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The airboa t blows across the surface of Lake G riffin roaring like a monst er truck. climb down from your bench and crouch on the boat’s floor, just inches from the water, with camera in hand.

Everyone Needs A Little

R&R

The grunt of a mama gator reaches your ears from a distance. You’re eye to eye with dozens of her tiny babies swimming in the murky water. Their playful little tails wiggle in the air like a puppy’s. They’re so cute that you can’t resist clucking to them as your camera clicks away. Pterodactyls, disguised as herons, swoop and squawk beside you, and ibis, like giant black and white feathery snowflakes, fill the sky. A heavy thrashing noise pushes through the brush above, and your stomach does a flip. It sounds big and dangerous: maybe a wild boar or a black bear? A huge gator bursts through the foliage, shoots down the bank on a muddy slide, splashes into the soupy water and disappears. Before you can catch your breath there’s nothing left to see but undulating mud. It’s what you can’t see that snaps you back from the edge of the boat. A pounding heart reminds you that in this backwater you’re nothing more than a juicy hunk of prey – and this is as close as you want to get to the wild side. You climb back on your bench to ride out the rest of the swamp tour. After the closeness of marsh and bog, the open water is exhilarating. Broad vistas unwrap wide and clean. You gulp in rushing air and feel the fetid sweat scouring from your skin. A bird matches your pace before veering off toward its island of grass. The airboat’s rooster tail sparkles in the waning sunlight and marks your rush back to the comforts of civilization. Ah, wilderness. To find out about Airboat Rides Unlimited, call 352.636.4060 or visit Nelson's Fish Camp at 19400 SE Hwy 42 in Umatilla.

Our MissiOn: TO Make YOu LOOk anD FeeL YOur BesT

PULSE • FALL 2012 | 35

Pulse Fall 2012  

Fall 2012 Issue of PULSE, the Magazine of Mount Dora, Eustis and Tavares