North again today for about 200 miles with a destination of Manatee Springs State Park – the largest fresh-water Spring in Florida! We were slow, and finally arrived about 3:00. Immediately in our campsite, before we were unhitched, large hickory nuts were falling out of the tree and hitting the Silvermine with a resounding THUNK! Not acceptable. We drove back to the campground entrance and asked for a site without falling hickory nuts! The guy seemed to have had this complaint before and moved us to another site – NO NUTS!
This is a beautiful state park and we are scheduled here for three nights. Our welcoming committee was a herd of 10 deer slowly grazing their way through the campsites. Across the street they headed right for the picnic table where a couple had some food ready to toss out to them! Next-door to that, one of the deer ran right up under the man’s extended arm for a head-scratch. So much for “keep your distance” and “do not feed” the wildlife! Charlie saw the deer, but I put her on the picnic table with a raw meaty-bone, and she could have cared less!
The sad news is that Tom is coming down with a full-blown cold and it is zapping his energy. We’ll see haw far it goes!
We slept a bit late Wednesday morning – 9:30. I was up reading late in the night, and Tom needed the extra sleep with his cold. On a trip into town to the drugs store Tom came back with medicine feeling exhausted, and hit the bed. I cleaned the trailer and settled down for more of that good book! Throughout the day I walked Charlie around the campground.
Tom slept until mid afternoon, and then we went down to check out the Manatee Springs. It is a lovely springs, and has a food concession that has canoe rentals, and roped off swimming area in the spring. There is a boardwalk trail that goes out to the Suwannee River, and there we saw a single manatee. We saw a lot of turtle heads popping out of the water, but just the one manatee, and the pictures of him are difficult to see. The swamp and the springs make a beautiful boardwalk stroll, but it quickly sapped Tom’s depleted energy.
For supper I fixed Tom (and me) an egg on toast with some fresh peaches and blueberries. We called it an early night and hope Tom would be over the worst of it by tomorrow!
Tom was better Thursday morning – but still lacking energy. We drove into town to check emails and eat breakfast at the Huddle House. This drained Tom for the morning and we headed back to the Silvermine to laze around and enjoy the campsite.
The temperature hovered around 70 degrees, the humidity was high, and showers kept passing through the area; we were glad to have the excuse to use the air conditioner for two days to make sure it was working! We walked the boardwalk again in the afternoon, from the location where the spring came out of the ground, to the Suwannee River and back. One alligator basked on the river surface watching canoes float past. One Kyak was so low in the water, the gator could have easily boarded!
On the return walk down the boardwalk, Tom stopped to collect a water sample for his collection.
With that we called Manatee Springs completed, and turned our thoughts towards heading north Friday morning. Looking ahead to weather forecasts, there is another cold front that will be reaching far down south by Saturday. The plan is to winterize the trailer on Friday, and then drive for Knoxville on Saturday, and probably home on Sunday.
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown