Everglades Exploration Network

Just a few things to share with all of you concerning our latest camping trip. We spent 2 nights at Watson Place and one night on Rabbit Key. The paddle was fantastic with good tide conditions and the winds mostly worked to our advantage. The stay at Watson was interesting. First, it was overgrown in a significant way, lots of tall grass for the numerous butterflies and bees. Speaking of bees, there was a honey comb the size of a basketball stuck to a rusted piece of old farm equipment leftover from Watson's heyday. Got some close up shots of the colony busy at work making what is probably very delicious honey.

I have never seen Watson Place so overgrown as this time. Is this a sign of things to come? I spoke with a ranger about that out of curiosity and also to discuss the continuing problem with the port-o-lets. It boils down to lack of personnel basically. So what's new. Again, they have only one man and one boat in the 10,000 islands area to empty the pottys. So be prepared and bring TP!

If Watson had been busy as it usually is, we would have needed something to cut down the grass in order to set up camp. But all in all, it was a great trip. Got the photos to prove it.
Connie
Please check out the slide show here:
http://s257.photobucket.com/albums/hh202/cmierkayaker/Thanksgiving2...

You can also read the story here; http://cmierphotoandfitness.net/Chatham09.html

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Connie, excellent trip story as usual. I did myself a trip also during the Thanksgiving week (Sun, Mon and Tue) I left a day earlier because of the cold front that was coming but also I had a great trip. By the way; I did not see any raccoons or rats at Pavilion Key, also I now know that ospreys are "nocturnal", two of them sang and called each other all night long.

I am returning in a week starting Sun 13th , I'm planning a 5 nights loop and spending a night at Watson's as well, Plan A is EC to Pavillion, to Hog Key, to Lostman, to Watson's and to Lopez, hoping to ride the tides at Lostman River. It should be an easy paddling with enough time to do a bit of exploration. I'm hoping to explore Liquor Still Bay and if I'm lucky find the still (saw your pictures).
Juan, your trip plan sounds great, I love that loop and I think you've planned the campsites very well. If you need some more info on getting to the liquor still, email me and I'll give you the details (save you some time and trouble, maybe).

Is there anyway that you can leave from Choko? I know it's costly to park at Outdoor Resorts, so it may not be worth it to you. The only reason I suggest it is that you might consider paddling to Mormon Key the first night since you've already been to Pavilion. Also, coming back from Lopez would be a very easy 5 miles. But in the end, the weather will dictate your trip anyway!
Connie
Thank you for posting, and the great photos.
Excellent, thanks Connie!
Connie,

During my last trip I spent a night at Watson, the Park Service took care of the grass and is not longer a problem. I did not see the honey comb but here were a few bees flying around, amazingly the ant hill is still there.

Regarding the port-o-let it was OK but during my stay I witness in just a couple of hours four power boaters making pit stops, unless the Park Service re-stock them every few days it'll continue to be a problem.

Also right in the middle of of the campsite the remains of a large campfire was present.


Juan

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