The Springs at Salt Springs & a Bearded Tooth

The swimming area at Salt Springs.  You can see where the water springs up from the vents in the rocks.

The swimming area at Salt Springs. You can see where the water springs up from the vents in the rocks.

It’s another chilly, damp, grey day at Salt Springs.  Our high today was 55.  At home it got up to 59.  That’s not how central Florida is supposed to be!

One of the spring vents in the rock

One of the spring vents in the rock

Nevertheless, the area is still beautiful, even though we are spending most of the day inside the Casita.  Fortunately, today is one of the days we are getting a decent Verizon signal, so at least we can entertain ourselves surfing.

When we were at the springs we saw a huge school of mullet.  Mullet like to jump, and I missed several shots of them leaping out above the surface.  I did capture one slightly murky shot of the school, though.

School of mullet

School of mullet

The trees surrounding the swimming area are ancient.  And bordering the picnic area is a virtual jungle.  It has a very exotic feel to it.

When we were here before, in September 2010, the weather was hot and sunny.  We went swimming, and at the time the 72 degree water felt icy to us.  Today I bet 72 would feel warm!

My brother-in-law told me that many years (decades) ago, he and a few buddies would come down to Salt Springs and dive into the vents to catch blue crabs that clung to the rocks down there.  Now, of course, you can’t do that.  But at least the springs are still there!

Another view of the swimming area

Another view of the swimming area

If you would like to see what the springs look like when the sun is shining, you can see photos of our previous trip to Salt Springs here.

One more totally off-topic thing I’d like to add.  I have been fruitlessly searching for a bearded tooth mushroom back home.  A couple of days ago my sister Hope sent me a photo of a big “thing” that she found in a tree behind her house.  At first she thought it was a small cat curled up in the tree.  Then she was afraid it was some kind of weird egg sac and who-knows-what would jump out at her!

Incredibly, it turned out to be a bearded tooth mushroom!  And since I hadn’t expected to find one when I visited her, I hadn’t even checked out the trees on her place.  So I missed out on that incredibly choice mushroom!

Fishing for mullet

Fishing for mullet

Vegetation-covered tree around spring area

Vegetation-covered tree around spring area

Old trees around spring area

Old trees around spring area

Jungle bordering spring area

Jungle bordering spring area

Bearded tooth mushroom

Bearded tooth mushroom

 

Salt Springs

At the boat launch in the tent camping area

At the boat launch in the tent camping area

It’s summer here at Salt Springs — complete with sticky humidity and biting bugs.  We’ve already gone through a half bottle of Deep Woods Off.  But we are loving it here!

In the tent camping area

In the tent camping area

Although the campground is a Forest Service campground, it’s run by concessionaires.  So it’s actually a big RV park, complete with full hookups.  But we’re paying $16 a night with our senior pass.

During the winter, you can stay up to 180 days here.  There is an unbelievable assortment of big rigs, small rigs, popups, home built campers, a teardrop, and even several tents in the RV area because they want hookups.  The sites are all different sizes — from spacious to cramped.  It looks like they built the pads around the trees, so tree placement apparently determines the size of the individual sites.  We happened to get a really big one.

Down by the canal

Down by the canal

In addition to the main campground, there is a primitive RV area with no hookups, and a primitive tent camping area. The RV park gets pretty full on the weekends, but there are a lot of open sites during the week.

It rained yesterday, and threatened to rain all of this morning.  But it cleared up early this afternoon and is beautiful now.

Ron took Sheba with him when he did laundry this morning.  So Sunny and I had a leisurely walk through the tent camping area to the canal.  The management keeps that area beautifully manicured, so it’s a

Turtle in the canal

Turtle in the canal

pleasure to linger there.  We gave the water a wide berth, though, because there are alligators there, and I’d bet some of them are probably big.  Big enough to be a danger to a small dog, anyway.

We haven’t made it to the springs yet this trip.  Dogs aren’t allowed down there so it takes some planning for us.  🙂

Alligator warning sign

Alligator warning sign

Verizon data service is spotty and sporadic here.  Sometimes I can get a good enough signal to surf a bit.  Other times I can barely send text email.  And other times, all I get is “server not found.”  But there isn’t a good enough signal for a phone call.  You might connect if you are lucky, but you will certainly drop the call.

At first, we were disappointed when we arrived, with comparisons of Ocean Pond fresh in our minds.  However, Salt Springs is wonderful in a different way.  There are a

Our Casita at Salt Springs

Our Casita at Salt Springs

lot of snowbirds who spend the winter here.  The club house has lots of activities — we got asked if we were on our way to Bingo twice.

And best of all, one of the Palatka churches is doing a Christmas cantata here Saturday night.  We’re to bring finger foods and they’ll supply the beverages.

I am REALLY looking forward to the cantata!

Campers built from cargo trailers

Campers built from cargo trailers

Long term popup camper

Long term popup camper

Van in the primitive RV camping area

Van in the primitive RV camping area

Primitive tent camping area

Primitive tent camping area

Salt Springs RV camping area

Salt Springs RV camping area

The canal area

The canal area

Teardrop camper

Teardrop camper

A woman is solo camping in this little trailer

A woman is solo camping in this little trailer

This little Scamp stayed just one night

This little Scamp stayed just one night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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