Tag Archives: hiking

Cary State Park – Hiking

My friend and I are continuing to earn a badge for the Florida Trailwalker Program. We have to hike ten trails before earning our first badge.  Why are we doing this?  Because we can and want to.

Last month we visited Cary State Forrest.  It is a very nice well kept park.  As usual, we were the only ones to visit that day.

The trail is called Nature Trail and it is only 1.2 miles.

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It was an easy-peasy walk through the woods.  Nothing exciting, except for the beautiful view.  Loved this park.  They have a small tent camping area and a few picnic tables in the area where we were.

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They have wooden walk-ways over the water areas.

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A walk in the woods early in the morning is awesome.

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We even came across a few spiders.

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The hike through Cary State Forrest brings me to 4 out of 10 hikes needed for the badge.  Woot!

Next hike is at Twin Rivers State Forrest.

Go take a hike!

Big Shoals

So I ask the husband, “Hey, what are we doing for the 4th of July?”  His response, “Go somewhere there are no people.  Like Big Shoals.”   GREAT says I, that’ll give me another notch towards my Trail Walker patch.  More on that later.

We pack our walking sticks, backpacks, camera, lunch, and two out of four kids.  Because two out of four kids prefer indoors than outdoors.   Two parents out of two parents wanted to keep four kids out of four kids, so decided to let two kids out of two kids stay home and not “dispose” of two out of two kids for having bad attitudes.

Two hour drive to Big Shoals State Park, no problem!  I have my knitting and Root Beer.

We had a lovely lunch right by the river.  All by ourselves.  Except for one other large family, but they left us alone.  I’m good with that.

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Off we go on a 1.5 mile hike to the waters edge.  The edge where we could probably put our feet in the water.

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We noticed the water was high and moving very fast.  Decided it would not be a good idea to wade in it this time.  Girls were not happy.

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The walk was beautiful!  It sprinkled some, but mostly it was really nice.  Not too hot.

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At the end of the 1.5 mile hike, more like a stroll, we rested at the water’s edge.  So beautiful.  We did keep our eyeballs open for gators.  The Husband and The Daughter decided to take a rest in the hammock.  I had no idea he had packed that hammock.  LOL  Who does that on a 3 mile hike?

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On the way back to the car, we stopped by The Bat Cave.  It is really cool and you can hear the squeaks of the bats inside.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a good picture of them.

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I did get a nice picture of their poo.  Bats drop a lot of poo. I have to admit, it was gross.

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Afterwards we went home and did nothing.  Didn’t even go watch fireworks.  So un-American!

Florida Trailwalker Program

On May 9th, my friend Georgeann invited me to hike with her at Jennings State Forest.

Georgeann has been participating in the Florida’s Trailwalker Program and I have decided to participate also.  To earn the Trailwalker patch you must:

“Walk a total of ten trails in a minimum of five state forests, selecting trails from the Trail List. At the trailhead of each trail you hike, obtain one pre-paid postal survey card for the trail. Fill it in and put in the mail after you complete the hike.”

We decided to walk the North Florida Black Creek loop.  It is a five mile hike.

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This was right after days of rain and that means Black Creek floods.  There were several times we had to either go through or around some water.

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Georgeann kept us on track with her handy-dandy hand held GPS.  Of course this means I have to have one too.  I am currently waiting on the husband to get me one.

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We saw some wild life and lots of prints.  This is a raccoon, I think.

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It took us just over two hours to do the hike.  We walked and talked the whole way.  Never stopping, except 3/4 quarters of the way around.  I was yacking, as always, and all of a sudden I had a hard time breathing.  I’m like whhaaaat?   I told Georgeann I had to stop for a breath and drink water. She explained to me we were going up a slight incline, the ground wasn’t flat there.  Geez, I really need to work out more.  After a few minutes and some water I did pretty well.

Once I got home I sent my little card in to get the sticker saying I have hiked the trail.  Now where shall we hike next?

What a great way to get out doors and have some fun!

Tallulah Gorge State Park, Part One

After Reed Bingham State Park, we head on up to Tallulah Gorge State Park.

It’s beautiful there.  Right away we see color at the camp site.First things first.  We have to get the new spare tire out of the camper.

This is what happens when you leave a watery Florida.

There wasn’t much of the day left for us, so we hiked down to the damn.  It was an easy hike right from our campsite!

William and I visited here 25 years ago or so.  I’ll have to dig the photos and compare them later.

We walked just a little ways down the trail and stopped at the overlooks.  When William and I were here last, there wasn’t any “overlooks” or stairs or railings.  It was all open.  We didn’t realize until the last day of our visit this time, that it wasn’t a State Park when we were there before.

Below is a view of the upper gorge and southern part of Hawthorne Pool.  Gorge depth 250 feet.

Heading on back to the campsite, Pea #2 has to pose for the camera.  She likes to be serious when she wants her picture taken.  Back at the camper, Pea #1 throws pillows at us because we all piled on her bed, in her own little cozy spot, while she was in there.  That’s what families are for.Can anyone tell me what this tree is?  The fruit fell in piles on the ground.  We constantly stepped on them and it was like dog poo on the bottom of our shoes.  It wasn’t easy to get off, but thank the good Lord it didn’t smell like poo.Stay tuned for more exciting adventures of our trip to Georgia.

Easy Granola

Started making this simple recipe for granola a while ago.  It is perfect for our camping trips.  Easy to store.  Easy solution for a quick breakfast.  Easy to carry while hiking.   Just plain easy.  🙂

Yummy Granola

You can add anything extra to this recipe before baking.  I added about 1/2 to 3/4 cup raisins.  Nuts, craisins (all natural kind), shredded coconut is good too.

Simple Granola
Source:  Breadbeckers

  • 1/2 cup cocount oil (all natural, unrefined)
  • 1/2 cup honey (local if you can get it)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups rolled oats

Melt together the coconut and honey.  Add salt and stir.  Pour over oats and stir well to coat.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes until slightly golden.  Stir twice during baking.

You may have to adjust the time for baking.  We found it takes us up to 25 minutes to bake, but the original recipe says to bake 10 minutes.

Yummy with milk, yogurt, or right out of the hand.

3 out of 6 family members will eat this, which means 3 out of 6 family members will go hungry if this is all we have, which means 2 out of 2 parents don’t care.

I will take a small jar with me when I am out doing errands to munch on between meals.  It fills me up and I won’t make that quick trip through a fast food joint.

This is good stuff people!

Washington Oaks Park

We gathered up three of our four kids and drove on over to Washington Oaks.  It is a really pretty place and we picked the perfect day for it!

This is more of a formal garden than the other parks that we visit.

They have beautiful ponds and flowers everywhere.  There was a wedding here, when we walked by.  Must be the month for weddings, because there was one in Palatka Ravines the last time we were there.

This is a climbing rose, but I don’t know the name of it.  I got a couple of bug pictures on this flower. 🙂

Pea #2 decided to make use of some of the palm trees.

We had a lovely day!  I might bring the Biology students here next school year.  Need a change from Guana River.

Visiting Palatka Ravines

We love to visit the Palatka Ravines in February.  This is the time the Azaleas are in bloom.  We usually make it just before the blow-out of all azaleas or after they are gone. Either way, it is a beautiful place. I wish we lived closer.

The Federal Works Progress Administration made the Palatka Ravines a beautiful garden in 1933.  You can still see the original bricks laid in some areas.

We visited the ravines a few weeks ago and this is what we saw. Hope you enjoy what we did. 🙂

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Field Trip

to Guana River State Park.

The purpose of this field trip, was to get the students involved in the surroundings of God’s creation.  I wanted them to take the time to look, listen, feel, and just have fun.  There is a lot they can learn when we use God’s world as our classroom.  🙂

The day was sunny, very windy, and a little on the chilly side, but the students were able to find most of what was on their list to look for.    If you are interested in getting a copy of the worksheet, please let me know and I’ll email it to you.

The most interesting things they found were beached Horseshoe Crabs,  Pygmy Rattlesnake, and young Bald Eagle.   Three of us out of ten saw the Bald Eagle, because we took the time to walk slowly and look around on the way back to the van.

“But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you; And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you.  Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you; And let the fish of the sea declare to you.  Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this, in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of al mankind?”  Job 12: 7-10


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It was a very enjoyable day.

Up coming contest

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket A contest is coming. Get ready.

This contest begins next Monday, June 23rd. I want you to have a week to take a hike, then a week to post pictures 🙂 .

Contest: Take a Hike
Rule #1: You must go on a hike, take pictures, and write a post about your experience or surrounding or whatever. The hike can be anywhere, down the street, up a mountain, or to the refrigerator for a donut or three. It doesn’t matter; just get up and move. No previous hikes you have posted about can be entered. :mrgreen:

Rule #2: Write a comment here stating you have posted, so all can see you got moving. 

Rule #3: Only after you have posted and commented here, will your name be put in a hat, bucket, something, to be picked from on Monday, June 30th. If you have previously commented on my blog (before this date, June 16th) your name will go in there twice. If you comment for the first time, starting today, your name goes in once.

Rule #4: Don’t yell at me. This idea for a contest was given by none other than the lovely Colour du jour. If you do not like this contest, then just hike on over to her blog and tell her so. 😀 She’ll love to hear from you.

Rule #5: There isn’t one.

Rule #6: Any and all of the above rules can be changed without notice to me or anyone else.

The winner will receive what is in the photograph above. I will reveal the photo next Monday. Suspense, ladies! I also promise to send out the prize faster than Melanie. I think she has issues with the postal service or maybe it is the fear of stamps. I just don’t know.

Now march!!

Take a Hike!

A couple of weeks ago, the family, plus one friend, went for a hike at Princess Place Preserves.  This was our second trip and we will return.  It is a beautiful placed to visit.  You get wildlife and history, all in one place. 🙂

The first trip we toured the home and heard all about its rich history (that’s for another post).  This time around we went for a hike.  First we have a hearty picnic; blackened chicken wraps, watermellon, fresh veggies, and homemade brownies.  Not to mention water; lots and lots of water.

After the picnic we head out on the Blue Trail.

The Blue Trail is an easy trail that will take half an hour.  With five kids in tow, we thought this would be best for our first hike around the place.  Due to our keen sense of directions, and the fuzzy map, we ended up on the Green Trail.  It turned out to be a really unique place to hike.  So, with that in mind, yeah, we meant to take the Green Trail.

This Green Trail is a bird sanctuary.  In the middle is a fresh water marsh, with an artesian spring to keep the water from becoming stagnet.  We saw many birds, but I wasn’t able to get any photos.

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