I'm So Fonda Bahia Honda

 

Part of the magic of outdooring is that you can take eight totally dissimilar people, subject them to the rigors and hardships of a weekend in a tent and wind up having them still actually speaking to each other by Sunday at noon.  This was one of those trips.

 

Lush tropical foliage envelops each of the campsites at Bahia Honda, providing privacy and atmosphere, but effectively blocking all of the off-shore breeze.  We sweltered in our tents on Friday night, praying for a breath of air.

 

On Saturday, five of us joined Steve on his ultra-masculine muscle boat the "Water Lily."  We buzzed around Florida Bay looking for water deeper than two feet, and scanning the horizon for "uninhibited" islands.  Laurie wins the first "Hero of the Great Outdoors" award by assisting back one of our uninhibited participants who went a little too far (swimming).  What a woman! 

Laurie further came to the rescue of four (count 'em) of the men in the group who were flooded out of their tents by the deluge on Saturday night.  She had rented a motel room!  Four men and a woman in two beds...what a scandal!

 

Chet, I must admit, is the consummate camper.  No one has gear like Chet.  His tent was easily twice the size of Tara (see Canaveral Seashore Trip), had door mats, pads and mattresses, and a front door lantern.  His dining tarp, big enough for two picnic tables, was the only thing that allowed us to eat any dinner at all during the downpour on Saturday night.  The equipment was not as impressive as the Kabuki ritual involved in folding it back up again!

 

This trip resulted in several inquiries from Monroe County, (surprisingly, not legal authorities) including several folks from Key West.  Chet, from Big Pine Key, drove up to visit during all of the drama of the dinnertime storm.  Boy, did he see us at our best! 

 

Steve cooked chicken under an umbrella in a streaming rain and gale force winds; Sergio and Chet steamed about 20 pounds of vegetable medley, and Tom and Bernie tossed enough salad for the entire town of Marathon.  The rest of us were stood on our toes in the corner of the dining tarp trying to maintain some area of bodily dryness.

 

All of us were praying that the lightning didn't come any closer than that one that just charred that palm tree in the next site.  Chet was kind enough to tell us that lightning had hit the last dining tarp he had and had melted the poles into little pools of aluminum.  Nice touch, Chet!

 

There were several new folks on the trip who had never experienced the "camping adventure" before.  Despite this, some actually expressed willingness to go again.  Ah, the enduring allure of the Great Outdoors!