2ND Annual Florida Hang
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.
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.