With no marked signs and a cartoonish map, we promptly got lost as gator eyes gazed at us above the eerily still black water. Calling the main office in a panic, we asked if we had passed our turn (yes, cell phone service worked out there amazingly!) and were assured that we had a little farther to go. We continued on about another 40 minutes only to encounter a sign that said, "No boating beyond this point."
Manuevering through a tiny canal to turn around, we headed directly into a huge rain storm. From the beginning of our boat trip to this turning point, the temperature had dropped about twenty degrees, our hunger was getting to us, and we all were straining to keep smiles on our faces. We also had to start apologizing profusely to our captain-for-the-day because he had wanted to turn around and go back the way we came, while the rest of us urged him onward so we could go see new "stuff." Sorry again, Ben.
We finally made it back of course and spent the rest of the night thankful that we were in fact alive instead of lost in the Everglades overnight or a magnet for a lightning bolt since our boat was made of metal. The views and surroundings were gorgeous and peaceful, but we sure gained an appreciation of life, warm clothes and the restorative powers of red meat that evening.