Watson’s Mill Covered Bridge

Watson's Mill Bridge

Watson’s Mill Bridge

The bridge is still used by vehicular traffic.  The vertical clearance is 9'.

The bridge is still used by vehicular traffic. The vertical clearance is 9′.

Today Peggy and I took the trail from the campground to the covered bridge.  Although they have 7 miles of trails, it was only 3/4 to the bridge.  But it was narrow, steep and rugged in places.

I was delighted to realize I could do it without getting winded.  My recovery after quitting smoking last September is phenomenal! We did cheat and take the road walk back to the campground to avoid tripping on roots, though.

Bridge interior

Bridge interior

We could not have ordered more beautiful weather.  Warm, sunny, gorgeous, with a gentle, refreshing breeze and low humidity!  Spring at its very best.

I took tons of pictures of Peggy’s cute little 17′ Apex trailer.  She has done a beautiful job personalizing and decorating it.

I’ll post those pictures tomorrow.

closeup of joining pegs

Closeup of wooden joining pins

 

Peggy on trail bridge

Peggy on trail bridge

rugged narrow trail

Along the trail

 

Smooth, scenic trail near the old gristmill site

Smooth, scenic trail near the old gristmill site

Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park

Foot bridge at FDR State Park

On the way up on 27 south of Columbus, a big, shiny red motorcycle pulled up and yelled something and pointed at the trailer.  Afraid something was wrong, we rolled down the window.

Stream flowing into and through an old hollowed out stump

“Did you wax that trailer?” He called.

“Yes,” Ron replied.

The biker gave us a thumbs up and a huge smile, then sped off.

It makes me feel so good when people comment on the Poliglow.  My favorite so far was when the guy at Cotton Hill asked me if my 2005 Casita was a new trailer!

The Casita at FDR State Park

We are only two hours from home tonight.  When I bought a Friends of Georgia State Parks membership, I got a coupon for one free night’s camping.  So we decided to enjoy our freebie at FDR instead of going home.

I love this park.  It’s an old park.  We don’t see many big rigs here.  It just has water and electric — no sewer.  And some of the sites would be difficult for a big rig to get into.  So it’s mostly moderate sized

Tent campers

RVs, along with a few popups, a hybrid or two, and tents.  Maybe it’s just my perception, but this group seems to be friendlier campers than the big rig crowd.

There are a tremendous amount of things to do and see in this area.  There’s Calloway Gardens, FDR’s Little White House, Warm Springs, the Pine Mountain tourist area, and 24 miles of hiking trails.  The brochure says that some of the trails have panoramic views from Pine Mountain along with several small waterfalls.

Sunny looks like we feel this evening!

The last time Ron and I hiked here, we got lost and had a LONG road walk back.

This trip, we have both come down with a stomach bug, so don’t have energy to do anything but relax and just enjoy being here in these peaceful, rustic surroundings.

Reed Bingham State Park, Adel, GA

 

We’re camped at Reed Bingham State Park in Adel, GA this evening.  It’s beautiful and peaceful here.  And our site was so level, we could just pull through and leave the trailer hitched to the truck for an easy get away in the morning.

This park is perfect for overnighting.  Although it has trails and a lake, it doesn’t strike me as a destination park–maybe because the land is so flat.  So we’re enjoying it this evening and will head north to Indian Springs State Park tomorrow for a few days.

The lake. I do love the spanish moss.

Geese at the lake

Spring wildflowers at the lake's edge

The geese were frisky today. I was lucky enough to capture this attack with my camera.

Another goose preparing to attack

Ron and Sunny leaving the lake area and heading back to the campground

Blue Ridge Mountains in September

We’re making plans to head for the North Carolina mountains around mid-September.  It should be a little cooler then, and hopefully even cooler at the higher elevations.

We want to stay a few days at Mile High Campground on the Cherokee Indian lands, then at a National Forest campground or two to stay in budget.

I thought you might enjoy seeing a picture of Sunny, our dear little camping buddy.  He adores exploring trails and new places with us.

Sunny the Maltese

Sunny, our best buddy

Country Road & Beaver Dam

Down my rural lane

My country road

Late yesterday afternoon Ron and I took a walk to check out the beaver pond about 3/4 mile from our house.

Wild carrots grow all along the road.  They fascinate me.  Such intricate clustered white flowers — each one with one tiny purple flower in the very center.  I used to enjoy dipping the flowers in batter and frying them for an unusual treat.  But since I’m trying to eat wiser, I just admired the flowers this time.

wild carrot flower

Wild carrot flower

But even more interesting than the flowers is the birds-nest form the flowers take on as they go to seed.  At first, it looks just like a cupped birds nest, but they progress into a completely closed cage-like formation.

Funny…. when I was younger I thought studying plants was the most boring thing on earth.  Now I find it endlessly fascinating.

The wild daylilies blooming season is past.  I found one single flower remaining.  The rest of them look like straggly bunches of grass now.  I used to thoroughly enjoy fully exploiting the edible parts… corms, shoots and flowers.  But it has been so hot this year, I haven’t had much desire to go digging in the dusty clay or bushwhacking through tall weeds to get to them.

wild carrot flower birds nest

Wild carrot birdsnest fully closed

I think, too, once you have learned a plant and its uses, that simply taking photographs can be as rewarding as eating them.

When we got to the beaver pond, we were disappointed and saddened.  The water is WAY down.  And it looks like someone sabotaged the dam.  There were large rocks on top of it that someone must have put there.  And the dam had fallen into disrepair.  I am afraid that something happened to the beavers.

beaver dam

Due to the low water level, grasses and weeds are growing, and the dam appears to be abandoned and in disrepair.

We did get a good bit of rain last night, so the water level might be up a little.  I’ll check the dam again soon and see if it has been repaired.

On our way down to the pond, one of the neighbors’ aggressive dogs ran out and accosted us.   I am not usually afraid of dogs, but this time I was really frightened.  One of the owners’ kids came out, gathered up the dogs, and assured me, “They won’t bite you.”  Yeah, right.

They are supposed to be fenced or chained, but no one enforces the laws out here.  On our way back, again the dogs came out at us, but the kids rounded them up again.

daylily flower

The one remaining daylily bloom

I used to enjoy taking long walks, but I am feeling less and less safe.  The only place I really enjoy walking anymore are the trails when we go camping.  It’s so sad, because I do live in a beautiful area with so much to take in on long, leisurely walks.

Whew!  This post is getting long!  I’ll quit talking now and just share some of the photos I took.

[Note 8/8/2010:  The beaver dam is in complete disrepair.  Apparently someone killed the beavers.]

erosion and tree roots

This eroded tree root by the side of the road looks like something out of "The Hobbit"

groundnuts

Groundnuts plant

wild quinine

Wild quinine

wild carrots by beaver pond

Wild carrots by the beaver pond

red clover

Red clover looking a little heat stressed

buttonbush

Not a great picture, but I included it because it is the first time I have seen buttonbush flowers growing here.

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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