October 13, 2015 – Lake City to High Springs, Florida

When we first got to Lake City, I said I could not find anything to commend it.  However, we had three very pleasant and educational walks there.  I think that every place has something new and interesting to show us; we just have to look for it sometimes.

Well, the holiday weekend is over and we can get a campsite in the state park.  So we had a leisurely morning before leaving Lake City RV Resort at 1125. We traveled 23 miles down US 41 and arrived at O’Leno State Park in High Springs at 1208.   That took us 48 minutes. Our campsite was not vacant yet, so we unhooked the car at the park entrance and drove to Alachua and ate hamburgers at the Conestoga Restaurant. We’ll use any excuse to get a hamburger at the Conestoga. They did not disappoint.

While we were out, we stopped at the hardware store for some bolts for Andy.  I was scratching my ankles, which reminded me to go the drug store for some Benedryl.  I got ointment and tablets.  We got our flu shots while we were there too. And, I forgot to tell that story the other day.

While we were walking around Alligator Lake, I stopped to take a picture of something. Suddenly I had pain on my right ankle. I looked down to see my right shoe, sock and bare ankle covered with small black ants. I started swiping and yelling.  Andy had walked on ahead, but turned around to see what was the matter.  Then he came back and helped me wipe ants off.  The funny part was me standing on my left foot, holding on to Andy’s shoulder with my left hand and brushing off ants with my right hand while he was holding my right foot in his right hand and swiping ants with his left. I kept losing my balance and he kept losing my foot.

Yep, wildlife photography is a dangerous endeavor.

Yesterday morning, I had about a dozen big, hard, red welts all around my ankle. By night time, each one of those welts had a tight, painful little blister on top of it. I poked them all with a straight pin to drain the juice out and felt better for a while, until they filled back up again. I can’t believe how painful it is. Fortunately, two Benedryl tablets have made me want to keep on living.

We came to O’Leno State Park while Andy was undergoing his cancer treatment in 2012, but he does not remember it.  He recalls going for a walk along the river to the point where it disappears into the ground. That’s what a steady diet of morphine and oxycodone will do for you. Now he’ll get to see the park for the first time again.

Here is Sao in our campsite.

b01 Sao in O'Leno State Park

This is our view across the road.  There is a playground over there behind the trees.

b02 VIew Forward

And, here is our little camp yard. The sites are large and there is green space between them.  We are aware of neighbors, but can’t really see them well through the trees.

b03 Our Yard

Andy was not wearing a beret.  That is a shadow on his head.

Continuing the mushroom theme, these are next to Sao.

b04 Mushrooms in Yard

We went over to the river front for a look.  Andy did not remember this little museum.

b05 Museum

I knew Andy had really been drugged when he said he did not remember seeing this suspension bridge over the Santa Fe River. It was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930’s and I was happy to see that there are a lot of newer pieces of wood on it.

b07 Suspension Bridge over Santa Fe River

Here is the view of the river upstream from the bridge.  It is the swimming area.  There is a sign that says swim with caution; alligators.  I remember being freaked out about that when we were here before. Are they kidding?  Swim with caution?  I’m not going to swim at all with alligators!

b08 Santa Fe River Upstream

This is the view downstream from the bridge.

b09 Santa Fe River Upstream

These are Beauty Berries. I just learned from Wikipedia tonight that they are edible, though astringent.  Birds will eat them if there is nothing else around.  People make jelly or wine from them. I guess if you add enough sugar, anything that won’t make you sick is edible.  Also, the berries have been used as an insect repellent.

b06 Beautyberries

We’ll be here through Saturday morning.