Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring Break, Part I: Race cars, Helicopters and Mosquitoes.

The beginning of my week-long break from school began with a trip to the airport to pick up this guy.

Then it was down to watch some race cars as part of Ged's birthday present.  I couldn't care less about cars, but hey, it was his birthday.

This was the Grand Prix of Miami at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.  The cars went round and round.  And their engines seemed increasingly louder with each lap...but it was a beautiful day.

We were both pooped after the races.  After some dirty Mexican food and a good night's rest, we headed for our next adventure:  camping in the Everglades, the giant swamp in south Florida.

Driving all the way down to Flamingo (the southernmost point you can drive to in the state, not including the Keys), we set up the tent in "frontcountry" for the first night.  "Frontcountry" means that there are showers, bathrooms, etc., as opposed to "backcountry," which means you take all the stuff you need* and hike out to a remote spot that doesn't have luxuries like showers and toilets.

*note the emphasis on the word "need" here.


There were campers all around us here, as to be expected.  Something also to be expected was the ferocity of the mosquitoes.  Come sundown, these miniscule vampires come in swarms lookin' for fresh blood.  

The next day it was off to the backcountry.  Seven and a half miles later, we arrived at Clubhouse Beach.

About to embark:

The hike was great.  We were pretty quick as it was all flat terrain.

While we were hiking, we were on alert for a missing person the ranger told us about.  An elderly man with Alzheimer's went looking for firewood two days before and might have wandered off on this very trail.

Once we pitched the tent, a helicopter landed right next to us and a guy hopped out to make sure the footprints he spotted from above were ours.  They were.  Unfortunately, I don't think the search-and-rescue crews found the man.

See the helicopter in the background?

Ged and I were the only people on the beach.  It felt nice to be alone and away from civilization.

But as the sun began to set, the bloodsuckers returned in full force and we had to retreat to our tent.

The tent I own is really great for admiring sunrises, sunsets and stars.  

The Everglades were good to us.  'Til next time, Friend.


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