Monday, October 26, 2009

My Alligator Story

Can you see the alligator waiting for lunch to ride by?

Here's a closer view:

Gator number two was closer and harder to see:

Saw some birds, too:

This one is the reason you stay on the road.  That clump of mud has teeth. 

Couldn't find him?  Try now.  Click to enlarge if you still can't see him.

Of all the stories I tell about my road trip, people remember the alligator the most.  When Poker Guy introduced me to his girlfriend he said, "I told her your alligator story."

I was on a 15 mile bike trail in Everglades National Park and I saw an alligator on the side of the road.  It was more than 10 miles back the way I came so I put my bike between me and the alligator, walked as close to the edge as I could, and hoped he would get a mouthful of tire if he decided to bite.  After about a mile I saw another one and had to do it again.

I started a series of articles about the trip on HubPages, but have only done the first 5 days so far.  I intend to add more.  I should have taken better notes so it would be easier.  I'll do better next time.  If anyone is interested, you can read more here.



OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

THese Gators look really fierce....! Dangerous looking teeth...! You were either very brave or kind of crazy (lol) to get as close as you did---A Bike would be childs play for them, wouldn't it?
I think you were very lucky to have gotten away from them....I am so Chicken, I think I would have turned around immediately and riden right back where I came!

Tammy said...

Finally! Another woman with balls!

kenju said...

You were smart to do that. I might have tried to ride by them as quickly as possible.

Kate said...

Wow they look incredibly scary you are clearly very brave. Really enjoyed this story too we don't have gators here!


John said...

Holy Crap, you are far too close to those suckers for the level of comfort that I prefer to live in. Way to go eggs to the wall girl. Your bravery shines in this story.

Jen said...

@OldOldLady of the Hills: Most people do think I'm kind of crazy. I take it as a compliment.

@Tammy: I hear that a lot. You are my hero. Just like the woman in Under the Tuscan Sun.

@kenju: I learned a long time ago the best thing to do when confronted with a viscous dog is to keep the bike between you, so it seemed like the thing to do with the alligator. Most of the time it is a very bad idea to run from animals.

@Kate: We have 'gators in Texas, but that is the closest I've ever seen one that was not in a zoo. It was a very different experience.

@John: The park rules are to maintain a safe distance of 10 to 15 feet if you see alligators on the road. I think I barely stayed within that range. I never felt threatened by those animals. They didn't hiss or move at all...just watched me walk by...

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