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Everglades 101

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Okay, too many people are coming down here to the Everglades in the summer and not understanding how things works. We use to not have to remind folks of these things, but the new generation hasn't learned. Not only the folks from out of state and out of country, but the locals too. Folks from Naples and Fort Lauderdale as well.

So here is what you need to keep in mind. It's the Everglades. This isn't the city. Things work different here.

There is no gas station, resturant, or restroom nearby. And if you want something mailed to you by fedex, it isn't going to arrive overnight. More like a week.

During the summer, it rains. A lot. Every day. Mostly in the afternoon. Just because it looks like blue skies and sunshine in the morning doesn't mean that it will stay that way all day. Or stay that way ten minutes from now. I have seen storms pop-up from out of nowhere in what seems like just a few minutes. Expect a strong thunderstorm every afternoon. The rain use to start about 3:00 in the afternoon, but the last few years it has become more erratic. So no telling when it will rain; it just will.

And with the rain, there is always lightning. Keep in mind that if you are in a boat, you are the tallest object around. Things are flat here, so you are out in the open.

The rain causes mosquitoes to breed. Lots of them. And since it rains everyday during the summer, the mosquitoes are here every day. And they won't leave until it turns cold, which happens about every five years. Then they will be back as soon as it warms up, which is the next day.

Nothing works against the mosquitoes. They take deet as a challenge. I think they eat it up as well. And even if you are covered from head to toe in a bug suit, they can still bite through. There is a reason people don't live here.

Oh, besides the skeeters, there are no-see-ums, black flies, deer flies or yellow files, and bugs everywhere. A lot of them bite, and will chase you down to bite. And spiders.

Yes, there are animals. This is not a zoo, so don't expect them to come out and greet you. These are not pets. These are wild animals. They will avoid you as much as possible, unless they are hungry and want to eat you.

Gators are not here for you to take photos of them, but to eat your pet poodle. If they scarf down your dog, don't get all worked up, because that is just what gators do.

And snakes. Snakes can't outrun you, so they will stand their ground. And there are a lot of cotton mouth water moccasins.

And if you get lost, it is your own fault and you are screwed. You should have stayed on the road. The paved road. If you go down an unpaved road, expect it to become a death trap at a good place where you can't turn around.

And if you see someone else, you don't want to ask for help. They are either as lost as you, or they are out there for a purpose. If they are out there for a purpose, they don't want to talk to you. People go out there for two reasons: they don't want to be found, especially by other people; or they are engaging in illegal activity, which means they don't want to be found. Nobody is foolish enough to go out there in the summertime unless to hide or conduct illegal activity. In the old days it was moonshine stills and pot fields. Today it is meth labs, or trying to stash a dead body. Cuban insurgents and armed revolutionary camps are not as common as they once were but are still a possibility.

Well that should be what you should expect down here in the summer. If you don't experience all that, you didn't get out of your car.
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