Day 6
ClubHouse Beach to Flamingo Ranger Station
6 miles
Drive home: 400 miles

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As we are eating breakfast and getting ready to leave at about 8 am, our Michigan friends had learned the lesson and pass by, already out on the water!

It always seems that the last few miles take forever and it does. As we get closer to the Ranger Station in Flamingo, the water gets very shallow and we must head back out to take the long way around using the boat channel. As usual, seeing lots of pelicans and dolphins, which are a daily occurrence. We also notice more boat traffic, as we are now close to "civilization" again. The flats boats are out fishing.


We reach the Flamingo boat ramp about 11 and quickly get everything out of the kayak and loaded in the car by noon for the long drive back to Crystal River.


The drive back takes us through Homestead, which was ground zero for Hurricane Andrew and eventually back west across Florida on the Tamiami Trail. This part of Florida has many canals that were buit from about the 30's to the 60's to drain the Everglades of water for development. Of course, few thought about the ecological disaster this would be. These canals are now destroying the Everglades as they interfere with the fresh water flow that is essential for the Everglades to survive. There are groups trying to restore this flow of water and there are the usual competing forces trying to prevent this as "bad" for business and development.


The fresh water in the canals along the Trail, are loaded with alligators and every few miles is a Seminole Indian development usually offering airboat rides or gambling! As we near the turnoff for Everglades City again, we stop at Clyde Butcher's photo studio. He is an amazing Florida photographer, much in the style of Ansel Adams, using black and white with great detail to catching the light just right. Eventually we head north again on I-75 back to Crystal River.