Way Down Upon the Suwannee River

There is a bridge you cross headed to Tallahassee and underneath flows the famous Suwannee River.  Actually quite a few bridges carry you over this river, but I only remember the one on I-10 with my parents.  You have to sing when you cross.  You just do.  And we always did.  Pat doesn’t get it, but I serenade him each and every time.

A few interesting Florida facts for you.  The song is actually “Old Folks At Home” written by Stephen Foster in 1851.  He never saw the Suwannee River as it turns out or visited Florida at all.  He wrote a song and needed a river’s name.  His brother suggested several – Yazoo in Mississippi and the Pee Dee in South Carolina.  Both rejected.  Suwanee was a perfect fit and became the official state song of Florida, stimulating tourism way back in the day.

Convict Springs

This stop seems to be all about the Suwannee.  The river meanders about the county and quite a few springs feed into it in this area.  We’re actually at Suwannee River Rendezvous RV Park that has Convict Springs on property.  Probably one of the very few springs that is dog friendly.  Jackson does like a good cold drink from there.

Convict Springs as the name implies does have ties to the chain gangs back in the early 1900s.  The convicts were put to work on construction projects and camped in places like this one if they couldn’t make it back to the county jail for the night.  Fortunately it is a bit more refined nowadays and is home to the campground and also feeds the Suwannee.

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The water is very high right now and convict spring itself isn’t very picturesque.  Here’s a better shot with Jackson looking at the Suwannee on the day we arrived.  They have wooden swings right on the bluff to relax and ponder the river flow.

Troy Springs

For $5, you can drive in and picnic.  That is really about it.  The water is at flood stage for the swimming area so no swimming or diving.  AND, only the picnic area is dog-friendly.  We cheated and took Jackson on a short hiking trail since it turns out we were the only visitors there.

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Flooded Swimming Area

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Thanks Mom for the trail dog time!

It would have been a more peaceful stop, but it was extremely windy the day before and the park volunteers were blowing leaves off the pavement – everywhere and for a long time.

The trail did have some interesting markers.  We learned of the Pignut hickory tree and even picked up one of the nuts.  Didn’t know there were different kinds of hickory trees.  Then there were the Sparkleberry trees.  Now I know what you’re thinking.   Something only I could make up with my nicknames for everything.  I kid you not.  It turns out to be North America’s largest blueberry and usually grows to 8-10 feet tall.  Finally, we saw more information on my eensies!

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Just like my mail order epiphytes, Resurrection Fern grows on the tree branches.  After a good rain, lifeless brown leaves unfurl into bright green, lush ferns.  I’ll have to work on before and after pictures for you.  Such a dramatic transformation.

Peacock Springs

Spring number three was only a few miles away.  Not a pretty day, but I proclaim that it will not rain on us.  So much for that.  We got a little wet, but figured we were practicing for our trip to the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

Peacock Springs actually has multiple springs and several sinks or sinkholes.  It is popular with cave divers.

It’s a very unique looking spring with the Cypress swamp and limestone rocks on the bank.  We arrived in time to see an entire diving group surface.

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Along the trail were clumps of little white flowers.  I tramped off to get a closer look.  Delicate, lovely little things getting a drink from the light rain.

This trail was also interesting because it showed you pictures of what the cave divers were seeing just below your feet.  Markers along the way gave you a “you are here” view of above and below ground.

The view beneath our feet, one of the active sinks and a warning to divers to go no further.

The active sinkholes are essentially where the limestone has caved in and leads to the water-filled cave system below.  Cave diving is apparently a dangerous business and people do die when they go places they shouldn’t.  I was happy for the pictures since I’m sure I’ll never go cave diving.

Hal W. Adams River Bridge

On the way home from Peacock Springs, we pulled into a boat launch area to get some shots of a pretty neat bridge over the Suwannee.  Love me some bridges and this one had part of the song lyrics.

Turned out to be a nice stop even though it was still rainy and chilly.  Note the jumping sturgeon sign.  We didn’t see any this day, but they are big and they’ll jump right into your boat!  People have been seriously hurt by the jumping fish.

New Specs

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Been a while since I shared a terrible selfie.  You know I’m very bad at this.  Anyway, how do you like the new glasses?  You can’t tell in this pic, but they are purple like the old ones.  Pat says this shape looks less business-y and more fun.  I know they look crooked, but I really think it is my face!  I’m getting used to them and think I like them.  Super cheap from Zenni Optical, so if I don’t like them, I’ll just order me up another pair.

We Have a Fireplace!

Well not really, but kinda.  You remember Vader our space heater?  Well the same people that recommended him also recommended this little gem…

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Ahhh, nice warm fire.

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Ok, it is really a fireplace DVD.  90 minutes with or without soothing music of an actual fire burning.  During the 90 minutes, you can see the other logs catch fire and hear the crackle and pop of the wood.  Crazy, but we did feel warmer watching it, and of course Vader was warming our feet.  In fact I wrote this post “by the fire” so to speak.

Best Fried Green Tomatoes & Other Things of Note

We accomplished a few other miscellaneous things so far during this stop:

  • Binge-ordered from Amazon, AGAIN, and watching the packages flow in (fireplace DVD among those items).
  • Had the best fried green tomatoes of my life at Tumbleweeds BBQ in Mayo.  Cute little lunch spot with pretty good fried shrimp and hush puppies, too.
  • Valentine’s Day dinner in Steinhatchee with a small view of the water and some pretty good fish.
  • Planned and reserved all our stops up through April 6th which includes visits with my sister in Tallahassee and Pat’s sister in Springfield, MO.

The House

What house?!  That’s right – sold!  The buyer closed on Friday, 2/17 and we are free to wander.  One of my favorite quotes by J.R.R. Tolkien sums up where we are nicely,

“All who wander are not lost”

Yep, we are a-wanderin’ and we’re not lost – yet!  See you on the way.

 

 

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13 thoughts on “Way Down Upon the Suwannee River

  1. Love the new specs. You don’t need no stinking business specs! Btw- you are definitely not alone – EVERY time we drive to Pensacola, I must sing the song. Paul takes the same view as Pat, doesn’t get it. But he does laugh, at me. Agree on the cave diving. A huge nope on that one. Love the photo of the flower! Where in Steinhatchee did you have fish? Never know if we will go thru there on our travels. I can’t wait for your next update!

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  2. Love the pics and history lessons we are getting along the way, makes me feel like I’m on the trip too. Miss you guys, but am so happy your getting to enjoy your adventures.

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    • Hey Ann! Glad you are enjoying the virtual ride along. I try to put in some worthwhile info besides just my rambling. I figure it gets old just looking at “vaca” pics with nothing else to go along with them. Anyway, hope to see you around Christmas!

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