Stephen Foster State Park

Campground at Stephen Foster Cultural Center

Campground at Stephen Foster Cultural Center

It was cool and overcast today, but after I got out walking, it felt crisp and invigorating.

Lights strung on the huge live oak trees are a magical site at Christmas.

Lights strung on the huge live oak trees are a magical site at Christmas.

Workmen have been busy here since September stringing the lights for the Christmas Light Extravaganza.  If you would like to see a picture of how it will look when it’s finished, here are photos I took when we visited December 21, 2011.

Our campsite here is not that great.  It’s way in the back and is surrounded by dense scrub.  It’s almost too private because we can’t people watch back here!  But it’s a great place to cocoon in the chilly weather.

Sheba has amazed me this trip.  She has been so good!  Mom’s husband, Jean, remarked that she sure is a well-behaved dog.  She listens to commands, doesn’t get upset by having to be tied up between walks, and has only barked a few times.

Here's our campsite.

Here’s our campsite.

I am SO glad we survived puppyhood with her and did not adopt her out.  Everyone she meets loves her, and I often hear people say, “I used to have a dog like that….”

I missed being able to visit the museum and craft demonstrations today.  I just assumed they would be open.  Will have to check my paperwork and hope they are open on the weekend.

Anyway, we are relaxed and happy!  We have reservations at a county park at Mt. Dora Monday-Wednesday.  That’s all that was available on such short notice.  After that, we’ll probably hit one of the Ocala National Forest campsites for a few days, then head back to Ocean Pond to camp with Gail and Mike again.

Craft shops being readied for Christmas

Craft shops being readied for Christmas

Gift shop

Gift shop

Museum

Museum

Sunset on moss

Sunset on moss

My girl Sheba

My girl Sheba

Carillon tower (sp).  We have enjoyed the songs of the bells.

Carillon tower (sp). We have enjoyed the songs of the bells.

 

Indian Springs State Park, GA

Our site at Indian Springs State Park

Our site at Indian Springs State Park

Our little Aliner is parked at Indian Springs State Park in Middle Georgia tonight.  It’s a gorgeous place.  There are very few campers here, so it is peaceful and very private.

Turning off I-75 onto Highway 42 felt like entering another world.   It’s a curving, two lane, very rural road still sporting autumn colored scenery, with several cattle operations along the way.

behind our site

Our back yard

We built a camp fire, and Ron grilled burgers.  As we were sitting around the fire after dark, Ron remarked, “This is real camping!”  It couldn’t have been a more relaxed and satisfying camping experience.

There is so much here to explore, but unfortunately we don’t have time to check out the Creek Indian museum, the springs, or any of the other beautiful sights.  We definitely plan on coming back when we can spend more time.

view from our deck

View from our deck

at the park entrance

At the park entrance

Ron gathering kindling

Ron gathering kindling with Sunny supervising

Ron preparing kindling

Ron preparing the kindling

me starting the fire

Me starting the fire. I was prepared with LOTS of paper towels!

got the fire going

I got the fire going!

Ron grilling burgers

Ron grilling burgers

We did discover that this is the oldest state park in the country.  Amazing that it is still so unspoiled.

Oh… I did want to mention the camp host.  He is probably the friendliest and most helpful camp host I’ve ever run into.  His name is Dick.  I’m curious to find out if he is here year round or not.  He seemed genuinely disappointed to hear that we were only staying one night.

 

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