Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

Hontoon Island State Park

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Rain, rain, and more rain. We spent our first few days here hunkering down in the big Kodiak Canvas tent, we were on an island on an island. The tent withstood the rain even though we had about 2 inches of water under our feet. I’m glad it was dry the day we arrived so I could at erect the tent.

Then the sun came out. Exploring the island with the dogs has been fun, keeping the dogs on the path and out of the way of venomous snakes, not so easy. The difference between venomous and poisonous is with venomous they have to bite you, with poisonous you have to bite them. There are pygmy rattlers here and they are good hiders, last thing I need is a dog snuffling under some branches and coming up with a rattler on its nose. Trying to get a picture of them is not so easy either so….

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We encountered an armadillo along the way, and two barred owls that visit the camp. There are black vultures, hawks, egrets, and lots of cranes. Mosquitos are the dominant animal on the island, the tent is secure and I’ve only had to murder a few of the bloodsuckers. I wouldn’t want to be here in summer

 

The rangers are super nice and you can ride back and forth on the little ferry as much as needed, service stops at 4:30, so after that your here until morning. When you arrive they lend you as many wheel barrows as you need for your gear and take you in the van to your campsite, picking you and your gear up your last day. The rest of the time you walk the short quarter mile path from the ferry to the campsites. They have a lending library, I’ve read 3 books already, and donated 2 that I read. There is a small store where you can get an ice cream, and ice is available. The tent site has no electric so the Camp Host, Tom, allows me to hook up my extra battery packs to his camper, thanks Tom.

The Island has this cool replica totem. There is a nice playground for kids, and lots of fishing is done from the banks. You can’t go in the water because of gators.

 

I don’t think it will be too difficult to spend another week at this beautiful park. Hoping to get more photos of the wildlife, having the dogs makes it a little tough, Stanley has quite a bark and he has decided I need protected from, well, everything.

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Cathy, and Edgar, and Stan the Man.

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Springs State Park

Our first stop in Florida. Blue Springs is about 40 minutes west of Daytona. One of the few class A springs, it stays a balmy 73 degrees year round.

The park is a manatee heaven, connected to the St. Johns River, the manatees spend their nights here and travel to the river to feed. Manatees eat 25% of their weight in vegetation every day. The spring does not support growth because of lack of oxygen.

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Blue Springs campground is well maintained, and I met a Ranger Morris on the boardwalk overlooking the spring, he’s an ornithologist, and knew all the birds by calls.

We spent 3 days watching the manatees, black vultures, baby snapping turtles, all kinds of fish including tarpon, and the invasive Plecostomus catfish and tilapia.

Spending only 4 nights here I set up the small tent, Edgar and Stanley are getting used to tent living, they have 2 beds and stole 2 pillows and a sleeping bag for their comfort.

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We didn’t see any alligators, but a bobcat walked through our camp one evening, Stanley alerted me, and I got a glimpse. We also had some racoons, there was evidence on my cooler in the morning, but being a Yeti, they left without a meal.

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Blue Springs is close to everything so I was able to get meals without having to cook for myself, which is a good thing. I did have coffee and yogurt in the mornings, and a few cookies at night. Everything here is Orange this or that which is why I went the wrong direction driving to Costco to pick up some meds for Edgar, only a 50 mile detour, and Costco here is like everywhere, I got a good cheap meal and enough samples to make a dinner.

Our next stop is Hontoon Island State Park….

Cathy