DATES OF TRIP: December 27, 2020 ( Sunday)  – January  2, 2021 (Saturday)

COST OF TRIP: $2,042 Per Person Double Occupancy

TRIP LEADER: David Pisaneschi

MAILING ADDRESS:180 South Main Avenue, Albany, NY 12208

EMAIL ADDRESS: dapadk@gmail.com

TELEPHONE NUMBER: 518-459-5969

TRIP SIZE: Minimum 8; Maximum 14, plus leader

DESCRIPTION: Kayak at the gateway to the 100-mile wilderness waterway.  Enjoy historic and infamous Everglades City and Chokoloskee. Stay at comfortable accommodations with hot showers.

Kayaks, paddles, and pfds will be provided by the guides.  OUR LEAD GUIDE IS A NATIVE FLORIDIAN AND ADK ALBANY CHAPTER MEMBER. We will be paddling 12-foot plastic Neckys.  These are solo recreational kayaks. Every day we will be accompanied by two very experienced naturalist guides, who will provide insight into the area’s ecology and natural history.

We will be staying at the Ivey House in Everglades City

Deep in the southern and eastern part of Florida, the 10,000 islands, Big Cypress, and Everglades all hang precariously on the edge of our day-to-day world. This spectacular area is an aquatic preserve and home to a variety of wildlife, including dolphins, manatees, sea turtles, and numerous wading birds. They make up a chain of mangrove islands off the coast of southwest Florida. This refuge is part of one of the largest expanses of mangrove estuary in North America. Our van transport will take us each day to a new launch point in this mystic wilderness. Mangroves and magnificent sunsets move us to memories of our more primitive past. A time when birds blacken the sun and reptiles ruled in this river of grass. Our kayaks will let us penetrate this liquid landscape to reveal its secrets.

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: Participants must have prior flatwater paddling experience and know paddling fundamentals. You must be comfortable sitting in a kayak for anywhere from 2-4  hours at a given time. We will be on the water for 7 hours each day, but will take breaks.  Be aware that biting insects, alligators and venomous snakes all make this area home.  Heavy rains could change the conditions/character of the river(s). This includes fast-moving water, blowdowns, and strainers.  Since this is Florida, late afternoon rains and thunderstorms are always a possibility. Should you dump, you must be a competent swimmer and comfortable floating in your PFD until someone can assist you. If there is any question regarding river safety, I will after consultation with our guide(s) make the appropriate determination. If I determine that conditions are not safe, we will decide on an alternate activity, such as a hike or visit to a local state park or similar. This could cause you to incur a cost not covered by the trip price.

DAILY ITINERARY:

Day 1, Sunday, December 27: For those flying, our guides will meet us at the Fort Myers airport at noon.  You and your gear will be in will be transported in passenger van(s). For anyone driving, I will provide directions to the Ivy House in Everglades City, where we will be staying. This rustic, picturesque little fishing village will be our base for the week. After we meet and greet, a basic kayak orientation will be available. The first meal of the trip is dinner, and then we’ll be off to sightsee and toast the sunset!

Day 2, Monday, December 28: We will launch our kayaks and cruise to the Turner River. Turner River is one of many rivers that transition the slow-moving, shallow river of grass in the Everglades to the mangrove islands on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico. This narrow, twisting stream of clear water moves beneath the wiry, entwined limbs of low, overhead red mangroves forming a tunnel of green, waxy leaves arching completely across the waterway. Between the intermittent tunnels, the saw grass of the freshwater grass prairie that stretches southward from the shore of Lake Okeechobee slowly loses its battle to the salt-tolerant mangroves. Myriads of large birds hunt along the shores in the tall saw grass and fly overhead in large flocks. We’ll stop by the infamous Smallwood Store (a museum of Everglades past) on Chokoloskee Island (this is the setting for the demise of Mr. Watson in Peter Matthiessen book “Killing Mister Watson”).

Day 3, Tuesday, December 29: After breakfast our van will transport us to our drop point on Halfway Creek. Following the tide, we paddle this beautiful creek. It is considered one of the prettiest in the 10,000 Islands. Large buttonwood trees filled with bromeliads and the occasional orchid can be seen at the upper end.

Day 4, Wednesday, December 30: We’ll move north and launch into Goodland Bay. Goodland is just south of the well known Marco Island and is the direct gateway to the 10,000 Islands. We’ll ride the tide out to Coon Key for a picnic-style lunch. There will be time to explore and photograph the neighboring keys, Tripod and Brush. Keep your eyes peeled for playful dolphins and expect spectacular scenery birds feasting everywhere.

Day 5, Thursday, December 31: Today we will take the twisting mangrove-lined Blackwater River to Mud Bay. Mud bays and flats may look barren, but in reality they are teeming with life. The mud flats attract all manner of hungry inhabitants. Old homestead locations like Old Grove and Grocery Place are of historical interest. This river trail meanders through almost 5,000 acres of mangrove wilderness preserve.

Day 6, Friday, January 1: After breakfast, we will pack lunches and put on our wet shoes. Our guide will take us into the Big Cypress Preserve, which includes areas touted to be North America’s tropical rain forest. We will walk part of the Fire Prairie Trail, which (conditions permitting) will include for those with a suitable sense of adventure a walk into the swamp. The swamp walk will be a “wow” experience that you will never forget in a unique and enchanting place, home to over 40 species of epiphytic orchids (including the infamous Ghost Orchid).

Day 7: Saturday, January 2: This is our last morning of our Everglades Adventure. Breakfast is the last meal included. Lunch that day is on your own. This would be a great opportunity to hike or explore this sleepy little fishing village. Then it’s time to say goodbye to this remarkable wilderness. Our guides will transport those flying home to the Fort Myers airport. Plan your flights out after 4:00pm.

We will make every reasonable effort to meet the goals outlined in the itinerary. Please keep in mind that weather or other conditions beyond our control may cause us to modify the itinerary in order to ensure the safety and well-being of the group.

TRIP PRICE INCLUDES:   6 nights lodging, 6 breakfast, 5 lunches, and 6 dinners.  Choice of either canoe or kayak. Daily maid service at the lodge. All ground transportation (to and from the Fort Myers airport.), along with transportation during the trip. Van support transporting kayaks, kayaking gear, and riverside lunches. Kayaks (12-foot plastic Neckys), paddles, and PFDs, two local guides/naturalists,  gratuities for guides and maids. Canoes either solo or tandems can be provided instead of kayaks if requested.

TRIP PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:  Airfare/transportation to the Fort Myers airport, meals, lodging and transportation before and after the trip dates, lunch on day 1, lunch on day 7, personal items, such as bug dope, sunscreen, drybags/daypacks, raingear, and footwear   Trip insurance is not included in the trip price and is very strongly recommended.

PARTICIPANT RESPONSIBILITY:  You, the trip participant, are obliged to follow the instructions and decisions of the trip leader and tour guide. Should you be inadequately prepared (physically, mentally, or requisite equipment) for the trip or any part of, or otherwise causing difficulties for the trip leader, tour guide, or other trip participants, the trip leader has the authority to require you to leave the trip or part of at your sole expense. The trip leader, tour guide, or any other organization is in no way responsible for any extra cost that you may incur as a result of this action.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: Not Available

WHAT TO BRING: A detailed packing list will be provided to trip participants after they register.

GETTING TO:  Our guides will meet us at the Fort Myers airport at noon on day 1. You and your gear will be in will be transported in passenger van(s). For anyone driving, I will provide directions to the Ivy House in Everglades City, where we will be staying.  Do not make your flight arrangements until I tell you that this trip has the minimum participants for the trip to go.

PAYMENT SCHEDULE:  A deposit of $ 450 is due with the application forms to register for the trip. Must have at least 8 registered and paid in full by September 1, 2020 for the trip to go. The balance of $1,592 is due no later than September  1, 2020.

APPLICATION AND REGISTRATION PROCEDURE: Please carefully read the above-detailed trip description and itinerary, and contact me if you have any questions. Then, if you decide to join this adventure, please contact me (email, phone or snail mail) and I will send you the registration paperwork, consisting of the Registration form, the Health and Physical Condition Questionnaire and Release of Liability form. Complete these forms and send them to me by US Postal Service with the deposit (check payable to “ADK” or the Credit Card Authorization) to reserve a spot. Please note that original signatures are required on all forms. Spaces are reserved in the order that complete and acceptable registration forms and deposit payments are received, so don’t delay.

CANCELLATION POLICY:

  • If you cancel prior to September 1, 2020 everything except the $ 100  ADK registration fee will be refunded.
  • On or after September 1, 2020, refund will only be made if the vacancy can be filled from a waiting list maintained by the leader, if any, and then all but $100 will be refunded.
  • If the leader decides that this trip is not for you, or the trip is canceled by ADK, all payments received by ADK will be refunded.

TRIP INSURANCE: It is very strongly recommended that all participants have trip or travel insurance that will cover trip cancellation by the participant, travel delays, medical expenses and medical evacuation. ADK does not provide this insurance and does not cover medical expenses or evacuation in the event you are injured or become ill during the trip. Note that if you have to cancel after the date indicated above, and cannot be replaced from the leader’s waiting list, if any, you could be out the entire amount you paid for the trip.

YOU MUST BE A MEMBER IN GOOD STANDING OF THE ADIRONDACK MOUNTAIN CLUB TO BE A PARTICIPANT ON AN ADK ADVENTURE TRAVEL TRIP. CLICK HERE TO JOIN ADK ONLINE.

TRIP PRICES AND ARRANGEMENTS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND ADK’s CONTROL.