February 23rd, 2009 posted by: JoNell at 12:02 PM
I recently escorted a travel writer and photographer team from Southern Lving magazine into the Gulf Coast Everglades. They are working on an Everglades story that includes our western Everglades, along with the main entrance to the national park in Homestead plus the Big Cypress Seminole reservation. It was one of those almost heartbreakingly beautiful days - clear blue sky, a few white clouds, water in shades of green and blue, and the blinding white of the sands on Mormon Key where we stopped to have lunch and explore the island and beach. We were on the "Grand Tour," from Everglades Area Tours that includes a motor boat excursion of the islands, followed by a trip into a back country creek off the Chatham River for some excellent paddling. We were transported in the motorized Yak Attack shuttle, then got into our kayaks for an excellent afternoon of paddling and kayak fishing in the creek. I caught a seatrout and our travel writer friend caught her first-ever snook, from a kayak no less! There were so many tricolored herons at this location, we could have named it TriColor Creek. On the way back we encountered a pod of dolphin with several babies in the Lopez River. It was a spectacular day, which ended up back at JT's Island Grill & Gallery on Chokoloskee - the new home base for Everglades Area Tours.