Monday, February 16, 2009

First Magnitude Beauty

I've had to endure quite a long camping hiatus for a number of reasons. One problem that I ran into was that a slight leak developed in one of the fresh water pipes on my travel trailer. I could use it, but only if I didn't utilise the electric pump. And because of my hectic work schedule, I couldn't get the trailer into a service department. I found the problem, but repair work was beyond my own abilities because of the fact that I would have had to have removed the fuse box, and I don't know enough about wiring to do that.

Finally, I managed to secure a spot at the place where I have my trailer serviced. Next Friday I'll have the work done, which will get my trailer up to speed. And that will put me back on track to getting out to various National Forest and State Park campgrounds where I can do my hiking and canoeing.

Our initial big trip of the year will be a return to visit some first magnitude springs in Florida. We're going to hit some that we've never seen. Mainly along the Suwanee River drainage. These are, we've heard, top-notch springs with lots of recreation opportunities and plenty of wildlife. We're hoping to see more manatees, as we did last year at Blue Spring.

The past few months have been a huge bust for me as far as hiking and peak bagging. If I can, I'm going to hit some mountains in the coming weeks. We'll see.

One of the springs at Juniper Springs Recreation Area in the Ocala National Forest.

The amazing Silver River, produced whole cloth from the depths of the stupendous Silver Springs near Ocala, Florida. I'd like nothing better than to see the park that owns the springs get gobbled up by the Florida State Park system and made into public property.

Taking a dip in the appropriately named Salt Spring. This still has to be my all-time favorite first magnitude Florida spring. The water filters through a mineral deposit and emerges relatively salty, making a home for salt-water creatures that one would never expect to see in an otherwise fresh water spring dozens of miles from the ocean.

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