From Flamingo to Hell's Bay

An Everglades National Park Adventure

A few weeks ago, over the Christmas Holidays, my friend Don and I decided to take a trip to the Everglades. The primary reason was to take his son, Jason and a friend, Bob, to Flamingo, at Florida's mainland tip, in Everglades National Park. They had a big boat, Don's got a big truck, he had to pull it. It made sense that we should go.

The plan was while Jason and Bob were out sailing, Don and I would be exploring the back corners of the Glades. For that, Don brought his motorized canoe. (I know, some of you think using a motor is cheating, but I've paddled so many miles in my life, I have nothing left to prove in that arena.)

Anyway, I had heard about this place called Hell's Bay. "Hell to get into, and hell to get out of," they say. I love a wilderness challenge, and that sounded just like the place I wanted to go.

The big challenge was not undergrowth, downed logs, or anything like that. It was the navigation. Getting to Hell's bay chickee is tricky. It's a dang maze in there. But with a proper marine chart and a compass, we got in. We got bewildered for about 20 minutes or so, on the way out. But we made it using the GPS just once to find our little channel we were looking for.

We could have made it without the GPS, I'm sure, but the sun was getting too low in the sky, and I had left word we'd be back by midnight.

I made a video for you so you can see what it'd be like if you wanted to do this trip. You can get to Hell's Bay by canoe or kayak, leaving from the Flamingo Road in the Park. We came in the other way, through Whitewater Bay.

Okay, let's now take a 90-second Everglades journey...



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