I have made a commitment to my children, the Boy Scouts of America, and myself to get out in the wilderness periodically. Often these are weekend trips. Occasionally these are longer. Noah, Tommy, and myself, along with fifteen other people, just spent 5 days in the Okefenokee Swamp. We camped on Mixons Hammock. We canoed upstream into strong head winds for 3 miles to Billys Island to see the ghost town (complete with a school, church, theater and more) where 600-800 people lived while the swamp was logged from 1909 to 1927. Billy’s Island showed the most evidence of the fire that began on May 5, 2007. We also canoed The Narrows to see the head waters of the Suwannee River. (see the canoe map of Okefenokee Swamp).
The mosquitoes were horrible. Noah came within 2 feet of absentmindedly stepping on an alligator as he ran toward his friends yelling, "whatcha lookin’ at?" The raccoons were bold coming within 10 feet of people. A snake visited the camp and decided to nap under Tommy’s tent. We saw alligators, vultures, woodpeckers, red tailed hawks, frogs, frogs, and more frogs, lizards, snake, raccoons, turtles, fire ants, red ants, a mouse (canoed down the Narrows with us), and plenty of mosquitoes. Meals were delicious. The company was excellent with stories and guffaws. Burn cream was administered for bare feet near the fire and sunburn on the skin. Cuts were mended and headaches treated. Overall, no one sustained any substantial injury. I think everyone had a great time. This was my second year in the Okefenokee. I look forward to more!
Now I have to compress 3 work days worth of work as well as administrative duties into a single afternoon. It was worth it!