Category — Magic on the road
Hello Friends & Magic Fans!
Let it not be said that persuasive friends should never try to talk you into an adventure when the elements are against you. Sometimes when the odds are stacked up against your favor, it creates the perfect environment for unforgettable episodes in life!
Case in point here. My friends, Adrian Luckett and Frank Koenig, decided to embark on an adventure into the everglades with me to celebrate my birthday in the swamp. To some this may sound ridiculous, but after the constant excitement at Frank’s Magic Bar, sometimes you just want to get away into the wilds of nature to bonds with the elements. Its a really good & therapeutic idea. that is, of course if someone in the group bothers to check the weather before leaving.
We battled through storm after storm to get to our destination in the middle of the everglades. The plan was to go to Miccosukee Indian Village. To be honest the Miccosukee were Mega-Suckie! We were treated so rude they will never see a dollar from us again under any circumstances. After pretending we weren’t there, they finally sold us tickets to the tour of the village, at which point the only guide out of the 5 would-be tribesmen that were standing there in their Metallica and batman t-shirts (Very authentic wardrobe) announced that he was going on lunch break for two hours! At this point we took our selves on our own tour. No one even seemed to care that people were in the building unless you were ready to purchase a heavily marked up set of dream catcher ear rings. We were still in good spirits though. After all, we could still see Alligator wrestling at 3pm and there were the fan boats!
Alligators with no one to wrestle…
Well 3pm came around and, you guessed it, no Alligator wrestling. Turns out the guide (who was still on break) was also the wrestler.
Next item on the Miccosukee glitch list was the air boat ride through the swamps. The apparent year round tour was closed. After trying to do anything we could think of to discover & experience the heritage of these people, we finally gave up and headed back up the two lane road that lead to civilization!
Undeterred we tried several other fan boat operations on our return trip. One after another, "Sorry just closed" or "He just left on the last trip!"
Now I know we only came from Key West, but we only had one day to see the everglades as well. It was at that final moment as the highway was approaching by the single digits when we read a friendly and adventurous sign. GATOR PARK TRADING POST! WELCOME…
Friends I am here to tell you that our day turned around right there. I will let the pictures speak for themselves.
This was our guide out into the wild. Chuck Stuart, a very knowledgeable and fun ranger with Gator Park took us into a world of water that existed in a different set of rules. If it crawled slithered or hissed, we saw it. We not only had a birds eye view, but were learned a lot about what to watch out for…
For example: There are over 1800 species of scorpions in Florida. There are 12 that are lethal. For instance, this guys looks lethal. A good rule of thumb ism "The bigger the claws, the smaller the sting. Just for the record, none of us were holding this guy.
on the other hand, I was more than happy to hold the next guy on our tour.
This is Larry. Larry is a seven year old Alligator that makes his home at Gator Park. You will notice that Larry seems a bit docile for being an Alligator. This was not the case with Larry’s big brother. I didn’t get his name, in fact nobody did. We were all plenty captivated watching wild life expert, Tom Batchelor show his skills with this and other creatures. He not only showed but also shared his knowledge of the large reptile, teaching us how those lethal jaws actually worked like a mouse trap. Petrified the creature’s mouth sits a gap lying in wait of its unsuspecting next victim. They remain this way unless otherwise acted upon. Clearly you can see Tom (Crazy man that he is) with his hand right in the gator’s mouth. It was not until Tom gave one of the gator’s teeth a tap of his pen that we saw the true power of that massive reptilian maw. The Jaws closed with a clap of finality the suggested if you were in its clutches, you were staying in its clutches!
Not everything that we ran into was savage or vicious and prepared to rip off an arm or go for the jugular at a moments notice. There were some beautiful and docile creatures that seemed to have no fear of us humans as they approached our fan boat. Here you can see an example of a Purple Gallinule Bird. Found in the bottom right corner of this picture it is commonly known as the Moorhen. Adrian tried to snap a shot of the bird and myself and he wound up having to do a close up of just the bird. Please bear in mind that we were in a monstrous fan boat the whole time that whizzed effortlessly through the swamps at breakneck speeds. So, to his credit the shots came out very impressive given the environment.
There were some great opportunities missed due to the giant squalls that dominated the afternoon. Raindrops like bullets came screaming by horizontally as the boat charged on through the mire. We were lucky to get the shots we have.
It was a great trek into the unknown wilderness for this magician. I have to go back and capture everything I missed. For now though, It is back to the Schooner Wharf and Frank’s Magic Bar. See you there or on the next adventure Magic Fans!
May 23, 2009 1 Comment