Posted by: Barbara Evanhoe | February 18, 2011

Keith #57

Keith had a birthday on Wednesday, but the celebrating started Tuesday morning at the weekly campground “Get to Know Your Neighbor” coffee, at 9:30 a.m. in the clubhouse.

Becky (of “Caught Pink-Handed” fame) and her husband, Ron (of “Octogenarians” fame), brought cherry cheesecake shortcakes to the coffee in Keith’s honor, and we all sang the traditional birthday song while he blew out his candle. What a delicious way to start the celebrating!

We woke Wednesday to an absolutely gorgeous day…warm (predicted upper 70’s), and some fluffy clouds here and there, which would prove to be fortunate for us later in the day, as we had planned a long hike.

Birthday breakfast consisted of coffee, vegetable juice, bacon, eggs over-easy, and tasty toast made from this wonderful new bread we had picked up at Publix.

It is made from rye flour and sunflower seeds and other healthy “stuff”, but is wheat-free…the bread is dense so the slices are very thin, and I believe we have found a new staple for our diet.

After breakfast, we donned our hiking shoes, and filled the backpack with water, sliced apples, first aid kit and my old trusty bone-handled buckskinning knife, and headed off on the Florida Trail.

You may wonder why we thought we needed the knife for protection, and it’s a good thing to wonder. We wouldn’t have even thought about it, but last time Keith walked the trail, solo, he came upon a raccoon planted smack dab in the middle of the path, and the guy was acting strangely and would not get out of the way.

Keith tried making noises to scare him away – no reaction – and it got Keith to thinking that it would be really nice to have some way to defend himself if the creature decided to attack.

Luckily, the raccoon finally moved off to the side, giving Keith some space on the trail, and the situation was resolved without violence.

Let’s see…where was I? Oh yes, we were taking off for our hike on the Florida Trail…..we’d stopped by Ron and Becky’s, to let someone know where we were headed in case we didn’t make it back, and as the Trail crosses the campground, we headed into the woods.

We hadn’t hiked more than a quarter mile, when we came upon a small bear sitting in a tree…an unusual sight in our neck of the woods…and since it was so close to the campground, and Keith wanted to be sure our neighbors were safe, he pulled out that trusty old knife and set the bear straight – Rambo style….

Rambo Keith

Once the bear situation was under control, we continued on our way…walking a total of 8 miles, through dense trees with palmetto and fern undergrowth before coming out on the south side of White Springs, and taking our regular route back from town to the campground.

We arrived back at camp, just in time to see Becky and Ron, who invited us over for homemade banana pudding ~ because the Tuesday birthday treat just wasn’t enough celebrating for Becky!

So, we sat in the shade for a while, chatting and enjoying that refreshing birthday pudding, before moving on back to our camper to get cleaned up, so that we could indulge in Keith’s final birthday request…a “Double Down” sandwich from Kentucky Fried Chicken, which had been on his Bucket List ever since we were in Williamsburg, Virginia last fall.

On the way home from dinner, we picked up a bottle of wine and a couple cigars when we stopped to fill up the truck with diesel, $70 worth of diesel as a matter of fact.

After that sobering purchase, we decided that it was time to simply “chill”, so we spent the rest of the evening sitting around the campfire with a glass of wine and a cigar, watching the almost-full moon rise through the moss-draped trees.

Happy Birthday, Keith!



  1. Happy Birthday! SB

    • Good to know that you still are reading…Keith says it was a treat hearing from you 🙂

  2. Keith, you were so brave with that “little” bear! Sounds like you had a great birthday, Keith! Happy Belated Birthday!
    John & Chris

    • Thanks for the well wishes…Keith says “A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do!”

  3. Love it — any birthday involving an 8-mile hike is excellent in my book! Sounds like you two had a wonderful celebration — happy birthday again, Keith!

    • Keith says he enjoyed your comment, and appreciates all the good wishes he can get!

  4. Happy Birthday, Keith!

    Mom, could you get Becky’s banana pudding recipe?

    Also, we’re going to look for that bread at Publix. See you tomorrow.

    • I will ask her for the recipe, and check for the brand of the bread, too.

  5. Oh Keith, you’re so brave to take on that bear! Happy belated 57th. Whoorah for 1954 birthday’s!

    Chris & John

  6. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Keith! Glad you had a good day.

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