Monday, December 21, 2015

The Gator Hole Calls To Us

A THIN LINE BETWEEN COURAGEOUS AND CRAZY!! One of our many adventures within an adventure on our Everglades Swamp Thing hike is the optional slosh through what is "affectionately" referred to as a Gator Hole. Gator Holes are deeper sources of water scattered throughout the wilderness that supply year-round water and food (hopefully not us!) for wildlife. This HUGE Gator Hole located 1/4 mile from our camp was hauntingly beautiful with crystal clear fresh water (possibly a spring) and enormous prehistoric-like ferns and vegetation. It feels as if you walked back into the first days of creation. The stunning scenery and elevated danger are palpable. Although we survey the landscape in an attempt to stay far away of even a hint of alligator presence the risk is readily felt by all. It's an optional side adventure. To many people it is absolute lunacy that cannot be adequately explained, but to the adventurous soul it is the essence of life itself that oozes with unexplainable brilliance. It is a line where two opposing viewpoints will never budge and agreeing to disagree is the closest common ground that will ever be achieved. Nine of our ten participants opted "in" and had one of the most thrilling experiences of our lives. We all survived - even thrived - and walked out with so much more than we entered in with. We walked, jumped, swam, and even stared right into the face of danger. It wasn't gratuitous. It was intentional. It was rational. For each person the reasons may have been completely different, but for all of us it was necessary. Today, "the day after", we even benefit in inexpressible ways from our march through one of the rarest adventure destinations in the world. Very few will ever step into a swamp, and far less will immerse themselves in a Gator Hole. We did both. And our hearts are rejoicing in epic ways this morning.