Saturday, May 09, 2015

Camping Shakedown

Gold Head Branch State Park, Keystone Heights, Florida

Before cruising in a new boat or a new plane, it is customary and prudent to go on a shakedown cruise to discover the bugs. That's what we're doing here. We left Tarwathie yesterday and drove only 30 minutes to this site.

The first bug we found was a big one. Since 2012, we have been carrying the tent from our 2012 western trip on the boat. We have used it in that time. Yesterday, we discovered that we don't have the fiberglass rods that hold the tent up. They are in Dave's garage in NC. Oh well, I had to drive an hour to a Wal-Mart to buy a whole new tent.

But it would be very wrong to call this camping a work day. It is wonderful here. We especially loved the song bird seranade in the dawn hours. Bird songs are one of the things we miss most on the boat.

More: I just returned from a swim in the lake. The water in this lake is shallow, and the lake appears to be shrunk to 1/4 normal size. But the swim was delicious and the waters were cool, sweet and crystal clear. It brought back a childhood memory of the glass bottom boat at Silver Springs, which is not far from here. This afternoon when it is hot, I'll take another swim.

A feature of this state park seems to be tha 100 foot deep ravine. To someone who just returned from Utah, a 100 foot ravine sounds laughable. But then I thought, "This is Florida." In most places in Florida you can not have a 100 foot ravine unless the bottom is 96 feet below sea level. Come to think of it, on the drive here, the road had some up/down slopes that Floridians could call "hills." Yep, to a local this place is exotic and special. That's fine by us.

We are trying to meet other people, but is it more difficult than in a harbor. There is only one other tent in this park, and the tent's people are nowhere in sight. Everyone else is camping in RVs. During the hot daytime hours, they go inside their RVs, close the door, turn on the air condiitoner and TV, and can't be seen. The RVers who don't do that, take their vehicles and disappear until dinner time. It's lonely here for Libby and me.

p.s. I'm going for another swim this afternoon.




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