Friday, September 20, 2019

A Day in the Everglades

Submitted

Submitted

“What does one do in Everglades City during the hot and muggy summer days?” many people ask. “How do you live with the mosquitoes?”

There’s a lot to do when you live or come to visit the Everglades City area. In the early morning hours, a fishing trip or boat ride to the outer islands is a wonderful way to start the day in the glades, before the mosquitoes get pesky. (However, so far this year we’ve been lucky with very few mosquitoes.) If you enjoy fishing, hire one of our many experienced guides; or, if you prefer kayaking or canoeing, outfitters are still available during our summer months. Captain Charles Wright with Chokoloskee Charters (chokoloskeecharters.com) as well as the experienced guides at the Ivey House (iveyhouse.com) would be happy to give you a tour. Everglades National Park Boat Tours, located at the Ranger Station on CR-29 between Everglades City and Chokoloskee, is open 365 days a year and offers tours through the islands on larger boats. And, our many airboat companies provide a thrilling ride through the Everglades; for more information, visit our Chamber website (evergladeschamber.net) or call 239-695-3941.

Many restaurants are still open during the summer months and offer air-conditioned indoor dining (see Restaurant Guide). The late afternoon storms and cool breeze are a welcome relief enjoyed from the shady porches of the Rod & Gun Club, the Everglades Seafood Depot, or City Seafood along the Barron River.

Visiting our two museums is a fun and interesting way to spend a few hours. The historic Smallwood Store in Chokoloskee takes you back to the time when ladies wore hoop skirts (thus the slope in the counter) and when you could buy items for a nickel. The merchandise that was sold in early and mid-1900’s is still on display. The gift shop there has a wonderful selection of Native American items. At the Museum of the Everglades, the Pauline Reeves Gallery is now featuring a unique and wonderful exhibit by Deborah Mitchell entitled “Documenting our Contemporary Wetlands.” It is an extraordinary portrayal of the native culture and her views on the state of our wetlands. She embellishes her black and white photographs with objects found in the wilderness. The Museum also has a permanent exhibit of historic pictures and artifacts.

Shopping: yes, we have shopping in Everglades City with a wide selection of gifts and household items at Win-Car Hardware, Green Gator Variety Store (behind Backcountry Café), the Ivey House, the Sea Gull Studios, the museum gift shops, and the tour operator gift shops.

What’s happening with our historic street lamps? Recently all the old lamp posts were removed from the median on Collier Avenue coming into town. It has been reported that they will be repaired and installed along the side of the road, but for now they are disassembled and laying in a vacant lot in town. Driving into town visitors will soon be greeted with new 40-foot tall poles with lights extending 72” in two directions. There is quite a bit of controversy over the height of the new street lights and the number of new lights.  Is all this necessary? Everglades City has attracted residents and visitors because of its old Florida charm and historic buildings. The bright lights will certainly be a distraction from enjoying our beautiful starry nights.

For more information and telephone numbers, visit website evergladesmulletrapper.com.

Patricia Huff has lived in Everglades City for the past 16 years and is the Publisher of the local newspaper The Mullet Rapper.

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