When it was decided that we were heading to South Florida for our summer excursion, Lori had two items on her must do list. She wanted to see the Florida Keys, and she wanted to see a wild alligator. I, as all husbands do, decided to try and combine the two.
A little reading told me that the Blue Hole on Big Pine Key was the place to stop. Located right off Key Deer Rd (and conveniently only a couple of minutes from the No Name Pub), the Blue Hole is really more of just a little pond with a very short trail wandering around it. There's a small deck that looks out over the water, which we were led to believe was where an attendant would be standing. The only one near the platform when we arrived was this guy:
Oh well, we don't need supervision...We're grownups! Off we went to the platform and sure enough, within a couple of minutes, here came a gator.
This gator is obviously used to having humans around, as he made a beeline for the platform as soon as we'd made enough noise to announce our presence. Pretty soon he was right in front of us:
And then he was right under us. Everybody kind of laughed when the alligator swam under the dock, but after a minute or two, it occurred to us that we were out on a platform. If the alligator swam under the deck and then came up on the other side, we were trapped. Can you tell that we're brave wilderness types? We got off that platform extra quick and made our way back to the van, convinced that every twig snap was the alligator chasing us right back to the parking lot.
Amazingly, even this near death experience didn't satisfy my wife's desire to see wild alligators. A couple of days later I found myself out on a boat in the Everglades looking for more. The lesson here is, if your wife is easy to please, the Blue Hole will get the job done for you. If she's not, you might as well head straight for the swamp. No point risking your life twice to satisfy the same desire.
Written by Steve Pratt