“Almost Cuba” Mystery-Puzzle-Clue Rally Takes EGR PCA to “Havana”

“Almost Cuba” Mystery-Puzzle-Clue Rally Takes EGR PCA to “Havana”

On April 8, 40 Everglades PCA members gathered with their Porsches under a perfect blue sky to participate in the “Almost Cuba” mystery-puzzle-clue rally organized by Jenny & Chris Branston. At 9:40 AM, all the participants zeroed out their odometers on Corkscrew Road in Estero and began to follow the Branstons’ scenic backroads route through farmland and swamp. Along the way, photo locations were identified and puzzle questions answered.

The 93-mile course went from Estero to Immokalee, Sunniland, Jerome, Copeland and Everglades City before arriving in Chokoloskee. Colorful local history lessons were studied en route, courtesy of our favorite teacher, Mrs. Branston. We learned about Sunniland’s place in Florida history as the first oil site here, Jerome’s logging history and continuing issues with creosote and Copeland’s history as a tomato town. We also learned about the lucrative “square grouper” catches in Everglades City during the 1980s.

The surprise destination was the Havana Café in Chokoloskee. A leisurely lunch of Cuban food was enjoyed by all under shady umbrellas in a lush garden oasis filled with bougainvillea, orchids, palms and shells.

Numerous prizes were distributed at the Havana Cafe ranging from first to fifteenth place. The rally was not a competition of speed but rather one of observation and intellect. Debbi and Jim McCarthy took home the first place award; they amazingly identified all 12 photo locations correctly in addition to high marks on the puzzle questions.

There was also an art project contest during lunch– decorating a photo frame with found objects on the rally. Mary-Jo and Mike Andrade won first place. They were the only contestants who creatively decorated both the front and the back sides of the frame, both sides featuring photos of their much-loved dog.

After lunch attendees took scenic 41 or the faster and less scenic I-75 back from Chokoloskee. Those who chose 41 enjoyed expansive Everglades views as well as some spirited driving on 951. Seemingly every radio station played, appropriately, “Havana, ooh na na, half of my heart is in Havana” the whole way home…

Where to next? The WOTY (Weekend of the Year) will be held in the Keys at the end of April with approximately 90 EGR PCA members attending. Visit our calendar at the bottom of the homepage and download the WOTY flyer for more details.