Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Camping In The Age Of The Virus: Part 6

As much as I loved Fort DeSoto Campground, it was pretty much no fish, and pesky birds and lots of no-see-ums. Hopefully, the little bugs need no explanation, but I should say that once upon a time, I thought this was a problem specific to Florida. Then I went on a trip to Scotland and found out what "Midges" are. Bottom line, "Midge" is Scottish for no-see-um. And they have some kind of cousin up in Maine as well. Usually the locals will tell you 'yeah, only crazy people go outside THAT time of day/year'. If you are reading this and have never heard of such a thing, please contact me and let me know about the housing market where you live. In Florida, the one thing that can save you is wind. As long as the wind blows, the bugs can't land long enough to get a good bite. There was probably somebody long ago (I think it was my Dad) that thought you would be fine camping if you just kept the screens closed. I can still remember sitting all night long at a Dunkin' Donuts during a camping trip, in hopes that the sun and wind would keep the bugs away long enough to run down to the ocean and jump in. We had found out the hard way that a tent screen didn't even slow the no-see-ems down a little bit.

This trip, we had the air-conditioned camper, so it was quite different than the old days, and once we found one of the most beautiful beaches ever, we decided to spend our days on the beach and the nights in the camper. My initial thought was the beach could not be that great, because I frequented local beaches near where I lived. However, I was not prepared for the turquoise clear water and the little lagoon in the middle...anybody that wanted to take their towel and chair to the edge of the gulf had to wade through at least waist deep water to get there. I say "at least" because a few of us made the mistake of trying to find our own path through the lagoon and found a few of the deeper spots. Unfortunately, Pam had been following right behind me and what was a little bit deep for me was up to her eyeballs. She had wanted me to follow another group of people and I had insisted that I could do better....I'm still living that down.
It ended up that the very best part of the day was a mile long walk down to the end of the island where boats had come to have a picnic. It was a quiet stroll through a bird sanctuary and seemed to be as far from civilization that one could get in a 3 hour drive.

I was in heaven, with the breeze, the tranquil water and holding hands with my lady and fishing pole in my other hand. Oh yes, I was still determined that a big snook catch was in my immediate future. Plenty of birds were about, and people occasionally walked by with binoculars at the ready, just in case a blue-footed Booby made an appearance. Apparently, none of these birds thought I had a chance in hell of catching anything, because they left me alone.

Soon we were at the end and there was a perfect little cut where the water was rushing in as the wind was blowing the other direction, and I just knew this is where the fish of my dreams would be hiding. I gave Pam the camera and told her to be ready to get the whole thing once I yelled out that I had a fish on. Until that moment I would feel the sound of the wind and the contentment that I had found the one place in the world where I could totally forget politics, the virus and everything that went with it.
It was about then that the huge pontoon boat with 50 people on it beached right near me....

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