Officially: Everglades National Park
Taken: June 23, 2013
Place: Florida, USA
As I sat in a large dorm room in Mexico next to my temporary roommates, I caught the ear of a French guy who seemed irate as soon as he heard my American accent. Thus far, he had assumed I was a local of Yucatan since I spoke Spanish.
“American?” he asked, with a scoff.
As he cooled it a bit, we began to talk about travel when he brought up that he had never been to the US, nor had any desire to. This was fine, I thought, as I have always known we aren’t exactly held on a pedestal in France, and anti-American sentiment is sometimes valid. I too have gone on rants calling LA overrated, and to be fair, I don’t exactly dream about France either. The following however, took me completely by surprise!
“I only travel to visit nature, and America has no nature?” he spat out in the most arrogant of tones. I’ve heard the argument putting down America’s lack of history or even culture, but nature?! Who was this guy kidding! What the United States lacks in long term history, it makes up in nature, where it reigns supreme.
The Everglades National Park has been thus far, my favorite national park in the US (above the Grand Canyon, Zion, or Yellowstone), even after spending a single day here. These unique wetlands are so different from anything else I have ever experienced. During my 15 km bike ride, I constantly stopped to observe weird looking turtles and giant eagles everywhere. I took this shot of water lilies at the base of the sky-view platform on the ultra-famous Shark-Valley Trail. At every corner, there were gators watching and waiting for some unsuspecting prey which made the experience so much more surreal. I actually thought this picture was really terrible when I first took it, but when I finally looked at it on a computer, the bright greens instantly took me back to that time and place like few pictures can. It perfectly grasps what I feel when I think of the Everglades National Park.
(click on the picture to enlarge)
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