Our journey begins as we set out for the Everglades, discussing the "River of Grass" along the way. We’ll explore this unique ecosystem from the perspective of those who have made their home there for generations, the Miccosukee Indians. Touring the Indian village, air-boating and taking a tram tour through the unique Shark Valley part of Everglades National Park (with an optional ranger-guided slogging experience), we will learn about how this vital natural area affects Florida’s wildlife, including us! Alligators and many bird species abound as we delve into the “grassy waters.” After our Everglades adventure, we’ll depart for Florida Keys and check into the Key Largo resort or campsite. Following dinner, some possible evening activities are: star-gazing, astronomy, marine ecology discussion, or fish identification program.
After breakfast, it's back to the beach to see what new treasures the morning tides have washed ashore...then off to Tarpon Bay! At Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, we sense the history as we kayak through the mangroves wondering how Sanibel's Native Americans, the Calusa, were able to survive among the prop roots. After we complete our study of mangrove ecology, we head back to break camp and refuel with a picnic lunch. We'll depart homeward along Alligator Alley, continuing to identify plants and animals along the way. We’ll hear the tales of pirates that made Sanibel and Captive infamous during the early 19th century as instructors share the secrets of how to make shell jewelry!