Beauty & the Deluge

We were headed to the visitors' center when the sky opened up.  Our wipers didn't have a chance against this downpour!

We were headed to the visitors’ center when the sky opened up. Our wipers didn’t have a chance against this downpour!

It rained last night, then drizzled on and off this morning.  For a while the sun peeked out and we thought that we were through with rain for the day.

Drizzly morning.  This is the first time we've used the awning this trip.

Drizzly morning. This is the first time we’ve used the awning this trip.

So we headed for the day use area.  It is so beautifully and thoughtfully designed.  It’s multi level with picnic areas tucked here and there, obviously designed with privacy for picnickers in mind, except for the large group pavilions.

We weren’t keeping track of time, so we decided to leave the day use area and head for the visitors’ center.  That’s when the sky opened up.

The day use area from the parking lot

The day use area from the parking lot

It was really scary driving those twisty, winding two-lane roads when we could barely see the road.  And there was nowhere to pull off and wait it out.

We finally got to the visitors’ center and found it closed.  It was 5:30, and the center closes at 4:30.  Then I worried the whole drive back to the campground about how our awning had fared in the downpour.  Since we hadn’t expected rain, we had left it up.  To my great relief, it was fine.

Entering the day use area

Entering the day use area

Bless Casita for using quality awnings!

We are heading home tomorrow.  The first thing I need to do is get estimates on a new roof, then, it will be time to tackle a whole list of home maintenance projects.

Sure would be nice to run away from home again!  🙂

Ron and Sheba

Ron and Sheba

Lower level looking toward the boat dock

Lower level looking toward the boat dock

Picnic sites

Picnic sites

Wheelchair accessible

Wheelchair accessible

Down by the water

Down by the water

Path from day use area to boating area

Path from day use area to boating area

 

 

 

 

 

Cold, windy day at Indian Springs State Park

Ron and Sunny near the spring house

Today was chilly with cold wind, so we didn’t spend a lot of time outside.

We did get out and look around the park.  There is much history here, but I’m not energetic enough to type it all out this evening.  The stone buildings, as is common in state parks in the region, were built by the CCC under Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The swimming and boating areas are beautiful.  Picnic shelters and areas are very

The spring house

The spring itself with a whopping 1 gallon per minute output 🙂

Swimming/boating area

Picnic tables near the spring

One of the picnic pavilions

Playground near the swimming beach

More of the stone buildings built by the CCC

attractive, and there is a nice playground for children, as well as miniature golf and a museum in season.  Unfortunately, it’s not in season now.  🙂

The spring, touted (and marketed) in the past as having medicinal powers, puts out an underwhelming one gallon per minute year round.  Even so, in the early 1820’s, the area grew into a resort community.

An illegal treaty that dispossessed the Creek Indians of their Georgia lands was signed here, as was a later legal treaty.

According to park literature, the mineral spring has been open to the public since 1825, making it the oldest state park in the nation.  But there is also a warning in the brochure that the water is not potable!

 

 

F. D. Roosevelt State Park in Georgia, II

Registration building at FDR State Park built by CCC

Registration Bldg. & Gift Shop built by CCC

We had originally planned to stay here three nights.  But it is so beautiful that we have extended our stay an extra two days.  So we will be here until Monday.

I am especially enjoying the old stone buildings that were built by the CCC back in the 1930’s.  Dad had a lot of stories about his time working for them before he went into the Marine Corps during WWII.  I think he said that he got $25.00 a month, and sent $20.00 of it home to his parents.

Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park Office Building

FDR State Park Office Building

What is amazing is that the stone work was built with no tools other than shovels and pickaxes.

It stormed yesterday and last night, but today ended up sunny and beautiful.  It’s cooler this evening, though.  It is expected to get down  into the 30’s tonight.

Because it was so chilly, we decided that we needed a camp fire.  I had almost forgotten how wonderful they are on cold nights.  So relaxing.  Odd how a fire mesmerizes and induces such a peaceful, reflective state of mind.

Window view

View behind our site

our camp fire

Our camp fire

Ron pouring coffee among tiki torches, kerosene lantern, and camp fire

Ron pouring coffee surrounded by tiki torches, a kerosene lantern, and the camp fire

The park is filling up tonight.  But our site is on a curve in the road, and spaced so that we don’t have anyone close to us on either side.

We decided not to put up our screen room this trip.  The cooler weather means there aren’t many bugs around.  And if it rains, we can take advantage of the picnic pavilion behind our site.

Hillsborough River State Park, FL

Hillsborough River flooded campsite

Flooded campsite

We arrived at Hillsborough River State Park on March 22.

My opinion is that it’s a great place to RV, but it is too crowded for our style of camping.

It is ideal for day use by locals in the Tampa area, though.  There are dozens and dozens of picnic areas ranging from rustic (rock picnic tables built by the CCC) to large pavilions with fireplaces.  There is a huge pool built to accommodate over 200 swimmers, but it was closed for repairs while we were there.

There are also some nice trails, some of which were underwater during our visit.  There’s a cool suspension bridge on a trail over the river.  They also offer canoe rentals.

Flooded trail

Boardwalk where the trails flood

We enjoyed coffee and donuts at the campground management event.  They had a question and answer session, and I learned some fascinating new things.  I’m a Florida native, very familiar with alligators.  But I learned that alligators don’t eat for 6 months out of the year.  When cool weather comes and their body temperature drops, their appetite disappears.  They don’t eat again until the weather warms up and revs up their metabolism.  When it reaches a certain point, they resume eating.  That was the first time I had heard that.

modern and older picnic areas

No excuse not to picnic

The rainy weather from home apparently got here ahead of us.  Half of our campsite was unusable because  the former occupant had gotten stuck in the mud.  Management had covered the area with wood chips, but we weren’t going to take a chance on getting stuck, too.  So we parked way over, cutting our campsite in half.

Half a campsite

Half a campsite

Hillsborough River from trail

Hillsborough River from trail

We did get out and do a bit of hiking.  Most of the flooded areas had boardwalks, but we still ended up walking in mud for a short distance.  It was worth it, though.  The air plants on the older trees fascinate me.  The fantastically gnarled tree roots by the river, holes which are some critter’s home, the little atamasco lilies, palm “root balls” a foot above the ground… so many things to wonder at and appreciate.

Sunny and I taking a break after hiking

Sunny and I taking a break after hiking a trail

Sunny down for a nap

Sunny ~ "It's been a long day!"

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