Day 13 - Monday: Today we where up at the crack of dawn getting ready for a swamp tour. I needed to give The Honey
company a call to book an 9:00 a.m. tour. Unfortunately, everyone wanted to take that tour so we had to settle for the 11:30 tour. Although it would be hotter, it did give us extra time to get ready. Honey Island Swamp is about 30 minutes away from the state park and they stressed that we absolutely had to be registered and ready to go by 11. Not sure why they just dont call it the 11a.m. tour.
There where quite a few people all waiting to get on a boat, and each boat handles about 28 people. We where happy to see they all had a canopy since the sun was blazing and it was already really hot. I think with any tour the guide is what makes or brakes it and our guide was excellant. Right as we pulled out into the Pearl River we caught a glimpse of a gator and as we closed in on it a few more popped up. We have been to GatorLand down in Florida and have seen gators in rivers down there from a distance, but seeing them up
close next to the boat was very cool. The whole tour was a great education about the swamp and we got to see some of the shanty's people stay in when they fish the river. We also saw snakes, wild boar, turtles and fledgling cranes making it a real adventure. The canopy on the boat came in real handy when a pop up storm hit and it rain for the last 1/2 hour of the ride. We actually saw a few other tours go by without them and everyone was getting real wet.
On our way back I was getting pressure to stop for some ice cream and the first place we came to was a TCBY. I hadn't been to one of these in a very long time. WOW! have they changed since then. This place was self service and you had close to 15 different flavors to choose from. Then there was the toppings section which had just about everything you could ever want to put on ice cream available. I think this was a great idea by the company, because everyones eyes are always bigger than their stomach and they charge you by the weight of what you piled up. It wasn't cheap, but it sure was good.
Feeling the need to burn off the ice cream, Michelle and I took a long walk through some of the state park trails and then started the process of putting things away for the drive to Gulf Shores.