Sunday, May 7, 2017

More Suwannee River State Park

The blare of diesel train horns interrupt me as I write this. I haven’t even had breakfast yet. This is the sixth train to rumble past the campground since we’ve been here and I have to compare it to Blue Springs State Park near Deland. This one wins for noise, unfortunately, even though the Blue Springs campground is adjacent to the busy Amtrak AutoTrain route. We only had three trains during the night while there. I’m not trying to belittle either park, both of which we think are outstanding day parks, but as I write in the header to this blog: “If you are expecting sugar-coated, sponsored reviews, or cut-and-paste Chamber of Commerce pamphlets, you are on the wrong page!” It is what it is and I don't like the interruption of the trains. If they don't bother you, then you will really enjoy either campground. 

We take a quiet stroll around the park early Friday morning in the cool, damp 47 degree temperature. None of the campers seem to be active, only a few dog-walkers out who trade pleasantries as we meet. The RVers and campers here do not seem to be in a hurry to check out, so this is not just a quick stop on nearby I-75 or I-10 for most of them. Kayaks and canoes at most campsites seem to be the order of the day, fitting for the great ramp and easy access to the Suwannee River. The weather is chilly, but the sun comes out and the rain has long faded away. It promises to be a good day.

We leisurely disconnect the water and electrical power and empty our waste water at the site sewer. We only have another 270 miles or so to Athens, Georgia, and we don’t have to hurry, so we take our time getting ready. We are on our way by 9:00 am and immediately have a problem with our GPS directions. Our very first turn off of US Highway 90 – dictated by our friendly, but quite often wrong female voice from somewhere inside of Garmin’s magic box - is supposed to be onto Hamilton County Road 141, but as I turn onto the road which bends sharply to our right, I notice there is no County Road marker, just a worn local name sign. Just around the bend is a big wooden, weather worn barricade off to the side which warns: “Road Closed Ahead.” This is not the first time we’ve been led astray by modern technology, and we know experience is the best teacher. Go with what you can see and do and don’t make assumptions about what the GPS has programmed. we've sweated through those assumptions in the past and won't repeat them again.

We decide to stop right there and back out into the main highway rather than take a chance of getting stuck on a two-lane road towing our trailer with no way to turn around. Ilse takes one of our handy Motorola handheld radios and guides me back out onto Highway 90 during a lull in traffic, and we soon are back on Highway 90 headed for the next possible turn north.

It is a pleasant ride through the north Florida woods and farms and we soon head back toward Jasper, Florida, and find we aren’t really that far off our planned route. We pick up US 129 and drive north through peanut country and pecan orchards as if we owned the place. Traffic is so light we wonder if it is a holiday of some sort. The state and county roads here are great and well-maintained, both in Florida and Georgia. A really nice change from the hectic pace on the Interstate. Perfect for a trip through the real state of Georgia, something most motorists busy reading the garish highway signs on I-75 don’t know exists.

Next: Comfort Camping at Old Federal


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