Attending Tickfaw for the first time reminded me of a guy I talked to on a dive in the Turks and Caicos a long time ago. I had about 200 dives at that time and he had just surfaced from his first open water ocean dive. He appeared to be pissed off, throwing his gear around. When I asked about his mood, he shruggingly responded by saying he was 50 years old and he was upset that he had waiting so long in his life to go diving, because he loved it so much. Pretty much how I felt about Tickfaw… I had such a good time and met so many great people I am so sorry I waited until 2014 to get there.
I also had a perception reality gap. The Tickfaw is a run in a river and not a boating event: Not at all, eight card stops with over 200 miles of running, as soon as you clear the Blood River its wide open running all over Lake Pontchartrain. The event is not safe: Not at all true, with two days of boating to cover all eight stops the 300 plus boat fleet naturally breaks up into common running groups and spreads everyone out. Not having a forced start time makes it easy, fun, and relaxing. The event is in the Bayou; and thankfully so. The Blood River Landing is freaking cool, Motor Coaches, Toter Homes, Big Trucks, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and more limos than any other poker run I have ever been to. The guys would come down early and set up the boats and then the wives and girlfriends would begin to arrive in full Limousines all ready to go. They might try that “Just Simple Country Folk” line, but the reality is witness to the visuals provided and they provided many of them.
Even with the limos, big trucks, million dollar motor homes, Lamborghinis, 300 plus boats in attendance, over 200 miles of boating, and the enjoyment had at the “Fun House” by far margin the single biggest take away from the Tickfaw Poker Run was the people.
I have never been to an event where the event organizers; hosts Joey and Casey and their entire team…..went out of their way to make you feel welcome. We left Fort Lauderdale Wednesday afternoon and hit the site Thursday afternoon to be greeted as someone would welcome you home. We launched the boats and they grabbed our trailers with tractors and parked them for us. Water and electricity was routed for the toter home and they had free Jambalaya for everyone Thursday night.
The entire weekend was just unbelievable. Different live bands playing at the Fun House, great food on site, short runs to the Prop Stop to take part in a giant raft up and a wet T-Shirt show like no other.
While I am so happy I made it to TickFaw this year I do wonder what did I miss the years before. I plan to never miss another and most importantly my perception of South Louisiana is forever wiped by the heartfelt genuine people we met on this trip.
I will tell you don’t wait until it’s too late to experience this run, it is for sure something special and I can only hope it always is.
PowerBoatNation thanks BrandX Hi Performance Marine for all the support and help with bringing us to these events so we can share the PowerBoating Experience with all of you online!
Here are some of the pictures: We have so much more coming! Stay Tuned!