the florida everglades is something i never imagined would harness so many hidden gems of natural beauty, nor did i ever estimate that i would have such a fondness of a swampy marsh area. to my surprise, this is where i have enjoyed most planning an overnight getaway, a place i can quickly pack up some gear, load up some friends and pretty easily escape away to for a night out of the norm.
after an intense couple months of work, this was just the kind of trip i needed. i loaded up with a group of new friends and headed southwest for a couple hours to an area i had yet to be exposed to within the marshlands of my back yard. the drive was a relaxing one, with the four of us jammed in the seats, surrounded by gear and our personal belongings. the ride was leisurely and easy, windows down, air blowing through our hair and snapping pictures along the way of things and jamming out to music pumping through the speakers.
unlike any camp i had experienced before, we motored out to claimed our site on a little island in the middle of the everglades in a little dingy jammed with our essentials. the next 16 hours were full of everything a night camp should include; good friends, food, campfire, loads of cheap whiskey and box wine. once the night was heavy with dew in the air and booze running through our veins, we called it a night and retreated to our tents to pass a few hours and sleep to the sounds of the bugs buzzing and stillness of air created by the solitude from our day to day.
when the sun rose at dawn, slowly kissing my cheeks to greet a new day, my hangout set in and the regret of cheap booze pounded in my temples. the call of obligation to return to responsibilities put on pause for a day returned and we loaded up and made the painful ride back inland – a mix of regret from the choices in festivities to pass the night in our campgrounds and lack of desire to have this moment end so soon.
none the less, no matter how short, nor how painful the hangover, my night camp at 10,000 islands will forever remain one of the most special and organic experiences i have had to date, one that can be described with very few words and the snapshots captured can re-create.