Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Paynes Prairie Revisited, Day #3

Does anybody know how I can get Gary to relax and just spend a quiet day with me, his favorite camping buddy? I thought that that was the plan for our revisit to Paynes Prairie, but he's been off and running ever since we've been here. As I've told you about in my previous posts this week, he went antique shopping for hours and hours during the first two days. Today, he said that he would be right back after walking for a short distance on the Cones Dike Trail. The trail is four miles in one direction, and I thought for sure that any walking for more than a mile would be out of the question. Once again, I was wrong. My first thought when he didn't come back in a couple of hours, was that he either ran into someone to shoot the bull with, or he somehow managed to get lost again. I know I said I was going to let that go, but since it happened once, it will always be on my mind. I ended up spending another afternoon by myself, and worrying that something had happened to my best buddy. It was almost five o'clock before I heard the familiar sound of the van approaching our campsite. Once here, Gary climbed out slowly, and looked tired and hot. He still had all of his limbs, so that was reassuring. After a few minutes of gathering some fresh clothes and towels, he headed straight to the bath house for a refreshing shower, but he still looked exhausted when he returned. He said very little to me, and layed down for a short nap. He seemed more like himself when he woke up, and told me about his day on the trail. His first stop was the visitor's center to get a copy of the trail map. The trail begins at the restroom that is very near the visitor's center. Once on the trail, he was so involved with taking pictures and looking for animals, that he was well over a mile into it before he realized. He saw wild horses in the distance, and came across a deer that was tame enough not to run off before having a few pictures taken. The next thing he came across, and definitely the scariest, was a BIG alligator. Gary got WAY too close to that thing, but he will do some crazy things to get a picture. It took him over two hours to get to the end of the trail, and he said he was VERY happy to see that 4 mile marker. His journey was only half over at that point, since he had to come all the way back over the same route. Overall, he walked all 8 miles in four hours, and that was stopping frequently to take pictures. No wonder he needed a nap! As I write this, rain showers have arrived for the first time since we've been here. A cold front will follow, and the 80+ degree days we have had, will cool down to the mid-60's. That will feel MUCH better, and Gary is always happiest when the weather is cooler. Since he is so tired from his long walk today, maybe he will spend tomorrow here with me. I can always dream, can't I?


  1. Oh I missed the last couple sentences about the Salt & peppers. So they're pretty serious about not tying clothes lines to tree in the Sunshine state, huh?

    1. I've seen some people do it, but I've also seen park rangers telling the campers to take them down. You can't gather your own firewood either. They don't want anything disturbed.

  2. So glad you got a photo of one of the horses and that Gator, yow. I do the same in Smoky Mtn. National Park when I see a bear but I always try to make sure there's someone older or in worse shape that's closer to the bear. Not really, well maybe, sorta really.