Tuesday, February 2, 2016

January Camping

As I mentioned in my last post, Hubby and I got to camp this past weekend. We chose O'Leno State Park, one of the nine original Florida state parks. I really wish we had had more time to spend in the campground and to hike but the faire took up most of our time. Oh well, I guess we'll just have to take another trip back soon.
One of the things I loved most about the park is that it was simple Florida nature. The campground is kept simple but has all the extra touches that state parks have to offer - picnic tables at each site, electric and water hookups, and a clean and well maintained bathroom. Some of the RV spots looked a bit tight but we only camp in our tent so we never have a problem with that. Next time we'll have to bring our bikes along to ride between parks.
This foot traffic suspension bridge is amazing. It is a little vertigo inducing but well worth the trip over and back. My dad was a bridge engineer before he retired. One of the special things he and I would do when I was younger was to take day trips to boat around the bridges and docks he designed. I know Dad would like this bridge, I'll have to talk him and Mom into camping here.
View from the bridge of the Santa Fe River
It may not look like much but several of those bands went up over the bridge level

The Cyprus swamp along the river was amazing. Those hollows are around 7 feet tall, I wanted to get a picture by them but I didn't want to wade out to them. I was glad the water level was low, it was quite amazing walking around all the knees.

There is lots of limestone used around the park. Many of walls and steps made from it have bits of flint in them. I hear there is a limestone building on the grounds, we'll have to find it and photograph it next time.

 So many of the trees along the banks of the river had amazing root structures. I don't think I've ever taken so many pictures of roots before (believe me, I left lots of them out of this post).

Can I just say now much I love our new tent? I found it over the December holidays as an app only lightning deal on Amazon. How could a say no to a $250 Coleman tent for $130? It is a lot larger than our little dome tent and it is even tall enough for us to stand in to get dressed. We also added a large used screened tent to our gear (a gift from a friend) that we are using as a kitchen tent. Our set up while larger, it doesn't take much extra time to set up or take down and Hubby and I can each set up one tent on our own. I'm glad we work so well as a team.
The only downside to the the dogwood campground at O'Leno is the little bit of noise pollution from being close to 75, although it wasn't really bad at all.The first night we were there the most annoying noise was the nearby donkey that brayed several times during the night. The second night the donkey had been quelled, the only thing we heard were the occasional conversations of barred and great horned owls until about 3 am when we had woken up and were about to take a bathroom trip. Hubby had just stood up and I was about to follow when a pack of coyotes started howling, it was then when we realized we didn't have to go as badly as we thought we did. I wasn't really that scared since the howling was from a way away but I still waited till dawn to make a trip to the bathroom.

This month Hubby and I are camping at another new to us State Park for our anniversary. I'm hoping we can camp in March too but we'll have to see if we can get away.

Some Bunny Loves You!
We passed this cool vintage motel sign coming in but we didn't have time to stop but Hubby pulled over on the way back home so I could grab a photo of it.