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Blog by the Heatleys

Mar
25
2013

An Airboat Trip In The Everglades

James and Logan

James and Logan waiting for the airboat next to the Tamiami Trail

I have lived in Florida since 1965 and in Miami since 1969 and hate to mention that I never had  gone for a ride in the “Glades” on an airboat. My cousin Logan was visiting from Philadelphia and started inquiring about the “Glades” so my son James and I decided that this was the perfect time to start emptying our “bucket list” and take that ride on an airboat. So, we drove out from Coral Gables which actually took a while as the government  finally has begun working on constructing 6 miles of bridges which will begin to restore the water flow down to Florida Bay which has been absent for many years (perhaps a century).

We stopped at a Miccosukee air boat facility in Shark Valley

Getting the airport ready

The Power Plant

and got on the boat which was driven by what I believe was an actual Miccosukee (The Miccosukees are the southern part of  the community which is commonly known as  Seminoles. This tribe moved south after the brutal relocation of the Southern Indian tribes by Andrew Jackson. The Seminole/Miccosukee tribe is really made up of descendants of displaced Creeks, Cherokees, and escaped slaves). The boat is powered by an airplane engine so that it can skim over the sea of grass.

Sea of Grass

The sea of grass

We skimmed along the Everglades for about an hour before stopping at an Indian village to get an idea what it would be like to live out there. I don’t think I could do it, especially in the summer with the bugs. Needless to say there were a ton of alligators (which are really black not green like all the tourist traps would have you believe). For some unknown reason the Miccosukees had to remind us not to touch the wild alligators (I don’t think I would suggest touching a domesticated one either).

Warning Logan just in case

Warning Logan just in case.

Needless to say James, Logan, and I had a great time on the airboat ride and would recommend it to anyone, local or tourist, in South Florida. In addition, if you are out there you should take the tram tour at the Shark Valley Visitor Center which is part of our national park system. The tour takes about 2 1/2 hours and is absolutely worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

What is your opinion?