We left KW on Wednesday and drove up through the keys. What a beautiful trip that is with the azure water, boats of all kinds and the Overseas Highway with miles of bridges. No pics of that, but as we drove north we took the old Highway 41 instead of the freeway to go back to the west side of the state. That highway passes through the Everglades. We stopped at an airboat tour place and took a 45 minute airboat tour through the swamps. Here’s where we stopped for the tour.
And the boat we took the tour on. The boat has a 502 GM big block engine that’s turning a 54” prop. According to the guide it’s capable of running about 45mph. I don’t know if that’s true, but it planes easily with about 30 people on board.
These boats are a kick in the pants. Several times we were on plane and the guide would kick the rudders hard over and put the boat in a sideways slide, and once he spun a 360* turn. Here’s a couple of videos of running through the swamps….
One of the Everglades’ residents, a Blue Heron who stood patiently by while we photographed him.
While on the airboat we saw two gators…
When we finished the tour I got to wrestle an alligator. After a lengthy wrestling match I managed to get him in a sleeper hold and he went out…..
Before we left Coopertown I got a plate of gator tail and frog legs, two Everglades delicacies. They were both breaded (not my favorite) but both were good. I’d had frog legs and they’re OK, but nothing real special. The gator was great.
From there we continued on west on Hwy 41. When we got to the point where the road turned to the NW we turned off the highway and took a secondary road (Hwy 94) that cut straight west through the swamps. It was a good choice because we saw numerous gators along the way. Here are a couple of pics of those. This one was huge, about 10’ long.
That part of the trip was pretty cool because most of the gators we saw were only about 20'-30' from the roadway.
We took our time going through that area and stopped many times to watch birds and alligators. We didn’t get back to Ft. Myers until after 6:00 so we went directly to the Smoke’n Pits BBQ in North Ft. Myers. I had a rack of ribs, GW had brisket and both were very good. The restaurant is a small one, just a plain place where you don’t need to get dressed up to dine. All you need are a good appetite and lots of napkins if you eat ribs.
So we’re back in Ft. Myers now. We fly home on Saturday and will be able to look back on another great vacation.