We're continuing with our adventure through Everglades National Park! The park is vast. Spanning nearly 2,400 square miles, it's the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. Translation: lots to explore! The SDP Junior Editor and I entered the park via the Ernest Coe Visitor Center near Florida City. From there, you can drive 38 miles to the southern tip of the park --- which, of course, we did. And, this is part of what you'll see: the Flamingo Visitor Center, an unremarkable structure located next to a marina on Florida Bay. (At the marina, we actually saw an adult and juvenile seahorse swimming in the sea grass near the surface next to the boat docks. Very cool experience.)
And, this is the view behind the visitor center. Amazing! Mangroves, big sky, and beautiful blue water stretching as far as the eye can see. It almost feels like you're at the end of the earth. Technically, I suppose, you could say you're at the end of Florida here, before heading to the Florida Keys. See those dark blobs on the horizon? Those are just a few keys scattered throughout the bay. You may have heard of the 10,000 islands in Florida? This is part of that vast chain of mangrove islands. While they're uninhabited, the park allows "back country" camping on several keys. It's not for the faint of heart, though. According to a kayak outfitter website I found, one of the closest park approved campgrounds is 12-15 miles (one way) from this spot. Whew!