Caloosahatchee Cryptic Clue Rally: Epic Adventure Kicked off the 2018/2019 Driving Season for EGR PCA

Caloosahatchee Cryptic Clue Rally: Epic Adventure Kicked off the 2018/2019 Driving Season for EGR PCA

On Sunday October 26, Jenny Branston (Rally Chair) and Chris Branston (Past President) led 80 eager participants across several counties of the Everglades Region on the Caloosahatchee Cryptic Clue and Photo Rally.

Each year, a Cryptic Clue Rally kick-starts peak driving season for the Everglades Region. The destination is never revealed in advance. Participants are advised of the meet-up point and time upon registration. On the day of the event, each driver receives a clipboard with driving directions and must zero out their odometer at the meet-up point before starting off on a day of adventure, puzzle-solving and back-road exploration.

On this particular day, Manatee Park on Palm Beach Boulevard in Ft. Myers near I-75 exit 141 was the starting point. The directions sheet provided various clues at specific odometer readings and passengers were charged with looking around at that location for the solution to the cryptic clue. As mere puzzles aren’t enough of a challenge, there were also 12 photos of items along the route that had to be identified with a description of the location. Needless to say, our eyes were out on stalks keenly observing our surroundings. Amazingly, even after a decade of rallies, the Branstons continue to find roads most of us have never traveled before.

The Caloosahatchee Cryptic Clue and Photo Rally covered a total of 114 miles. The distance included a 40-mile stretch where rally-goers experienced the sheer, unadulterated joy and exhilaration of driving a Porsche on some of the very few curved roads in Southwest Florida surrounded by the roars and purrs of over 40 other Porsches on a perfect blue-sky day.


We traveled through back roads in Lee, Collier and Hendry counties. The route took us through rural estates and cow pastures, over bridges, along sugar cane farms, through panther habitats, by a bird-watching area and past orange groves. Participants spotted sandhill cranes, woodstorks and one very well-fed deer. Eventually we landed back in civilization at the charming and quirky Landsdowne Street Pub in Bonita Springs for a fabulous outdoor lunch. We enjoyed a great meal and swapped stories about the day’s adventures.

At lunchtime, participants had the chance to complete a craft project. We were advised to bring small photos and Porsche bits along to the rally but the project wasn’t revealed in advance. It turned out to be a lightbulb that could be opened and decorated inside and out.

No Cryptic Clue and Photo Rally would be complete without prizes! The rally winners and prizes were as follows:
1. Carlos & Maria Vasallo – Porsche Radio
2. Adrian & Bonnie Simonet – Porsche Radio
3. Tom Pitser & Marcie Wells – Porsche Coasters
4. Jack & Judi Bottoms— Porsche Coasters
5. Jenny & Tony Reed— Porsche Scarf
6. Delores & Jim Claeys— Edison Lamp
7. Gordon Wright & Chris Brandt— Patriotic Frame
8. Connie & Bob Schmidt— Moscow Mule Cups
9. Robert & Sharon Vigorito— Glasses
10. Gordon Browne & Barbara Carnes – Mango Candle
11. Scott Harle & Becky Grafer-Harle— Basket
12. Larry & Suzanne Pickering— Screwdriver Set

Prizes were also awarded for the lightbulb craft projects. The lightbulb submissions were anonymous and independently judged by the good sport bartenders and servers at the Landsdowne Street Pub. Winners and prizes were as follows:
1. Becky Grafer-Harle—Shells
2. Bonnie Simonet— Terrarium
3. Gloria Plyser— Oak Forest Candle
4. Brooke (member’s daughter) – Molton Brown Gift
5. Karen Kirkpatrick— Flameless Candle

When all was said and done, it was a thrill (and great luck) to spend the first day of cooler weather on an epic driving adventure followed by social time with Everglades Region PCA friends. Our members are from all different backgrounds and from all over the world, united by a passion for Porsche. Join us!

Register for Jenny and Chris Branston’s next driving event – a November 13th lunch run to Babcock Ranch, an entirely new solar town. You can find more information on this event here: Babcock Ranch lunch Founders square 10 20 doc Email cbran62643@aol.com to sign up.