Re: Holy Okefenokee

Oliver T Massey CFS (
Tue, 20 Sep 1994 09:27:33 -0400

--stuff deleted--
> After this eerie event I was exploring some sedges
> by the water's edge, on a flat bed of grasses about 40' from some rocks which
> marked the last piece of solid ground I had seen, when I realized that
> not only was the ``ground''upon which I was standing on was reverberating
> with every footstep, but it was slowly sinking under my weight. Oh dear.
> So I started to walk briskly to shore but it was too late. One false move and
> was up to my bellybutton in the muck, and sinking! I managed to keep my wits
> about me and let my legs go slack. By grabbing handfuls of sedges I dragged
> myself slowly out of the squelchy stuff. I crawled back to land.
> I had one more pond on my list to visit, but somehow the kick had been taken
> out of me. I spent the rest of the day on shore.
> Really, there is a point to my going on about this---be careful! There are
> some dangerous wetlands out there, and you can make a mistake and get
> yourself seriously killed.
> I'm back to my plans of modifying some X-country skis so I can travel across
> these mats more easily.
> Barry

Barry, I understand your feelings.

In my case I was at the edge of a rain fed creek in the Florida panhandle.
While I was looking for Drosera and Pings I took a step down onto a flat sandy
bar by the edge of the water. The feel of my foot as it hit what I thought was
firm sand has stayed with me ever since. At first, my foot sank just an inch
or two, just as you would expect with soft wet sand. Then, I broke through the
thin layer and it felt like I was stepping off into space.

The only comparison I have is the way it feels when you step on a heavy snow
whose surface has melted and refrozen over night. As you step down you feel a
little crunch, and then suddenly the frozen surface breaks and you sink all the
way to the ground.

Unfortunately the sand bar had no ground below it and in a hair second I went
from standing up to being sunk up to my hip. To this day the only thing that I
think kept me from going all the way in was that when my foot broke through, I
fell back with my weight on the leg that was still on firm ground.

In some ways the scariest part was that when I scrambled back up, I looked back
and the sand bar looked just as firm as it had before I stepped on it.

To this day I imagine my wife getting out of the car to see where I have
disappeared to this time, only to be greeted with my lonely straw hat laying
on a patch of sand.

Tom in Fl