Paddling The Glades

When an underwater mangrove root seizes the front of my 17-foot canoe, I grip my paddle like it’s a battle-ax. The collision hurls me out of my front seat towards a cluster of shrubs.

I fight my way out by jousting at branches and slicing down vines. A trail of vegetation in my wake, I paddle on.

Old timers complain that Hell’s Bay is “hell to get into and hell to get out of” for good reason: To start this 6 mile trail in the Everglades National Park, boaters must navigate through a complicated and somewhat frustrating series of sharp right and left turns, down slim, narrow creeks. But after three hours of paddling, the maze-like conditions ease, as the tiny passageways spread open up into broad canals and, eventually, into expansive bays.

That night, I gaze up at the stars from the middle of Pearl’s Bay. The glassy, smooth conditions of the water reflect the Milky Way back at itself, like a mirror. I float in my canoe, with the day’s struggle now a distant memory, and I realize I won the war.

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One thought on “Paddling The Glades

  1. Ha! I’d forgotten about your blog! So juce to hear from you, old friend! Hope you’re well!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

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