheless, we never spoke of it, and enjoyed the scenery. I must say the scenery is absolutely gorgeous. The immensity of the mangroves is astonishing.
It was when we reached the southwesterly tip of Indian Key Pass that we pulled out the map to determine where we were.
A map of the area and a compass is absolutely essential since everything virtually looks the same. I CANNOT stress this enough. Apparently we made a wrong turn and ended up in what seemed like a mangrove maze. I mean there were twist and turns and after each one we would expect to see our campsite, only to be disappointed by more mangroves. A slight sense of panic set in since it was getting dark and getting really cold. We stopped and backtracked for a while and eventually found our way back to the main channel. By this time it was dark and the wind was blowing something fierce. It took all of our strength to make it to Indian Key. This was the only place we could find that was suitable for a landing.
Ah...Finally we made it on dry ground. We set up camp and had a fire going in record time.
We threw on some dry clothes, cracked a bottle of Crown Royal made some grub and admired the beauty of our surroundings. As the night went on and the clouds cleared, you could see what was one of the most beautiful skies I have ever scene. Stars, the sounds of water all around you, and moonlight peaking to cracks in the clouds made for a pleasant way to end the day.
We awoke the next day and made our way to Picnic Key and made camp. Play time! We grabbed our poles tied on some lures and decided to fish the incoming tide.
We did not catch anything that day but this would soon change. The next day we packed up camp and began our journey back up the 8-mile stretch.
I decided to tie on a DOA lure and troll the entire way back to Everglades City.
I caught 4 trout and 1 Mackerel.
They seemed to enjoy the chartreuse color.
Made it back to our starting point loaded up the car and headed home replaying our adventure.