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History

The evolution of Thunder Gulch and the Black Cloud.

Thunder Gulch was started in 2001 when John bought a backhoe and started clearing the land forming roads and camp sites. Cline Construction put in the infrastructure and a campground was born.

The Black Cloud was opened shortly thereafter in a 14 X 30 building which is now the camp store. Construction on the existing building was started in 2003, using nearly all materials from the surrounding area. Charley Faulkner found some Cypress logs they could acquire. The logs were shipped to a local saw mill producing both the interior and exterior walls of The Black Cloud. John purchased the original hanger from the Flagler Airport, Hangar 1, and the materials from it made up most of the buildings framing. The fireplace was constructed from coquina rock found just a few miles away.

The Campground and Restaurant have been an ongoing effort evolving to what is now a complex John and Sandy are very proud of.

The history of the Black Cloud, The Carving

Owners, John and Sandy Seibel, while visiting their taxidermist in Vermontville, Michigan were attracted to a two story tall carving of an Indian Woman. The carving stood in front of the Dry Goods & Hardware store in the quaint farming town. Sandy asked the store keeper who the carver was and he told he was a local man who had gotten quite famous with his large carvings from a single tree.

John asked the storekeep if there was a good place to eat in town and he recommended the Road Runner which was owned by the carvers' girlfriend.  Well, while they were having lunch, the carver, Mark Myers, walked in. They complimented him on his work and said "too bad you're not in Florida". Mark said he'd love to come to Florida and before lunch was over they made arrangements for him to come and carve Black Cloud.

Mark arrived in the fall of 2005, and he and John spent the next 2 months in the woods looking for a tree that was just right in terms of size, limb placement and density. The tree was found on the Lenssen Ranch, just 7 miles away. It was cut, lifted by crane and  loaded on Sam Clines' lowboy truck. It was set by crane on its base and carving began. Two years later Black Cloud was unveiled.

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