Well, puny little Wilma did what the mighty Katrina could not.
The Flamingo Lodge is closed and will remain so through SUMMER 2006!! You can call the following number for recorded updates: 1-800-600-3813.
I don't know about the Flamingo campground. I have a call in to the campground folks, but no response yet. They may have better things to do than monitor that particular answering machine at the moment. The online reservation site is not accepting reservations. Recorded updates are available at: 1-305-242-7700.
Adirondick has been posting some web sites which contain damage and progress reports -- thanks, Dick! If anyone else finds out anything of note, please post!
The one hopeful note is that the concessionaires are planning to reopen Marina services (boat rentals, etc.) sometime in January, 2006, contingent upon utility repairs, building repairs, and replacement of fuel dispensers. So maybe, just maybe, the campground might could possibly be open in time for us? But that's just me thinking wishfully. We just don't know yet.
However, even if the campground were to open, holding a flotilla there would exclude the Lodgers.
So............. what say ye, all y'all who would like a southeastern flotilla in early 2006? Does anyone know of a place with paddling and camping and nearby motel options that would make a good flotilla site? Ideally, it would be wonderful if a local person could step up and "run" the thing. Not that these flotillae take much running -- it's just a matter of scouting the facilities so folks know where to make reservations, and maybe figuring out where the paddling ops are. I'm such a Flamingoista that I really don't know a thing about other paddling venues in Florida (except that they are legion and gorgeous). Plus, I'm living in Cottonwood, CA, at the mo. Kinda tough to scout much besides oak trees and coyotes and wild pigs out here.
If you have any ideas for alternate flotilla spots, please post them. If you'd be willing to do some scouting, way way way cool! Step right up! I'll start a brainstorming topic.
Maybe this is the year we cancel. But I'll bet we can put together a dandy best-wishes-to-Flamingo-and-see-all-you-gators-and-pythons-there-next-year flotilla.
Best wishes also to everyone affected by all the recent natural disasters.
From the parking lot of the internet cafe in Red Bluff, CA....