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Kayaking The Everglades: Exploring the River of Grass

Program Number: 21349RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/9/2014 - 2/14/2014; 12/7/2014 - 12/12/2014; 1/18/2015 - 1/23/2015; 2/8/2015 - 2/13/2015; 3/1/2015 - 3/6/2015; 3/15/2015 - 3/20/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Everglades City, Florida
Price starting at: $1,479.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Water Sports; Natural History Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 13; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Salt; Gluten Free    

When Marjory Stoneman Douglas published her book “The Everglades: River of Grass” in 1947, she called attention to the deterioration of the largest wilderness east of the Mississippi. Since then, the establishment of the National Park and painstaking restoration and preservation efforts have helped maintain the Everglades as a natural treasure. With experts and naturalists, kayak the subtropical rivers that flow through it to experience the beauty of its pristine estuaries and to gain personal understanding of what makes its ecology unique.




Highlights

• Experience a twilight paddle on the East River to feel the mystery of the encroaching Everglades night.
• Paddle through the 10,000 Islands and visit a historical shell mound where settlers raised tomatoes in the early 1900s.
• Learn about unique adaptations of flora and fauna from a naturalist in Big Cypress National Preserve.



Activity Particulars

Paddling up to six miles, walking up to one mile per day.



Kayaking equipment provided. Accommodation 1 includes a round-trip shuttle transfer from SW Int’l Airport in Ft. Myers to the Ivey House in Everglade City.



Coordinated by Road Scholar.




Everglades City

Located on Florida’s southwest coast, Everglades City is the gateway to the Ten Thousand Island National Wildlife Refuge and Everglades National Park. Once a sleepy farming community growing sugarcane and bananas, Everglades City has been welcoming those who wish to explore the incredible wetland and coastal environments surrounding it for decades.



Accommodations
“Certified Green Lodging” inn with heated swimming pool.
Meals and Lodgings
   Ivey House
  Everglades City, FL 5 nights
 Ivey House
Type: Bed and Breakfast
  Description: The Ivey House is TripAdvisor's #1 rated lodging facility in Everglades City and the Collier County's first "Certified Green Lodging" location. Rooms in the Inn surround a screened-in, beautifully landscaped courtyard with a tropical waterfall and heated swimming pool. The Ivey House Inn is a modern addition with eighteen rooms that adjoins the historic lodge. Road Scholar programs will stay in the Inn. WiFi is available in public places. Free Parking.
  Contact info: 107 Camellia St
Everglades, FL 34139 USA
phone: 239-695-3299
web: iveyhouse.com/index.php
  Room amenities: Cable TV Small refrigerator in each room air conditioning/heat Phone
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: $99-$229 Please contact the Ivey House for details. The Inn: $169-$179 The Lodge: $99 The lodge features basic accommodations with shared bathrooms The Cottage: $229 A two night minimum is required, full kitchen and separate living room Due to the high season, Road Scholar does not have a special rate for pre or post nights
  Additional nights after: $99-$229 Please contact the Ivey House for details. The Inn: $169-$179 The Lodge: $99 The lodge features basic accommodations with shared bathrooms The Cottage: $229 A two night minimum is required, full kitchen and separate living room Due to the high season, Road Scholar does not have a special rate for pre or post nights


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3 - 5 pm Check-in You will be staying at Ivey House that night.
  End of Program:
11:00 am Departure You will be staying at Ivey House the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Free
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Everglades City, FL
  Nearest city or town:  Naples
  Nearest highway: State Route 29
  Nearest airport:  Southwest Florida International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Everglades City, FL
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Fort Myers: Southwest Florida Int'l Airport to the Ivey House, Everglade City

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Private Road Scholar Shuttle
phone: 617-521-5373
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$37.50 ($75 for both ways)
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1.5 hours away 

 

Distance:

 

73 miles

   

The shuttle will be leaving the SW Int'l Airport for the Ivey House at 2 pm. Please make sure your flights arrive at the airport by 1:00 pm. Please call the Road Scholar Boston office to make your reservation at least 2 weeks prior to the program start date, (617) 521-5373.

 

Ivey House, Everglade City to Southwest Florida Int'l Airport, Ft. Myers

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Private Road Scholar Shuttle
phone: 617-521-5373
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$37.50 ($75 for both ways)
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1.5 hours away 

 

Distance:

 

73 miles

   

The shuttle will be leaving the Ivey House at 11 am with an estimated arrival at SW Int'l Airport at 12:30 pm. Please make sure your flights depart after 3:00 pm. Please call the Road Scholar Boston office to make your reservation at least 2 weeks prior to the program start date, (617) 521-5373.

 
Driving Directions
  From the Northeast (Ft. Lauderdale) to Ivey House Travel Interstate 595 west to the large flyover bridges at the west of town and follow the signs for Interstate 75 North (also called "Alligator Alley"). Continue on Alligator Alley and leave the highway at exit 80. Make a right from the exit and travel south on State Road 29 for 17 miles to the blinking light at the intersection with U.S. 41 (landmarks: a gas station on the southwest corner and the Everglades Area Chamber of Commerce on the southeast corner). Continue south 3.2 miles and look for the Ivey House on the west side of the road just before the Circle-K and Post Office. Minimum travel time from Fort Myers: 1.5 hours. Minimum travel time from Ft. Lauderdale: 1.5 hours.
  From the Northwest (Fort Myers, Tampa, etc.) to Ivey House Travel Interstate 75 South and leave the highway at exit 80. Make a right from the exit and travel south on State Road 29 for 17 miles to the blinking light at the intersection with U.S. 41 (landmarks: a gas station on the southwest corner and the Everglades Area Chamber of Commerce on the southeast corner). Continue south 3.2 miles and look for the Ivey House on the west side of the road just before the Circle-K and Post Office. Minimum travel time from Fort Myers: 1.5 hours. Minimum travel time from Tampa: 3.5 hours.
  From the West (downtown Naples area) to Ivey House Travel U.S. Highway 41 to the intersection with State Road 29 (landmarks: a gas station on the southwest corner and the Everglades Area Chamber of Commerce on the southeast corner). Make a right (go south) on State Road 29, travel south 3.2 miles and look for the Ivey House on the right (west) side of the road just before the Circle-K and Post Office. The Ivey House is roughly 33 miles southeast of downtown Naples. Minimum travel time from Naples using this route: 45 minutes.
  From the north (Orlando) via lesser-traveled scenic highways Travel west on Interstate 4 and leave the highway at State Road 27 (exit 55). travel south on SR27 for about 97 miles and watch for the intersection with Florida State Road 29 just past the tiny community of Palmdale. Make a right onto SR29 and proceed south roughly 76 miles to the blinking light at the intersection with U.S. Highway 41 (landmarks: a gas station on the southwest corner and the Everglades Area Chamber of Commerce on the southeast corner). Continue south 3.2 miles and look for the Ivey House on the west side of the road just before the Circle-K and Post Office. Minimum travel time from Orlando using this route: 3.75 hours.
Equipment Requirements: Kayaks will be provided. Participants will have the option of a Single OR Double non-ruddered recreational kayak.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival and Check-in, Program Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
(Sunday, February 9)
   
 Afternoon: Hotel Check-in: Available from 3:00pm.

Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar desk in the lobby to pick up your arrival packet containing your name tag, the up-to-date schedule, and to confirm the time of the orientation session.

Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

 Dinner: Enjoy a 3-course meal at a local restaurant with salad, entrée, and dessert. We will return to the hotel after dinner for our Orientation session.
 Evening: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome and introduce everyone. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.

Take the rest of the evening to settle in, get a good night's sleep, and prepare for the full day ahead.

   
Accommodations: Ivey House
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Paddle Seagrape Drive-Halfway Creek, History of the Everglades, Free Evening
(Monday, February 10)

Note: We will be kayaking 5 miles today.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy a selection of hot and cold items including fresh fruit plus coffee and tea.
 Morning: Kayaking Seagrape Drive to Halway Creek. After a van ride to the launch site, we start getting acquainted with our kayaks by paddling into the mangrove estuary of Big Cypress National Preserve. Our naturalist guide will also talk about some of the unique adaptations of flora and fauna of the Everglades. At the early afternoon conclusion of the field trip, we will return to the Inn with some time to freshen up then depart for lunch.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant, choose from a select menu of salads and sandwiches.
 Afternoon: History of the Everglades. Hear from a local expert about one of the country’s most extraordinary ecosystems.
 Dinner: Dinner is on your own tonight to enjoy the cuisine of your choice. Your Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.
 Evening: Free Evening. Take the evening to become better acquainted with new Road Scholar friends and prepare for tomorrow's activities.
   
Accommodations: Ivey House
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3: Museum of the Everglades, Preservation and Restoration, Evening Paddle
(Tuesday, February 11)

Note: We will be paddling 4 miles in the late afternoon/evening.



   
 Breakfast: At the Inn.
 Morning: Free morning to explore Everglade City.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant with a choice of sandwich or salad buffet.
 Afternoon: Preservation and Restoration of the Everglades. Learn what it takes to save this natural wonder.

East River Kayaking. In the late afternoon/early evening, and guided by the instructor, we will paddle into the twilight and feel the mystery of the encroaching Everglades night. Glide through mangrove tunnels, into the saw-grass prairie, and watch twilight fade into the night. As darkness arrives, the eyes of the alligator (seen from a safe distance) seem to glow in your headlamp adding a mystique all its own. Snacks provided!

 Dinner: We will have dinner out at a local restaurant after returning from the twilight paddle, approximately 8:30pm.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Ivey House
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Paddle 10,000 Islands to Sandfly Island
(Wednesday, February 12)

Note: We will be kayaking 5 miles today.



   
 Breakfast: At the Inn.
 Morning: Kayaking 10,000 Islands to Sandfly Island. Learn about the history of the Everglades while paddling. We will also hike a 1-mile trail and visit a historical shell mound where the Bogus Family raised tomatoes in the early 1900s.
 Lunch: Enjoy a boxed lunch while you are out on the paddle.
 Afternoon: Museum of the Everglades. Located here in historic Everglades City, the museum is devoted to displaying local history from early Native American times to the present as well as exhibits of works by local and regional artists. We will have an expert-led exploration.

Museum of the Everglades. Located here in historic Everglades City, the museum is devoted to displaying local history from early Native American times to the present as well as exhibits of works by local and regional artists. We will have an expert-led exploration.

 Dinner: At a local restaurant, enjoy a 3-course meal with choice of entreé.
   
Accommodations: Ivey House
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Turner River
(Thursday, February 13)

Note: We will be kayaking for the most of the day and will paddle a total of 6 miles. Due to the limited number of kayaks allowed daily on the Turner River participants may need to share a tandem kayak.



   
 Breakfast: At the Inn.
 Morning: Kayaking Turner River. Paddle into the heart of the Everglades entering a Bald Cypress/Pond Apple ecosystem. As we glide through the fresh water observing air plants, herons, you may also see and alligators basking in their natural habitat as we start meeting salt water entering the mangrove tunnels on our way to the prairie.
 Lunch: Enjoy a boxed lunch while you are out on the paddle.
 Afternoon: Continue paddling the Turner River. We will return to the Inn by approximately 4:00pm.
 Dinner: For our farewell dinner at the Camellia's. Enjoy a 3-course meal with salad, choice of local catch or a non-fish entrée, and dessert.
 Evening: Share your favorite experiences of the program with new Road Scholar friends and prepare for departure tomorrow.
   
Accommodations: Ivey House
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Wrap-up, Program Concludes
(Friday, February 14)
   
 Breakfast: At the Inn.
 Morning: We conclude with a final presentation on aspects of local history.

Please remember that check-out is by 11:00am.

The optional shuttle will leave at 11:00am for arrival at Southwest Florida International Airport by approximately 12:30 PM (depending on traffic). We do not advise booking flights or other onward travel arrangements departing before 3:00pm.

We hope you have enjoyed this Road Scholar learning adventure and look forward to having you on other rewarding programs in the future. Please stay in touch and share your memories, pictures, and comments via Boston Road Scholar Facebook page. Best wishes for all your journeys!

   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Everglades City, FL Captain Becky Campbell/ Everglades Fishing Charters
Captain Becky is native to Florida and has more than 30 years experience on the Florida waters. Join Becky on her state of the art guide boat and fish for large snook, redfish, trout, tarpon and many other species. Mouth of Baron River, Everglades City, FL 34139. (239-695-2029) For additional information, visit http://evergladesfishingcharters.com/index.html
  Driftwood Spa
Driftwood spa specializes in massage therapy and spa services for men and women. Their treatments are designed for each individual client using only organic and all natural products. 207 Broadway W, Everglades, FL 34139. (239) 695-0069 For additional information, visit http://www.driftwoodspa-everglades.com/
  Tigertail Beach
Tiger Tail Beach is a popular beach for birders and wildlife photographers. Just a 40-minute drive away from Everglades City to the scenic Marco Island. 168 Royal Palm Drive Marco Island, FL 34145 For additional information, visit http://www.explorenaples.com/tigertail_beach.phtml
  Manatee Sight-seeing boat ride
Take the whole family on this exciting one and a half hour private boat trip into a remote Everglades manatee hideout and view this enormous and elegant endangered species. Trips are by appointment only. Call Captains Barry and Carol at 239-642-8818. Captains Barry and Carol Berger offer guaranteed private manatee sightseeing trips (for a maximum of 6 passengers), giving you the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with these amazing gentle creatures . . . and if you do not see a manatee you do not pay for the trip! 525 Newport Drive, Naples, Florida 34114 For additional information, visit http://www.see-manatees.com/home.php
  Everglades Adventure Tours
Your choice of experiencing the oldest way to see the Everglades with private, guided pole boat tours, or experiencing the newest way to see the everglades, with a paddleboard safari. Pole boats have been used for centuries by the Native Indian tribes and the Gladesmen culture to hunt, fish and navigate the shallow marshes of the Florida Everglades. This gondola-like tour offers a private, world-class Everglades experience. Should you choose to go the other route, Adventure tours provide stable yolo yaks that allow you to paddle or pole across grass prairies or through mangrove tunnels with a naturalist guide. 40904 Tamiami Trail, Ochopee, FL 34141. (800)504-6554 For additional information, visit http://www.evergladesadventuretours.com/tour_options.htm
  Everglades Backcountry Experience
Enjoy the beauty and wildlife of the Everglades on a unique fishing trip through the 10,000 islands with a 6th generation native guide, or go on a 2 hour backcountry wildlife/birding trip. Capt. Rodney Raffield will take you to places unknown by most. (239)695-4626 For additional information, visit http://www.evergladesbackcountryexperience.com/
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise


Author: Michael Grunwald


Description: The Everglades was once reviled as a liquid wasteland, and Americans dreamed of draining it. Now it is revered as a national treasure, and Americans have launched the largest environmental project in history to try to save it. The Swamp is the stunning story of the destruction and possible resurrection of the Everglades, the saga of man's abuse of nature in southern Florida and his unprecedented efforts to make amends. Michael Grunwald, a prize-winning national reporter for The Washington Post, takes readers on a riveting journey from the Ice Ages to the present, illuminating the natural, social and political history of one of America's most beguiling but least understood patches of land.



Adventure Guide to The Florida Keys & Everglades National Park (3rd Ed)


Author: Joyce Huber and Jon Huber


Description: An adventure guide to the Florida Keys and the Everglades National Park. It offers a mix of practical travel information along with details of adventurous activities, which should be fun for everyone no matter what their age or ability. The volume provides information on the history, culture, climate and geography of the area, covering its people and their roots, museums, historic sites and local attractions. The adventures include diving, canoeing, birdwatching, deep-sea fishing, aerial tours and swamp hiking. Then there is advice on where to eat and stay, transportation, practical concerns, useful websites, e-mail addresses, tourism offices and detailed regional and town maps, that feature walking and driving tours.



Endangered and Threatened Animals of Florida and Their Habitats (Corrie Herring Hooks Series)


Author: Chris Scott


Description: A biological crossroads where temperate gives way to tropical and east blends into west, Florida has over twenty-five primary habitat types, several of which are unique to the state. Within these richly varied natural communities lives an astonishing abundance of animals and plants, making Florida one of the United States' most biologically diverse regions. At the same time, sadly, Florida is also one of the country's most ecologically imperiled regions, second only to California in the number of its animals and plants that have been federally designated as endangered or threatened. This fully illustrated book is a comprehensive, yet convenient and easy-to-understand guide to Florida's endangered and threatened animals and the habitats that support them. Chris Scott covers all 71 species, subspecies, or populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, crustaceans, insects, corals, and mollusks. His species accounts describe each animal's listed status, identifying characteristics, historical and current distribution, biology, current threats, and conservation efforts. To make the crucial link between animals and their habitats, Scott also includes extensive discussions of Florida's natural regions; human impacts on the environment, including habitat destruction, pollution, and the introduction of invasive, nonnative species; and ongoing efforts to conserve and restore native plant and animal communities. With this wealth of information available in no other single volume, everyone who cares about the natural environment can help preserve one of America's biological treasurehouses.





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