October, 2023. This was our goal to print our next magazine and I am very proud to say and show that “we did it.” The week Hurricane Idalia hit The Hidden Coast was probably one of the longest of my life. It was agonizing to see the pictures and videos coming from the area we know so well. We decided immediately to shut down production and help out in other ways. My wife and I hit the road on Labor Day weekend and started dropping off needed supplies throughout the region. The first sites we saw were unbelievable. As we traveled towards Perry, we passed miles and miles of downed trees and power lines. Some splintered, twisted and even blown apart. Structures damaged one right after the other. As we headed south into Keaton Beach, more of the same.
But when we got into Steinhatchee, it was quite the site. Cleanup was well underway. Machinery, trucks and individuals making their way through the debris. When we reached the drop off point, there were stacks and stacks of supplies. It was like this for the rest of the day and it was an amazing sight to see. I was told that 1K+ volunteers showed up the first week in Cedar Key. The state of Florida had a make-shift office park setup in Horseshoe Beach, offering aid and support for those who desperately needed it. At the end of the day, my faith in humanity had been restored and I felt like this on each additional trip we made down to the area.
Now, just over a month later, many businesses have already opened, with several more in the process of doing so. Clean up still goes on but the roads are cleared, the restaurants and stores are open and these communities only need one thing… you.
That is why we though it was important to print a magazine as quickly as we could and let everyone know, THE HIDDEN COAST IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS! These small towns and communities took a big hit over the last month. And they could sure use some visitors. Festivals and events are back on schedule and the weather will be cooling down a bit here in North Florida. What better way to enjoy a weekend than by getting outdoors and supporting those in need. Please pick up a copy of our latest edition and see all the events planned or simply click on the link to read the entire October issue online.