July 9th, 2016

Dear Friends,

Our last days in Florida have been incredible!

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A few days ago we arrived at Biscayne National Park, which is known for its four overlapping, but distinct, ecosystems and offers visitors plenty of activities through which to appreciate them. The park exists thanks in large part to the tireless efforts of a few passionate locals who, in the 1950s, began campaigning to protect these beautiful and unique islands. Biscayne was declared a National Monument in 1968, and a National Park in 1980.

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Our first day at Biscayne was spent interviewing a ranger and then canoeing in the shallow water. I’m constantly surprised by the variety of plants and animals we encounter on our journey, and this park in particular had a wide array of them! As you can see in the picture below, I thought it would be fun to climb that tree for even better views of the park…

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Getting down was the hard part!

Yesterday we made another trip to Everglades National Park. While there we found a small cave…and you’ll never guess what was inside! I’ll give you a hint: they’re long, green, slimy, and they like spending time in the water. That’s right – snakes and alligators! Luckily we were a safe distance away, but that’s about as close as I want to get to them!

During our time at Everglades we also hiked along a boardwalk to get some photos of the park’s swamps. While we were out taking pictures it started storming, complete with the BIGGEST lightning I’ve ever seen! Thunder isn’t my favorite thing, but the sky was breathtaking…there was even a giant rainbow that made the storm feel magical!

Today we returned to Biscayne, taking a motorboat into the deeper water. Normally when we visit the parks, I feel like we’ve completely left the human world behind, but here we could see the Miami skyline from the water! We went snorkeling and explored an underwater shipwreck where we saw tons of multicolored fish, a golden eel, and a stingray! I tried to say hello to them but my gear got in the way…

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

The water at Biscayne was so clear that even when the water was 50 feet deep we could see the bottom!

Biscayne 2   Biscayne 1

Tomorrow we’re saying goodbye to Florida and heading to Great Smoky Mountains National Park for more adventures! I’m going to miss the swamps, and the tropical fish, and the turquoise water, and the views…

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But a change of scene will be exciting!

Wish you were here,

Bing

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