2ND Florida Hang
2ND Annual Florida Hang:thumbup:
I arrived at Buck Lake Thursday after dark. There were already a few HF members also there. The entrance gate to the Buck Lake road was still locked keeping us from getting in with vehicles until the following morning.
Like the hammack campers we are, a number of us hiked in with backpacks the 1/4 - 1/2 mile and setup our gear, picking out our trees early. Nice to have the Lake Front all to ourselves for one night. Gorgeous weather Thursday night, mid 50*'s. Super comfy sleep.
ItsAndy, RicktorFla, Chuck, Flackfizer, LilRicky, Fibonocci, and a few others all met at the entrance gate Friday morning and enjoyed a very sweet breakfast cooked by ItsAndy. Sausage, Pancakes Yumm!
By this time more HF members were arriving, Gumbo & Timberrr, MAD777, Vanguard, HangNyak, and many more rolling in.
Did I say the weather was gorgeous! All weekend long, comfy temps during the day, and getting colder @night to "test-our-cold-weather-gear" Florida style.
A handful of us loaded our kayaks. MedicineMan, Poof, ItsAndy, Fibonocci, islander and paddled the Juniper Springs run. Gorgeous 7+ mile paddle. Amateur me, had to dump my boat a few times to get some needed attention of everyone. Cold & wet the remaining miles of paddling, but a great kayak trip all the same. I believe we all enjoyed Juniper Springs.
Friday night the HF member party/gathering in center camp began with Dutch Ovens heating up full of Cobblers and other delicious good eats. "Gumbo & Timberr" treated most anyone wanting some, a huge pot of Taco Soup. OMG! Delicious. Lots of comradory and campfire tales.
Saturday morning started bright and early. Most everyone arriving Friday had made their hammock camp and were ready for a hot breakfast. We cranked up "Mountain Man" breakfast in our DutchOvens. ItsAndy fired up his griddle cooking sausages and eggs too. Man! what a food-fest.
Friday evening temps got colder still, some saying they recorded upper 20*'s. Brrr! that's cold by most anyone's standards. I believe most everyone hunkered down and slept warm. Thumbs-Up! to Down Cozy Goodness underneath & on top of my hammock.
Saturday's events included a Knife demo show & tell, Cooking stove show & tell. Just lots & lots of gear-head fun.
This group hang had a hugely successful HF member raffle. With most everyone walking away with a prize or two under their arm. Many thanks to RicktorFla who made approx 30 alcohol stove setups as prizes. Many cottage-vendors contibuted very generously to the prize collection. Tree-to-Tree Trail, 2QZQ Hammock Hanger, Dutch, Wilderness Logics, Hammock Gear, Warbonnet Outdoors, Jack-R-Better, and a number of other vendors really stepped up. Thank you all for supporting our Group Hang!
After the Raffle give-away, we got down to some serious cooking. Ed Hess & his popular Shrimp Boil & Gumbo and her Louisiana Cajan Gumbo! [catchy Trail-Name huh?] OMG! Critters for miles could smell all the good eats all over Buck Lake Saturday night. As with last year, the Dutch Oven clan did not dissappoint anyone. :boggle:
Sunday morning, After filling up with another round of Mountain Man breakfast, coffee and a surprise double batch of Gumbo's Beignet's! sort of like funnel cakes for breakfast. wow! Nice surprise the "Campfood" we enjoyed. A bunch of us, LdCakes, ItsAndy, Detailman, islander, Marty, Gumbo, Timberrr loaded up our kayaks once more. Silver Springs paddling. Gorgeous kayak paddling trip. Even Wild Monkeys on this paddle.
More than anything, I enjoyed seeing so many old friends and meeting lots of new Hammock Camping friends this weekend. Fantastic group. We cannot wait to begin planning the 3RD Annual Florida Hang this time next year.
Hope to see you there.:cool:
Four by four by eight, stacked neatly was NOT the description of our Court of Wood delivered late Friday night. However it was plenty, with Samsara's wood, to keep us all more than warm enough.
Words cannot describe the extent to which Gumbo and Timberrr worked to make this hang top last year's astounding success. Once again, we thank Islander for another round of gorgeous patches for this second annual hang. And Richtorfla, it turns out, is a one man stove making machine, supplying our raffle with countless alky stoves. Flackfizer's enthusiasm alone was enough to keep the fire stoked.
Once again our hang attracted record low temperatures in Florida - mid 20's both Friday & Saturday nights. A casual observer would have summized that the bonfire caused us to huddle together for it's warmth, but they would be mistaken. It was the warmth of friendships, both old & new, that caused us to huddle together and that warmed our hearts!
We even had a band of delightful teenagers perform 4 hilarious skits for us in front of the fire Sunday night. If this is the future of HammockForums, then we are in good hands!
Between the constant Dutch oven binges, groups went out to hike or kayak off the calories. On Sunday, Flackfizer led a trail maintenance/clean-up hike on the trails surrounding Buck Lake. All-in-all, we left Buck Lake Rec. Area in better shape than we found it.
And of course there were repeat performances of the two things that are the envy of HF'ers worldwide - Gumbo's chicken & sausage gumbo (duh), and EdHess' low country shrimp boil!
If we have any more guests from Tennessee, we will be forced to rename this the Florida/Tennessee Hang. Thank you for your attendance: it further stretches the bonds among HammockForum members!
A more delightful weekend could not have been had!
WoW! Just wow. What a great weekend!
The feed! OMG I've been on cruises where we didn't eat this well!
Thank you to all who just showed up and participated by being there.
It was great to see some old buds like Islander, Chatanooga Chuck, EdHess, Mad777, LDCakes, SandyKayaks, ItsAndy, Richtorfla, Duffy, JohnnyWalker, DetailMan and family, Flackfizer and the amazing BearFinder to name a few.
And to make some new buds like Fibonacci who I think should be named raffle because she cleaned up at the raffle. Speaking of which - thank you Islander, LilRicky and Gumbo for pulling together a great raffle. We pulled in more than enough (including contributions) to more than cover all expenses. The balance will be donated to The Florida Trail Association and to HF.
Thanks to ItsAndy for running a couple of great kayaking trips!
I didn't leave until ~1:30. Thank you Mad777 along with Theflb (& Mrs Theflb) for helping me load all my gear.
I am heartened and a little amazed by the incredible community we have created. Thank you everyone for your contribution. And thanks to everyone there for making it a great weekend!
Gumbo & Timberrr
Also, a big thanks to JaxHiker and everyone else who got pics. I can't wait to see them.
What was our lowest "known" temp recording? In 2011 it was 25.5*. If we didn't break that record we were darn close.
Everyone mark your calendar next MLK weekend for FH3 at Buck Lake. Gumbo & I will see you there!
These photos all were on the Ocala paper's website. The coverage of the hang was good, if a bit off focus (too much on me and not enough on the purpose of the event). It could have been so much worse, so we should be happy. The pics are great though. Thank you Bruce Ackerman.
But Flackfizer, you are Florida's Shug. :D
Wow!! What a terrific weekend. Islander, Flackfizer, Mike777, & Timberr have covered most of the details surrounding the event. It goes without saying that an event with this number of participants cannot happen without a lot of prior planning and maybe even a little risk taking. Sometimes the “leap of faith” works better than other times. But one of the great aspects to this group is the overwhelming attitude that we are all in this together. Little problems are just that … little.
Driving up to Buck Lake on Friday afternoon, it was great seeing friends I have not seen in a year. The best part is that we took up right where we left off last year. Once the firepit was stoked and burning away, the main area was a place to drag up a chair to sit and relive stories of time on the trail, DIY hammock projects, jokes and stories, recipies, family stories, and just have a good time relaxing. From Friday afternoon until Sunday when I had to leave early, this was the highlight of my weekend.
I personally enjoyed meeting a few new faces in the crowd this year. Here’s hoping you’ll come back next year and jump in to help plan and be a part of FH3. I believe the thread has already started.
Thanks to everyone who helped out for the weekend. Our staff of dutch oven chefs were on top of their game again. What a great crew.
Put it on your calendar. January 2013. Florida Hang 3!! Pass the word.
What a fantastic weekend! Thanks Y'all! Let's do it again!
A few pictures to keep things rolling....
1. Buck Lake from the fire pit area.
2. Buck Lake from the hiking trail.
3. Camp stove demonstration.
4. Sunset over Buck Lake (from my hammock).
Just returned home and my son Sam and I are already looking forward to the next hang. I would like to thank all of you for a wonderful trip. What a great group of people. Next year I will be more prepared and no more COLD feet. Thanks again, Andy
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