Portfolio Naples April 2017 - Page 24

For roughly a century and a half, mankind built roads and trails deep into the heart of this wilderness. ese roads were used for settlements, camps, logging, hunting, prohibition stills and sometimes more nefar- ious purposes. Even the native Seminole and Miccosukee people had their own vehicles in the glades. eir vehicles had ‘souls’, some good and some malevolent. e malevolent ones, those thought to bring harm, were re- moved from the reservations by non-tribal members, never to return to native lands again. e good ones could retire in peaceful serenity as a tribute to their faithful service. Into the far reaches of the Everglades, the vehicles came, some by land, some by rail and 22 PORTFOLIO MAGAZINE some by air. Model T’s, trucks, jeeps, swamp buggies, military vehicles, finned Cadillacs, bull dozers, busses, campers, vans, airplanes, motorcycles, rail cars, semis; vehicles repre- senting every decade since the motorized ‘horseless carriage’ was invented. For a sur- prisingly fair number of these vehicles, this would literally be the end of the road. en about 50 years ago, something strange started happening; mankind began a slow re- treat from the Everglades. Towns died-out, camps were abandoned, parks proliferated. e population of the inner glades began to dramatically decline and then the roads and trails became overgrown and disappeared. Park fences and gates went up. Today, many