take me to the river

Tonight: Mostly clear. Lows 41 to 48. Northeast winds around 5 mph.
Saturday: Mostly sunny in the morning then becoming partly cloudy. Highs around 76. East winds around 10 mph.
Saturday Night: Partly cloudy. Lows 50 to 53. East winds around 5 mph.

As the locals know, the weather in North Florida ranges from hot as homemade sin to cold as a witch's tit in a brass bra. Somewhere between the season of massive heat and massive skeeters and the season of chilly damp followed by hard freezes, we get a couple of perfect weeks. Candy blue skies. Bonfire nights. Moonlight turning every leaf silver. Sunlight that warms your body without melting your soul.

Camping weather.

My ground tarp's cut, an 8 X 10 slice of an old billboard cover. My quilts are rolled tight and bound with a bungee cord. My cooler is washed out and waiting to be packed full of three days worth of canned beer. My backpack's crammed full of socks, drawers, notebooks, and novels.

All around town, I can imagine my friends. We've bounced a few messages off each other - I know we're all half out of town already. "I'll pick you up at 6, be ready." "We got plenty of food, don't hold us up once we get rolling." "Give me the address, I may need to stay last at work and come after."

I've got my mind fixed on one moment in time: past the hour and a half drive, past the unlocking of the gate and the turning on of the water supply, past setting up my tent in the dark (good thing I've got practice on that one), past gathering wood. The moment when we drag stumps and folding chairs up next to the fire, crack open our beers, and settle in to watch the night unfold.

Don't miss out on the good weekends, guys. You don't get a whole lot of them.


Ms. Moon said...

That was beautiful. Have a wonderful time! Howl at the moon and answer the coyotes when they cry.

downtown guy said...

Will do!

B.E. Earl said...

Sounds like a blast!

I wish I could convince my woman to go camping just once. Seems highly unlikely.

downtown guy said...

Bride her with a weekend trip you've never wanted to go on. And good camp food.

May said...

I was going to say "Have fun", but I realize you've left and you won't be back till it's over. So. I hope you had fun! It is marvelous camping weather! Goddamn! This year- camping, next year- tramping!

Petit fleur said...

Don't forget the Smores fixins.
xo pf

Petit fleur said...

Oh, and nice picture.

downtown guy said...

May: I thought about tramping the whole time I was camping. I was trying out a new bed roll to see what I'll need when we go and what I can just put up with.

PF: oh, we did s'mores for sure. And thanks!

Mwa said...

Wonderful advice.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I love to camp. Oh, the smell of a camp fire!

I would probably be afraid to camp in Florida though. I would be afraid a snake would get in the tent with me. I have an abject horror of snakes. I'm a pussy yankee.

Hope it was fun. I'm betting it was.

downtown guy said...

It was a blast. And honestly, in cold weather, you don't really have to worry about snakes. We did see a bear track, though.

honeyluna said...

Ah, I'm jealous of your weekend, but I enjoyed the weather too, even if I did have to keep my nose in the books the whole time. It still made that time better.

Did you tell good camp stories? I bet you did. You're always the best at that.

downtown guy said...

We did indeed tell some stories and sing some songs. Good times were had for sure. We saw a bear track, but it might have been Skunk Ape.