Monday, October 19, 2015

October 12, 2015 - Keystone Heights, FL and Palatka, FL

Beautiful morning… We could easily sleep in if we wanted to, but no, we wanted to go out and explore a couple places.

Edith wanted to check Etoniah Creek State Forest to see what its campground layout is like and whether we can park our Lil’ Home (LH) there or not.  We stopped by the Forest Service office to inquire and the lady informed us that it is primitive camping suitable for tents only.

The dirt road became narrower and narrower as we continued driving.  There is a wooden bridge. Edith told Erwin to go left at the fork and the gate was closed as we approached to Route 100.  We had to turn around to go back.  We finally found a short dirt road that leads to Holloway Road and the gate was open. What a big relief!  We did not really want to having to go back to where we came in. No way could we drive the LH through those dirt roads! Too rough, too soft and too many low hanging branches and trees right next to the roads.

Littered in the forest :-(
What a shame
Yes, we picked it up and threw in the trash in our car

Crossing the wooden bridge over the creek
Erwin wanted to go to Palatka to see what else to visit.  There was a brown sign pointing to Ravine Gardens State Park.  We had been there before, but we were not able to drive 1.8 mile loop when we had the camper van.  The length restriction is 19’ and the van was little over 21'

It is $5 per vehicle if you want to drive in or $2 per head if you want to walk in.  We elected to walk in, but the ranger was kind enough to let us go in for free.  

Erwin was hiding, but he was easily seen

The weather was just right for us to take a walk around the loop.  BUT we forgot to bring a bottle of water or two.  

There is a golf course bordering the gardens and Erwin found two golf balls and threw them back.

We made a few stops, took a walk on the suspension bridge, were greeted by a lady who is an interpreter.  She saw us signing as we walked by the playground.  She had her young son with her and we chatted briefly.

Edith’s right knee started to ache a bit and she stopped to rest a bit when there is a bench in sight.  We had already walked more than a mile. If the weather had been hotter we would've gone in a car!

Edith signing 'Tired' after a mile of hike
We checked with the ranger to find out what months are best to come to see the flowers in bloom.  “January through March is the best time”, he said.  We will want to come visit again during those months.

We finally made it back to our car very tired, sweating, thirsty and grouchy.  We DRANK DRANK and DRANK lots of water.  It was around 1:15 pm and we realized that we had not had lunch.  

We picked up Italian half sub and a basket of fried onion rings at Publix.  While there Edith got snacks and appetizers to take home.  We finished our lunch while in the car.  

We were already tired and decided not to continue exploring Palatka for rest of the day and went back to the campground.  

The dragonfly was back at its “favorite” perch.  Of course, Edith cannot tell if it was the same one that showed up yesterday afternoon.  She took some more pictures, but said it was difficult to get the dragonfly in focus because it kept moving.  She managed to get few good ones.

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