Tag Archives: Camping in the Everglades

An Everglades Adventure~Part 1

24 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites



After moving to Florida and becoming an avid Florida Natural Springs campers, we began to encourage our close friends to go camping with us. We told them how much fun it was and how great it was to get out and be one with Nature.   Florida has some of the most beautiful tropical State and National parks a person could ask for, and we had become determined to visit as many of them as we could.



One day our friends, Dwayne and Jenny, expressed an interest in going camping with us. Well, that’s all we had to hear and we began planning our next trip. DiVoran had always wanted to visit the Florida Everglades, and since we had no other suggestions, that’s where we finally decided to go. In the early 70’s, the Everglades National Park was advertised as Nature at its best, with camping, hiking, canoeing, animal and bird watching and more. Well, we thought it would be a great adventure to camp at the southern tip of Florida and enjoy all those wonderful features. The part they left out of their colorful brochure was how primitive the area was.   


As I remember, at the time, Dwayne and Jenny’s three children were about 12 months, 3 and 6 years old, and our two children were about 8 and 10 years old. We planned to use our small pop-up camper as a base camp while their family slept in a large tent that would hold all of them. We each borrowed a canoe for the trip, and we packed all our food and equipment in our camper. We had a 1960 Chevy Biscayne that I drove back and forth to work and used to pull the camper.


Dwayne and Jenny had their tent, and all of their family provisions loaded in their car, with their canoe strapped on the top.   We had everything loaded, packed and ready for an early morning start. The best I remember it, Dwayne and I had taken Friday off, and since we were both off work the following Monday for (I think it was) Columbus Day, we were looking forward to a nice long four-day weekend to enjoy our Everglades Adventure. So, off we went the next morning as early as we could to get everyone moving.



We headed south on I-95 looking forward to a wonderful relaxing trip.   We were breezing along at 70 mph, with great anticipation about our upcoming adventure, when just as we were approaching SR-192 in Melbourne (only about 40 miles from our starting point), the engine in our car suddenly made a loud clattering noise, and the engine quit. I had no idea what could have happened, but all I could do now was to safely get off the highway and coast to a stop to check it out.


                                                            —–To Be Continued—–

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