Thursday, February 10, 2011

Kim's report of DuPuis Wildlife Management Area

Cap'n Kim Levin
It was a quick drive from my jobsite in Boca to the our camping destination at DuPuis Wildlife Management area. As usual, I was eagerly looking forward to a weekend of camping with the Wanna Doers. Once at the preservation lands, finding the group campsite proved to be challenging. After a few wrong turns, I eventually discovered )the correct road to take. Our group site was gigantic, so I set up in a clearing off in the distance to give myself lots of privacy. A string of battery powered Christmas lights to adorn my family sized tent was my finishing touch, so that I could find my tent in the dark.
The site had picnic benches, a covered pavilion, a big fire pit, and 2 jiffy johns.
I set out on a bike ride to explore the surroundings, and I found two lost Wanna Doers that were unable to locate the group site entrance. We solved this problem by creating a path of oranges from the road to direct the incoming campers. The oranges were plentiful in a nearby grove, and we only had to cross a barbed wire fence with a giant “No Trespassing. Private Property. Violators Will be Shot on Sight” sign to get to them.
English Dave arrived and realized that he’d left his hefty bag of clothes behind. I’d forgotten my pillow, so we arranged a swap of the use of my lingerie for his extra pillow. David wore the same outfit with the gaudy red socks for the entire weekend. My undies had been left in my car from a previous campout the weekend before. Unbeknownst to me, they were covered with prickles and David complained of my underwear being prickly, but he still wore them.
Dinner conversation was rather raunchy, and we probably scared away our newest member, Mary.
More campers arrived and we enjoyed sitting by the bonfire and stargazing. The most recent arrivals decided they liked the area near my tent, and soon my solitude was greatly reduced. When Lynellen showed up, she put her tent adjacent to David’s tent, so close that they were touching. For her, it was the next best thing to sleeping in the tent with him. She was here to celebrate her birthday weekend. And, with lots of gifts of chocolate treats, she had quite the celebration. She somehow managed to sit on the cake plate, and ended up with red frosting on her behind. For the rest of the weekend, we could tell where she’d been by the buttocks-shaped trail of icing that she left wherever she’d been sitting.
When I laid down to sleep, it was amazing how many noises I heard. Nearby, owls were hooting, wild boars were foraging raucously, and branches and pinecones were falling out of the trees. All night long, I listened to hooting, plopping, grunting, crackling, trickling and chomping sounds around my tent. As the hours of darkness progressed, it became very damp as a thick fog enveloped the area. The precipitation caused the trees to drip, with a sound like inconsistent rainfall.
We spent the weekend bicycling and hiking around the vicinity. Woodpeckers were heard pecking on trees, and we saw deer, a bald eagle, and alligators. Daniel went paddling, and I regretted not bringing my yak. I turned as red as my red shirt when I rode my bike. After a day of bicycling, were all hot and sweaty, so we stopped at the equestrian center and hosed off where the horses get washed.
Tricia and Phil had skipped the bicycle ride and went exploring on their own. Tricia had decided to pick oranges for the group and had traversed the barbed wire fence, not realizing that the farm workers were in there working. She was chased off the property by a machete-wielding orange picker screaming at her in some unusual vernacular, and was only able to procure 5 oranges for us. We tried to send her back so I could get pictures of her being chased, but she declined.
On the second night, we had an incredibly huge bonfire, as we had had ample time to gather firewood.
Nobody believed that I could locate spiders in the fields at night. So, when it got dark, I led a spider walk. I shined my flashlight until the incandescent white light of the eyes of the spiders became visible, then I showed the others the spiders. Some of the spiders were huge, and they were everywhere.
The weekend over, I promptly returned the pillow to David. But he was reticent to return my lingerie. It wasn’t until Lynellen agreed to let him use some of hers that he returned mine.

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