Just As Beautiful As Ever

Just As Beautiful As Ever

I did, indeed, make it back to Trimble Park near Mt Dora, Florida this week.

I had a reservation for this last Monday and Tuesday. I arrived just at the 2 PM check-in time and had camp set up within an hour or so.

I took a long stroll around the park. It’s huge. And I was struck again with just how very beautiful Trimble Park truly is.

It’s the crown jewel in the Orange County Park System in my estimation. It must be seen to be appreciated fully.

I was a bit apprehensive about this outing as our weather here in Central Florida has been awful. Lots of heat and lots and lots of rain.

That’s not unusual by any means, but it can make certainly put a damper on outdoor activities, camping especially.

When I began to set up, I realized that I do tote around quite a bit of gear. You can see a lot of it in this photo. The funny thing is that this was only roughly 2/3 of what I actually carry. But unpacking the whole car to take that photo would simply have taken too much time.

The whole site got very, very wet on the first night as we had a very intense thunderstorm come through. Nothing unusual there.

Because the rain fly works well on my Coleman Picton 2 tent, the water inside the tent was bearable. Especially since I sleep on a recliner and not on the ground.

But it was still a serious snafu as it took me until noon on Tuesday to get the tent completely dry.

The weather folk predicted that Tuesday night would be as wet or wetter than Monday, so I thought it through and made the decision to cut short this outing.

My main camera was malfunctioning as well, making the decision to abort the second half of my stay seem even more inevitable.

But I did get some good pix with the cell camera. Such a good thing that we carry a decent camera around with us wherever we go! Mine has come through for me on a number of occasions.

Something I always enjoy is making camp coffee each morning. You know, the kind of coffee you can only get by perking it the old-fashioned way!

The coffee Tuesday morning was glorious and almost made me forget all about the wet gear which would soon require nearly all my attention for about three hours.

And my usual first-morning breakfast of fried eggs and grits was tasty. Alas, there was not to be any second-morning breakfast.

I broke camp around 1 PM, shortly after getting everything bone-dry and ready to stow.

The other thing that went well on this abbreviated outing was that I brought enough wood to keep my campfire burning for over three hours. That part of the trip was awesome. I had no rain on the site after about midnight so I didn’t turn in until almost 4 AM!

But I’ll gladly lose sleep to have the pleasure of tending a fire for a few hours. Didn’t cook anything in it on this trip, but it still scratched that itch for me, as it does each time.

It’s true that this outing was not all it could have been. But this saying is still true for me as I wrap up this post:

The worst day in the woods is better than the best day spent indoors!

Old Camper’s Saying

I hope your next outing is perfect. I know for certain that it will be worthwhile!

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2019 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credits Ben Lawrence Basile

Bulldog Goes into Full Pout Mode Over the Central Florida Weather

Bulldog Goes into Full Pout Mode Over the Central Florida Weather

There’s no relief from near-constant rain and heat here. Yeah, that’s the name of the game here in the Sunshine State. Summers are brutal. I know that. But at this moment, I’m having more than the usual trouble accepting that and just carrying on with life.

I’m stuck. Frustrapated. At loose ends. NOT a happy camper! Yeah, you get the picture.

I’ll get over this, no doubt. And it’s possible that Mother Nature will change her ways before too much longer and smile on the frowny-faced denizens of Central Florida.

But at this moment, Bulldog is waaaaaaaaaaaaaay over this hellish Summer of ’17 thing and he needs to get an outdoor fix. Soon.

One parting thought as I try to work Mom Nature for a better deal: yeah, I did make up that marvelous third word in paragraph two. Blogging nature lovers with degrees in English are empowered to do such things. Well, that thought helps to ease my mood!

 

Trapped in the hellscape of steamy Central Florida, I am,

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Mandatory Photo blurb: no, that awesome Featured Foto is not mine. I totally stole it.

 

Florida is Burning Up in the Summer of 2016

Florida is Burning Up in the Summer of 2016

It’s really, really hot out there. Not that I’m telling you anything you didn’t already know. The other day I glanced at the temperature indicator on my dash on the way home. Even though it’s crazy-hot out there, I was a bit surprised to see that it read 100 degrees. Welcome to Florida!

As you no doubt know, the temps are insanely-hot everywhere. All told, this is my 52nd summer in the Sunshine State and I’m over this heat! I realize we Floridians are not alone here, but who cares when the heat index is in triple digits. I really don’t like how each summer seems hotter than the one before…

And by now you know that the Zika virus is a thing down here. It’s not just travel-related cases anymore, our home-grown mosquitoes can transmit it. You don’t have to get bit in the tropics first and then fly back. Our native-born, highly-trained, courteous and efficient skeeters can gnaw on your sweaty flesh and transmit this terrible, modern-day plague.

I’m sick of the heat. I don’t want the latest mosquito-borne virus moving up the peninsula; got West Nile Virus in 2003, don’t want Zika. And I’m sick of that other plague we deal with here in Florida: Rick Scott, with the brain of a mosquito, and the heart of a vampire. Come to think of it, he looks like one, too!

Sticky, unrelenting sub-tropical heat; Zika-bearing skeeters furiously beating wings upstate, lusting for blood; the reincarnation of Bela Lugosi masquerading as our governor. That’s it. I’m hopping the first north-bound freight and heading for Canada.