FRIDAY NOV 23 – I toss and turn in a bed, so unfamiliar after a week of sleeping on my air mattress, at the Clewiston Inn with family. It’s my first stay here in many years, and I discover they’ve renovated nicely. The Thanksgiving spread was well worth being crowded into the banquet room with my fellow hikers, but this year’s talent show took the cake for surreal. Trying to stay awake the night before, I fall asleep to March of the Penguins and never do find out the ending.
Waking early – but not quite early enough for sunrise – I drag out of bed to take an early hike along the lack of lake at Clewiston Park. Alas, what a contrast to yesterday’s magical trek. The morning air is filled with a smell like … poop? that I later discover emanates at times, ironically, from the sugar refinery here in Clewiston. We arrive early but miss the colors of morning, leaving us with watching flocks of birds sail across the sky. Granted, this particular spot is not as scenic as most, but the view across the marshes makes it interesting.
After breakfast, we try to visit the Clewiston Museum but it is closed for the holiday. Instead, we stumble across the owners of the adjacent Mann’s Theatre, a grand old moviehouse that they lovingly renovated into a really classy place while retaining its historic charm. Both my visitors are thrilled by the tour, and I vow to come back with a contingent of hikers … who will struggle to stay awake late, but still…
I part ways with family and head to South Bay and the familiar comforts of camp.