Because of certain restrictions, Okefenokee Swamp was not named in the mission report (KILLING GAME), however I have been granted permission to deliver some background information on this incredible natural wonder.
Located in South Georgia, straddling along a portion of the Florida border, Okefenokee consists of over four hundred thousand acres of peat-filled swampland and prairies.
According to the website Okefenokee.com (owned by Okefenokee Pastimes, a company that offers swamp tours):
“Okefenokee” was the name used by the indigenous Creeks and was believed to mean, “Land of Trembling Earth”. As it turns out, that’s a popular but very loose and many believe incorrect translation. “Oka” means water in the Hitchiti Creek language and “Fenoke” means shaking in Hitchiti. So the original meaning of Okefenokee is more like “Waters Shaking” not the commonly held “Land of Trembling Earth.”
The wilderness that Cait and Brannon faced in KILLING GAME is filled with diverse wildlife, including those infamous alligators. The swamp is not just one big bog, but composed of various types of terrains. At one time titanium mining and cypress logging helped open up some of the more remote regions. Canals were dug, with the intention of draining the area. The effort failed and and now campers use those canals to canoe deep inside the swamp.
Generations of swampers led hardscrabble lives inside Okefenokee dwelling in cypress houses and cabins, some surrounded by white sand to help the inhabitants keep an eye on roaming wildlife. Ellers's cabin is much like the one to the left which still stands on the Chesser homestead.
Fighting a peat fire is a time-consuming and labor intensive effort. The wildfire that began during the mission proven easily contained, unlike the Honey Prairie Fire in 2011, which took a year to extinguish. That fire was exacerbated by drought conditions and burned over three hundred acres.
Even Brannon and Cait readily admit that the wildlife refuge is well worth the visit. Though after the events in KILLING GAME, I suspect it might be a while before they go camping in a swamp again.