September Weekend
Short Story

This is not going to be a long story like the August weekend story. But, there are a few interesting things that took place this weekend. Not on the interesting side, was our finishing up the new well at Camp Sixpack. This is why we went to camp in September.
We met up with Bob, a near by camp owner and we headed out to camp. When we got to Buckskin Prairie, we arrived at an area, that had been controlled burned by the NPS. Bob in the lead buggy saw a panther kitten run off through the burn. We stopped to look at its tracks and on the other side of the trail, we caught a glimpse of the mother panther working her way around us and back to her kitten. This is our second sighting in as many trips. It would seem the panthers are becoming more plentiful. The restoration program seems to be working.

  Panther Kitten Tracks - Click for larger Picture
Panther Kitten Tracks

BICY - Dump Truck

It is the beginning of hunting season in the Big Cypress. For those that like bow hunting, this is your month. You get first crack at the game. I have bow hunted in the past, and its as challenging a hunt as you will find. I have always thought that bow hunting makes you a better, more aware hunter, for the other seasons. I have stopped bow hunting as a personal choice. I am disappointed in the killing power of the arrow, especially on wild hogs. So I wait for the muzzle loading season, what's another month to wait?
As we got closer to camp, we begin to notice the trail was torn up from a tracked vehicle. Track ORV's are not legal in the Big Cypress Preserve, so we knew it had to be the NPS running their tracked dump trucks into our area. As you can see in the picture to the left, they are not dainty little vehicles. I was wondering what they cost and found a few used ones for sale on the internet. Used, they go for about 500,000 Yen, (they are Japanese after all), or about $34,000 American.

The reason they are running these dump trucks into our area is they are building a new cabin at Calvin Stone's old Calusa Camp. Now why would they build a new cabin, after years of ignoring the camp? Because they need a place for the builders of the hardened trails to stay in the back country. The NPS has applied for permits to build, (repair existing trails is what Donahue calls it), two hundred some odd miles of trails. The Little Deer area, seems to be first on their list to receive the hardened trails. That will only account for about twenty miles of the trail, so there will be plenty to go around for the rest of you all.
They are doing a fine job on the cabin, as you can see in the picture to the right. Cedar siding, porch swing, plastic wood decking, metal shutters and a front door that any business owner on the rough side of town would be proud to have. It must be to keep the bears out, certainly none of us sportsmen would try to enter where we are not wanted.

  Click for larger picture

BICY - Camp Calusa new cabin under construction
(They are going to regret that cabbage palm growing through the roof after the first hurricane arrives)

Return to Story Page

Story by Steve - October 28, 2002