Don Bain's 360° Panoramas of the
Everglades and Florida Keys
I have been wanting to visit the Everglades since reading Marjorie Stoneman Douglas' classic book "River of Grass" when I was in college. It took forty years, but I finally made it. In that time the threats to the Everglades ecosystem that Douglas brought to public attention got even worse, but now may be turning around. I could see the evidence of both degradation and recovery on my brief visit.
Cypress swamps exist in all the southeastern states, but the most famous are in Florida. It was a thrill to finally see the Corkscrew Swamp. The unique landscape of the Everglades, with its sawgrass flats and domed islands was another item on my bucket list. But it was the wildlife in Everglades National Park that was most fun, equal to Alaska in its abundance and viewability.
As a geographer I always want to drive to the end of the road, visit the northernmost, southernmost, highest, lowest, whatever. So Key West and the Florida Keys were of course high on my list. I had problems again with a lack of time and scarcity of options to stay overnight. Next time I will plan better and maybe stay overnight on Key West itself.
Perhaps the best day of my 2015 expedition was the boat trip out to Dry Tortugas National Park. I had considered camping there for a few nights, but decided against it because of the extra gear I would need to carry along for thousands of miles. But next time I will do it!