Well it is ‘Memory Monday’ again. Last week I told you about our first canoe trip down a creek in Florida. This is about our second trip. Once again, a recent hurricane had come through and knocked a bunch of trees down in the creek and the tannin from the trees made the water a very murky brown/black. There are alligators in this creek. You can see the scratch marks on the banks (if you can even see the bank) where they get out of the water. The whole creek looks like something from an old Tarzan movie. It is rough going. On this trip we have my brother Bill and Mike and Autumn in one canoe, Connor’s future dad, Billy and Zach in one canoe, and Me and Judy (sister in law) in one canoe. We have to portage our canoes in a couple of places and we all spent a lot of time in the bushes due to the swift water and just the general condition of the creek post hurricane. (Without the hurricane damage, this is a tranquil canoe ride.) Ours was anything but. We capsized a couple of times, and by we, I mean all of us. Every canoe had a disaster of some kind. My husband hit a submerged alligator with his paddle and once when he was totally up in the bushes, my brother says, “God, look at that snake!”, causing him to panic a bit since he could not see anything but the bush he was in. LOL My brother lost his glasses once when they capsized. The canoe run seemed long and we were so tired when it was coming to an end. Suddenly, we notice that Bill and Mike’s canoe is stopped ahead of us in an open shallow spot (where we are not going, it was not on the main creek path). They are yelling at us to watch out for the alligator laying on the bank. We turn the corner, scraping the bank on the far side of course, and see the alligator. When I say to you that it is about10 feet away from us and is the size of my couch, I am not exaggerating. He was enormous. He looked to be about 2 1/2 to 3 feet wide. Sleeping on the bank, thankfully. I was terrified, and about the time we were adjacent to him, Zach and Billy come along and ram us with their canoe. I screeched obscenities at them and vowed that if they turn us over, and I happen NOT to get eaten by the alligator that something dire would happen to them. (I am incoherently blowing out threats at this point). We get through all this and obviously I survived the trip. Another thing that has been checked off my ‘bucket list’ and has been added to my list of things I never want to do again! LOL Seriously though, later that same summer, a friend (of my brother’s) sister was killed by a large alligator while snorkeling in that same creek and in the same area we saw the monster. The alligator was destroyed. I have often wondered if it was the same one we saw.