PCPL Travel Talk focuses on Everglades

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The Putnam County Public Library will present “Everglades Terror! Student Distracts Alligator with Paddle: Saves Trip!” as part of the PCPL Travel Series on Wednesday, Feb. 19.

The free program is scheduled for 11:40-12:20 p.m. in the Kiwanis Room at the library.

Student Carson Mara writes, “I put my paddle in the water and on one side the gator’s head came up; on the other was his tail. I just about died.”

Guided by Chris Hebb of Castlemakers, and Steve Timm, professor of communication and theater, eight DePauw winter term students ventured deep into the wilds of Florida’s Everglades to paddle the 100-mile Wilderness Waterway.

Stretching from Everglades City to Flamingo, the waterway cuts through the 1.3 million acres of Everglades National Park, the largest subtropical wilderness and the third-largest park in the contiguous United States.

Students paddled in the Gulf of Mexico, along rivers and bays and through small creeks where they pulled their vessels along by grabbing vines and mangrove branches.

The park, established in 1947, is a designated World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve and a Wetland of International Importance, and is home to many endangered species including the manatee, Florida panther and American crocodile.

Carson Mara, Diana Borse, Sasha Taxter, Connor Smith, Gracie White, Christopher Bailey and Meredith White will read excerpts from their journals, share wildlife encounters, and discuss the challenges and rewards of paddling long distance in this unique and beautiful environment.

Meredith White reports, “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Period.”

On Thursday, Feb. 14 from 11:40 a.m. - 12:20 p.m., PCPL will present the Travel Talk “The Magic of Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, N.M.” by DePauw winter term students.

Ghost Ranch is noted as the home and inspiration for painter Georgia O’Keeffe, a retreat for scientists working on the Manhattan Project in nearby Los Alamos during World War II and a favorite subject for photographer Ansel Adams.

Both Travel Talks are brown bag lunch programs. Water will be provided.

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