Tuesday, February 28, 2006

06-02 Worthington Springs to White Springs Florida

On The Road Again
Worthington Springs, Fort White, Ichetucknee Springs, White Springs

Note: Many friends have indicated they are busy and don’t have time to read my reports. But they still like hearing from me. So I’ve highlighted the main points and if you don’t have time to read the report, you can just read the highlighted areas.

April 2006

Welcome back to Doug’s Roving reports! I’m on the road again, starting my journey North. I’m traveling up hwy 75 for 118 miles to Worthington Springs. Using my Passport America half price club to save 50% on my campground. Cost $15 a night.

Florida is under a dry spell and a few of the lower magnitude springs are bone dry. Just stagnant water sitting in pools and rivulets, awaiting the raining season to begin the flow once again. Worthington, when it flows, flows into the Santa Fe River. Most of the others along the Santa Fe, 24 in all, are magnitude 1 and 2 with millions of gallons flowing daily.

I saw a truck fully ablaze along side hwy 75 on the way up. As we passed it, even though I was a full lane away from it, I could feel the heat from the blaze through my closed passenger window.

I’m visiting friends John Sturpee and Margie. John is a Real Florida Artist and I always love to see samples of his latest paintings. Margie just donated a kidney to her Mom. What a brave gal. John and I took our camera’s out today and took pictures of many of the springs and rivers that he is famous for painting. Ichetucknee, the blue hole spring, and others. Instead of kayaking, we decided to hike through the forest bordering the springs and river. What a healthy way to experience the great outdoors and get a little exercise in. The hardwood forest was open with huge old growth trees and space between them so one could see off into the distance with that wonderful filtered green light.

The country up here in north central Florida is gorgeous. Lots of springs, rolling hills, with tree farms, cattle and goat farms. You can still see many of the homes and businesses that were built back in the late 1800’s. Most with tan and red bricks, exposed beam overhangs, mature trees along quiet rural roads and one stop-light towns.

The college town of Gainesville has some great residential areas, but the downtown area looks a bit tired, with a couple good restaurants thrown in.

I was going to go to Cedar Key, but the campground I wanted to stay at is not available for Passport America members until after May 1st. Maybe I’ll check it out later. Also the state park I was heading for is full up and I need to make reservations a couple weeks in advance. So, I’m heading for White Springs and will stay for a little more than a week.

One of my day running lights is out and I need to replace the socket. Try finding that when every small town is 8 to 20 miles away and only has one auto-parts store.

Then came Thursday. Ekkk! My tire had a growth! I had purchased new tires at Wal-Mart a year ago for my truck. Goodyear tires. Don’t know what caused the baseball size ball on the side of the tire, but Wal-Mart replaced the tire at no charge. Actually, I had to pay $1.13 to the State of Fla. Who knows why? And was I lucky, it was the last one remaining in the store. Oh and I didn’t have the blow out on the road either.

I traveled a whole 43 miles to get to my next destination, White Springs. The campsite, Kelly’s Rv Park, is another Passport America member and my half price cost is $12.50 a night. It’s within walking distance of the Suwannee River and backs up to a State Forest which has tons of hiking trails. Three trails lead right from the campground! Cool.

Chow till next time.

Ps. If anyone would like info on the half price clubs I belong to, e-mail me and I’ll send you some info.

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