Side view of sheetflow

Nothing’s as flat as it seems in the Big Cypress Swamp.

Take Loop Road for instance.

It’s the sleepy backdoor between the Big Cypress to Everglades. It runs for 24 miles through some of the remotest country that Collier, Monroe, and Miami-Dade Counties have to offer.

Frequent washovers have made it a bumpy ride, but other than the rise and fall out of those pot holes, this lime rock ribbon is about as flat as a table top.

Or is it?

If you’re a water drop scooting through the forest in the form of sheetflow, it’s a downhill slide through the shallow valleys called strands and sloughs.

The deepest valley is located 6 miles south of Monroe Station:

It’s called Sweetwater Strand.

This year’s the water has been well behaved:

It’s all flowing under the road, not over it.

Photo shows Sweetwater Strand in the foreground, Gator Hook Strand in the middle ground, and Loop Road receding in the distance (looking north).

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