Thursday, January 8, 2015

Taking a Virginian to Florida for the first time

When I moved to Virginia in September of 2001, I was lucky.  I got adopted by a native family that helped me ease into life outside of Florida.  It was a hard transition and a lot of Florons end up hospitalized from an acute case of boredom.  It's just too normal for us here and without local support, we wouldn't make it.

Fast forward to around April/May of 2002.  My adoptive brother, henceforth known as Jim, agrees to take a road trip to my parents house to get my boat and bring it back.  We'd stay a few days at my parents house, do some fishing and then come home.

We get in the truck and head south on I-95.  It's a typical road trip.  Farting, burping, junk food, etc.  I waited just for him to doze off and then faked an evasive maneuver just to bang his head into the window and scare the shit out of him.  The usual stuff you do to friends to mess with them.

Jim had never been to Florida before and wasn't quite sure what to expect.  He's an outdoorsy guy, but at this point, he's a little worried that fire ants might just clean him to a skeleton should he step off the sidewalk.  99% of his time in the woods was spent in VA and the most dangerous thing in these woods is the occasional black bear or copperhead.  In 13 years in VA, I have seen exactly 1 bear on the land we hunt and 1 copperhead sunning itself in the road.  There just isn't a lot that wants to kill and/or eat you in the woods here... unlike Florida.

Typical VA woods (and my kid)
My dad and I take Jim to Guana River WMA to do a little fishing and I wanted to show him were I used to hog hunt before moving to VA thinking maybe he'd want to do a hog trip sometime.
Doesn't look dangerous, does it?

"So Jim, you maybe want to come down here this fall and do some hog hunting?"

"How the hell do you hunt this thick shit?"

"I dunno, you just do.  Sometimes you might have to get down on the ground and crawl, but it's no big deal."  

Typical Florida woods
More typical Florida woods

"Hells no.  Ya'll are out of your damn minds."'re just figuring that one out, aren't you...

We decide to sit back, relax, and do some fishing.  If I remember correctly, we didn't catch much if anything.  More of an exploratory trip than anything else.  Since Guana is mostly salt marsh, there are fiddler crabs everywhere.  Fiddler crabs are good bait for certain species of fish that we would like to catch, I grab one and show Jim the best way to keep it on the hook.  Then I send him off into the world to catch his very own fiddler crab.

It wasn't 90 seconds before we heard the scream.

Kids, there a little bit of a technique when grabbing fiddler crabs.  You want to put your palm down flat on them and pin them so they can't fight back.

I just kind of assumed that Jim had been watching me when I grabbed them.

He wasn't.

Jim being Jim, he went and found the biggest, meanest, nastiest fiddler crab he cold find and just reached right down and grabbed him.

Mr Fiddler crab grabbed Jim right back.  With the big claw.

Come at me bro!

Jim is there, doing the pee-pee dance and winging his hand around like his fingers were on fire and he needed to put them out.

Dad and I about peed our pants.  Jim still hasn't gone hog hunting with me.  He has, however, gone back to Florida to fish with me on a few occasions.   I'll write more about those trips soon.

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