Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ocala to Georgia line

Ocala to Georgia line

Sunday morning – it’s time to put in the slide, roll up the steps, hook up the condo and put the big blue truck in gear. It’s time to head north. Rt 441 is a great road. From Ocala north the terrain is gently rolling hills. Thoroughbred farms change to more cowboy type farms the farther away from Ocala you get. South of Gainesville is a quaint little town called Micanopy (Mick an OH pee). Back in the early 1990’s there was a movie called “Doc Hollywood”, and starred Michael J Fox as a small town doctor. The town portrayed was in South Carolina but the movie was done in Micanopy. We strolled up and down the main street, stopped in several shops and even chatted with some of the owners. One antique shop was in the town’s 1906 bank building and that owner shared some of the things she remembered from being there when the movie was being shot. On the opposite side of the street were several large homes that had been reborn as gift shops, ice cream shops and a coffee shop. Their coffee was good and the egg sandwich was freshly made just for us.

Getting thru Gainesville was a breeze – straight on thru and got most of the traffic lights green! We stopped for the day at one of Florida’s first state parks - O’Leno State Park. I have a new patch for my jacket! Back in the 1860’s it was a town called Keno after the lotto gambling game. It was changed to Leno in 1876 and by 1890 it had become a ghost town because the railroad bypassed the tiny town. The park was acquired in the 1930’s and developed by the Civilian Conservation Corp. A lot of the buildings are still being used today. Dark brown wood cabins, a long dark lodge made of logs and even a CCC museum that looked more like the left over corner tower of an old Indian fort! The park is located on the Santa Fe River – literally – ON IT. The river runs thru the park and then disappears underground and then emerges 3 miles away. The pond where is goes underground is called the River Sink and we walked over a high swinging, suspension bridge, along the river trail, thru the woods and then back around the Sink Pond. Delicate wild Azaleas and white lacey Fringe Trees dotted the woods.

Monday afternoon I added yet another patch to my jacket. Suwannee River State Park is another historic nugget that lines the steep banks of the Suwannee River. The campground was pretty much full but we lucked out and got one of the last available spots – the paved handicapped site right next to the “facilities”. While H enjoyed his “happy hour”, I grabbed camera and went off exploring the steep banked river’s edge. I found the remains of the old mill, the railroad bridge and the bridge next to it that carried 441 from one side of rhe Suwannee to the other. Up past the cement lined boat ramp where the shallow water at the base looked like strong tea lapping at the rivers bank, the narrow sandy path led past a tall post with bright colored markings and the dates that the river flooded to those marked heights. The brightest and highest band was for 1973 - - - 60 some feet of floodwater filled that space where I was standing, plus about 10 more over my head!! It was hard to imagine! On up along the limestone-lined river, the trail traveled around a small cove where a few tall Cypress trees stood guard on the shore, creating an interesting silhouette on the water. The pathway then snuck past a wooden stairway that stepped down that steep embankment and ended about 4 feet above the water. The stairway to nowhere!! Once down at the bottom I did see the bubbling water that was churning up out of the middle of some knarly tree roots! It was a fresh water spring. The next interesting spot on the trail was listed as “the Balanced Rock”. And it was but the broucher picture was taken a long time ago – way before those trees grew up around it and attempted to strangle it with their long armed limbs. Back at the condo – we shared our adventures - mine about the sights I saw and the pictures I took and H told me about our new neighbors - from Vineyard Lake Michigan who live next door to one of H’s old shooting buddies!! They were traveling on a motorcycle and pulling a trailer!! Shades of our past vacations on H’s faithful red Yamaha Venture!! Sweet!! Then we had a different kind of visitor! A teeny, tiny green frog that was smaller than a nickel. H and I were both laughing and were doing a pretty goofy looking two-step, trying to keep our little trespasser on the cement slab so H could get a good picture of him. Isn’t he cute?

Enough of Florida! The weather was threatening rain so on Tuesday we headed to Georgia. The trip home is getting serious now!