Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Florida Caverns State Park
As usual, the excitement of leaving for a trip meant no sleep for Gary and I. We left home at 3AM, instead of the original planned time of 5AM. The new plan was to get some miles behind us, then pull into a rest stop and get some shut-eye there. That's exactly what we did. It was noisy there with the 18-wheelers coming and going, but we were so tired that it didn't take long to doze off. After a couple of hours sleep, Gary called ahead to the park to see if we could get in before the actual check-in time. That was no problem, so we made our way there. All of the state parks are a little different from each other, and this is the only one in Florida with caverns. It is also one of the oldest parks in the state, developed by the Civilian Conservation Corp in the late '30's. It was scenic and pretty, with blue spring waters and a variety of tall trees and forests of cypress knees. Our campsite was average, with very little foilage between each spot. I was dwarfed in size by the 10-wheeled Phaeton Motor Coach to my left, but there were people camping in tents and pop-ups also, so at least I wasn't the smallest camper in the place. I was still the oldest though. I settled in to my life of leisure, and Gary hiked the trails and rode his bike all through the park. Rain was expected on our first day there, but it held off until the middle of the night, and was over with by the start of our second day. After breakfast, Gary headed to the caverns to enjoy a tour of them conducted by one of the park rangers. He said it was VERY pretty, and well worth the eight bucks it cost to get in. He took loads of pictures inside the caverns, and I've included one of my favorites above. In the afternoon, I hung out and enjoyed the scenery. Gary went hiking for hours. He was gone for so long I thought a bear had eaten him, but he finally made it back before dark. TV reception was not good, so the evening was spent watching a couple of movies. The next morning, Gary packed up and prepared me for our next stop, which was a little over 100 miles southeast of the caverns. It's so much fun to go to new places, and I couldn't wait to see what was next.