Monday, March 10, 2014

Day 217 of 365: No Man's Land

My husband and I spent the weekend in Sebring, Florida, which is roughly in the center of Florida. It's a 2-hour drive from Tampa and a 3-hour drive from Miami. We drove up from the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area, which mean we took essentially the only road they have to get from the southeast to the middle -- Interstate 75, which goes through the Everglades.

Coming from a densely-populated hometown just south of Boston, where every single square acre of land is used for something, it blows my mind that we have miles and miles and miles of land that is either sectioned off as nature preserves -- or just not used. When we drove through Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada, you could go miles and miles and miles without anything in sight. You would only know you reached semi-civilization if there was an intersecting road -- which would have no lights, because the roads were just that sparsely-used.

It's a huge reminder that the entire would really isn't our oyster. We can manipulate and terafirm and drain and build and pour concrete ... but, at the end of the day, there are just some areas of the world that humans have no business being in. That almost no creature has any business being in. The simple fact that we paved out roads through these areas is a testament to our modernity more than anything else.

On a related note, I spent Sunday walking through nature trails -- trails that weaved their way through the swamplands, where people would walk over wooden bridges with alligators and snakes within arm's reach. People actually sloshed their way through those swamps and built those bridges, so even the most casual civilian with their flip-flops and smartphone can waltz through like they are (literally and metaphorically) above the swamp waters.

The song and dance that mankind has with the natural world is one of the most fascinating situations I can think of. Almost as fascinating as the song and dance that mankind has with itself -- but inter- and intrapersonal. But that's another rant for another time.

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