Hiking at Oscar Scherer State Park.

We decide to get back into the swing of things with a short hike this weekend. Upon arriving at Little Manatee River SP we were told that the trails had been closed due to a wild dog issue. The closest park we could think of was Oscar Scherer SP. We had never been there, but I knew that they had several trails, and we figured it was worth a shot.

It turned out that the “trails” were really sand roads through scrub land, and it appeared that whoever created the system made every effort to avoid trees, and anything of remote interest, although the little lake, and two crossings of the stream were nice. Needless to say it was a hot couple of hours, without much to see. It did give me a chance to take my GPS project for it’s first run, and one that I was quite happy with overall.

Steph posted pics in the gallery, and there’s a temporary Google Map with the GPS Track here. Once I get a little time I plan on making a permanent section of the site for hikes that we do, now that we will have more data along the trip.

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North Florida in November

This last weekend we packed up the kids and went up to north Florida for some sight seeing and some hiking.  Saturday we spent the day at Florida Caverns State Park.  This is the only park in Florida with dry cave tours.  It’s a 45 minute tour and well worth the time.  One area has a formation that looks somewhat like a wedding cake and in fact they sometimes hold weddings there.  Thought that was interesting.  We did see a couple bats, but they were nice enough to leave us alone.  Robert and Devin walked the trail after the tour while Matt and I checked out the gift shop…LOL.  We then went to Falling Waters State Park, which has the highest waterfall in Florida, which is only because it falls into a sink hole.  It’s 100 feet deep and 20 feet wide.  We did not realize it depended on seasonal weather and rainfall and since we haven’t had much rain lately, when we went, it was….well, to put it nicely, not working.  There were plenty of boardwalks that overlooked many other sink holes though and that was interesting.  After that we went to the Air Force Armament Museum near Eglin Air Force Base.  Inside there is warfare armament from the early days of World War I right through to today’s high tech planes and bombs.  Outside there is vintage military aircraft including the fastest plane ever built – the SR-71 Blackbird.  Wish we would have had more time, but enjoyed the time we did have there.  Sunday we spent the afternoon hiking the Garden of Eden Trail.  A 3.5 mile round trip self guided trail.  There were a couple steep climbs and descents through the trail.  It eventually opens up to great view from a bluff 135 feet above the Apalachicola River.  A strenuous hike, when you’re use to more flat lands, but well worth the view of the river.  Then it was on home.  Always good to be back home…..until next time.

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A short run down of our vacation to Georgia

We just returned from our vacation to Georgia.  The weather was cold and overcast the first evening which was Sunday, March 30th.  We got our camp site set up and had dinner and sat around the campfire and went to bed.  It was cold let me tell ya.  Living in Florida has really spoiled us.  Monday we hiked the Bear Hair Gap Trail, which is 4.1 miles to the top of one of the Blood Mountain foot hills.  We went up about 600 feet elevation on this hike and that was an eye opener.  Again, Florida has spoiled us, we are use to hiking more miles than that, but not with a 600 foot change in elevation thrown in the mix.  We are use to flat hiking.  We did it though and the view was worth it all.  Pictures just don’t show how beautiful the scenery was from the top.  Makes you just want to sit there for hours and take it all in.  On our way down it started to drizzle some.  We passed a mound of rocks in a tree trunk, very interesting and nothing around to explain what it was all about, but we guessed it was just a way of other hikers to say they’d been there and done that… so we also each chose a rock and put ours there with all the others.  I thought that was pretty cool.  You’ll see some pics of that in the gallery.  By the time we got back to our tent area, it was raining harder and so we just hung out in the tent for 20 minutes or so and then we were able to make dinner and clean up and sit around the campfire for awhile before going to bed, not knowing this was going to be one heck of a night.  Rain kept coming off and on all night and about 4:30 in the morning we had to leave the tent and sleep the rest of the night in the car due to our tent leaking.  Tuesday we spent most of the day cleaning up and going into a local town to buy a tarp to put over the tent and a few other things.  The sun actually came out that day for awhile and it was just what we needed for our tent to dry out.  We cooked dinner and and relaxed by the campfire before bed time.  Wednesday was also a very nice day and the sun was out so we went around and hiked to about 3 different waterfalls (De Soto, upper and lower falls, Helton Creek Falls and Anna Ruby Falls).  We also went into Helen and walked around the main street and looked at all the shops and had a late lunch there.  This is a very cute little town  and would have liked to have had more time there.  Thursday was overcast again and cold, real cold.  We went to Brass Town Bald but as we went up the mountain the clouds were so thick we only had about 15 foot visibility in front of us, so needless to say, we didn’t even bother getting out of the car and going to the lookout.  We went back to our campsite and had lunch and found the weather forecast for that night and Friday and decided we’d had enough of the cold and wet and packed up and came on home.  That was our trip.  We really had a great time and loved the mountains and the change of scenery and will certainly go back again.  As usual though, it’s always good to be home!!!

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Hiking at Hillsborough River State Park

Today we hiked 5.5 miles at Hillsborough River State Park.  A lot of the scenery probably looks the same as other areas we’ve been too…that’s just Florida for ya though.  We’ve added new photos from the hike today.  There is a great suspension bridge there that overlooks the river.  Took some good pictures of what they apparently call rapids.  Didn’t see any wild life other than some squirrels, a couple owls and some turkey buzzards, and plenty of mosquitoes.  The Off really comes in handy back in the boggy areas.  No Gators in site and that always makes for a good walk.  This is a really nice park though with plenty of scenery and things to see.  We had a great day.

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