Kayaking the Ten Thousand Islands.


Above: Me. Pretending to be a badass. (Photo by Zach Stovall; borrowed from Florida Travel + Life.)

Last December, I escaped the art fairs in Miami early to spend several days camping and kayaking in the Ten Thousand Islands on assignment for Florida Travel + Life, where I serve as a semi-regular contributor. It was pretty awe-inspiring . By day, we explored the mangrove isles that make up much of the southwestern Florida coast. At night, we camped on small beaches, carbo-loaded and admired the stars. It was the perfect antidote to the overload of shiny baubles I’d just gorged on at the art fairs. I’m also pretty dang proud I managed to survive the physical demands of the trip (blogging doesn’t do much in the way of developing stamina), but I’m also pretty excited about the story that came out of it. I’ve been spending the last few years making regular Everglades pilgrimages and I’ve developed a real affection for it. It kind of bums me out that the many Miami types who live right on top of it rarely show it much appreciation.

You can find my story on this journey in the April 2010 edition of Florida Travel + Life (available at Barnes & Noble) or you can cheat and read the PDF version here. Though if you could support the mag — which helps support me, I’d be deeply appreciative.

If you’re interested in doing something similar, I would like to heartily recommend the wonderful folks at Everglades Area Tours, who not only organize some mighty fine kayaking excursions (there are day-trips in case you don’t do camping), but are super cool folks to boot. And if for some reason, you spend any time at all in South Florida (be it for art fairs or because you like to get butt facials), consider Michael Grunwald’s The Swamp required reading. No ifs, ands or buts.

10 comments

  1. Yvonne Connasse

    Fantastique! Wonderful story…I’m not sure if I could manage the trip with a lit cigarette and a flask, but it is tempting. Plus, the lead guide is kind of hot…that helps.

  2. peet

    awesome trip! my wife and I kayaked a nice 50 mile section of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail last summer and have a goal to complete the whole thing over the course of a few years :) We had one incredible day where we didn’t see a single person, house or man-made object (besides our own kayaks) for about 6 hours… surely a rarity in New York state!!

  3. Lisa

    so cool, so want that to be my next vacation. I love the Everglades and what a great way to explore the area.

  4. Sarah

    Whoa. I had NO idea. I was one of those Floridians (way back when) who never went anyplace even remotely Everglades-like, or did anything nature-minded, tho’ I was right nearby.
    Instead, as the tract housing encroached on the Everglades, we’d find ‘gators in our back yard canal. sad.
    I don’t think I’d have the stamina. but if there was something a little less intense…

    Anyway, Lovely piece. brought back memories of whatever nature i knew. lush.