Fourth Annual Florida GO Gathering
Camping DATE: 01/12/2018 - 01/15/2018
Trip/Event Location: Clewiston, FL
Trip Leader(s): JPHiker
Max # People: 100
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: Yes, but only to cover shared expenses, and I too am paying
Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate
Florida GO Gathering MLK Weekend 2018
Looking for a fun winter getaway with outdoor oriented gay men, then check out our fourth annual Florida Gay Outdoors camping adventure over the MLK weekend in
Check the Vitambi website (www.vitambi.com) for directions from different points in Florida.
Weather can always be so fickle, but the fabled Sunshine State delivered a great weekend for the Fourth Annual GO Camping Weekend over the MLK weekend. Sunny, and daytime temperatures in the 60's and 70's, were ideal for all sorts of activities, but the downside is that at night they plummeted to the low 40's, and it got down right chilly in those tents and rustic cabins. But when life gives you chilly weather, start a fire, and both Saturday and Sunday evenings were well spent around a rousing campfire at our Tamaho Mesa campsite. This was complete with what can best be described as "gourmet" s'mores, supplied by Dennis, who showed us all a very interesting technique, which should be the envy of any Boy or Girl Scout: place marshmallows on stick, attach chocolate, wrap in aluminum foil, and cook on fire. Yummy.
But, we digress. The weekend was packed with great adventures. Ron led a well attended kayak trip to the archeological sites on Mound Key. One GO member had the unfortunate experience of taking an unscheduled dunk in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico due to an apparently drunk female boater, who careslessly sped past the GO flotilla, causing the boats wake to capsize the member's kayak. In spite of that incident, all members reported having a grand old time, and we thank Ron for organizing such a wonderful trip. There were also a couple of impromptu bird watching excursions, organized by Mark, that according to participants were well rewarded with sightings of rare species of birds, such as the caracara, a carrion bird unique to tropical America, that has naturally made a home in South Florida.
Another great excursion was a hike along the Florida National Scenic Trail at the Big Cypress Swamp. This outing was originally organized by John M., who was unable to attend. But never say never, the hike went on, and to the delight of the New Englanders in the group we hiked by quite a number of gigantic alligators, who fortunately were more interested in catching some rays, than hikers. Ron also led a hike along the ground of Vitambi, showing us that just steps from our campsites, there was a great Florida wilderness to explore.
What more can be said about a great weekend, but to highlight the great camaraderie that developed among GO members. Some members even outdid themselves on the appetizer front, providing a range of cheeses, crackers, chips, etc., for the Gay Outdoor "Happy Hour." And, btw, what was the name of the great cheese provided by John & Pete? Honorable mention goes to Rogue, the best mannered black labrador ever, who wandered around the appetizers, but never once made an attempt to snatch one. His dads should be very proud of him.
This Fourth Annual Florida GO Camping Weekend was a great success thanks to the wonderful members who attended, and to the Vitambi Springs staff, who once again provided fantastic meals, and a relaxing environment for us all.
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