Throwback Thursday #6 – September 12, 2015

We’re not traveling as much in our fifth wheel anymore so I thought it would be fun to relive some of our most memorable days from previous RV trips.

On this day four years ago, September 12 2015. we were camping at Claytor Lake State Park, Virginia, one of our favorite state park campgrounds. Our daughter lives nearby and we enjoyed the fall beauty of the park when we weren’t enjoying spending time with her family.

It’s always fun to be somewhere and have an unexpected event taking place. Four years ago today, the Claytor Lake Triathlon was going on. I walked over to the lake to watch some of the race.

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Ready, set , go!
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Swimmers in the 2015 Claytor Lake Triathlon
Swimmers heading for the beach
Swimmers heading for the beach at Claytor Lake
Starting the bike ride
Starting the bike ride

I enjoyed walking the trails in the state park every morning. One morning I spotted white tailed deer in the woods.

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White tailed deer at Claytor Lake State Park, VA

We enjoyed Claytor Lake so much we have camped there multiple times. There’s more about this stay at A few days in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia.

Last week’s Throwback Thursday was interrupted by Hurricane Dorian. After waiting on pins and needles for several days to see where it was going to go, we decided not to evacuate. The center of the storm passed offshore about 80 miles east of us at about 8 p.m. on Wednesday, September 4, 2019. The wind gusts were strong at times but we had no damage and no flooding. Other than some yard cleanup we were fine and only lost power for 18 minutes. Our neighborhood had no major damage and for that I am very grateful.

The Bahamas did not fare so well. Please keep the Bahamian people in your prayers. It will be a long time before many of them will be able to recover from the devastation Dorian caused there.

 

 

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

Big gator beside the canal next to the road

On St. Patrick’s Day we left Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center in White Springs, Florida and drove about 50 miles to another park named after the famous composer. At the end of the road 17 miles from the nearest highway, Stephen C. Foster State Park in Fargo, Georgia is located in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge .

This is one of our favorite Georgia state parks and one we have returned to over and over through the years. There is just something I love about being surrounded by nature miles away from civilization.

The Okefenokee Swamp is one of North America’s most unspoiled natural wilderness areas. According to the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge web page, “the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge has 353,981 acres of National Wilderness Area within the refuge boundaries.  In addition, the refuge is a Wetland of International Importance (RAMSAR Convention – 1971) because it is one of the world’s largest intact freshwater ecosystems.”

Indians who once lived in the area called it Okefenokee which roughly translated means “Land of Trembling Water.” The headwaters of the Suwanee River is located in the Okefenokee Swamp.

Going out in a boat is a great way to see the swamp but there is also plenty to see from land. All the photos in this post were taken as we walked around the campground, marina and on the Trembling Earth Nature Trail which starts at the marina. One section of the trail is a boardwalk through the swamp. This huge gator was sunning on a log beside the boardwalk.

Giant gator beside the boardwalk trail
Giant gator beside the boardwalk trail

The only man made waterway in the park is this canal which leads to the open water of the Okefenokee Swamp.

Canal leading into the Okefenokee Swamp
Canal leading into the Okefenokee Swamp

The canal runs beside the road and alligators are frequently seen sunning themselves on the bank or chilling in the water.

Alligator among the lily pads
Alligator among the lily pads

One of the other campers told me about baby alligators beside the road so off we went in search of baby gators.

Baby gator in the canal beside the road. Do you see the one in the water?
Baby gator in the canal beside the road. Do you see the one in the water?
Baby Gator on Lilly Pad
Baby Gator on Lilly Pad

Besides alligators, many other animals make their home in the Okefenokee.

White Tail Deer at dusk
White Tail Deer at dusk
Wild Turkey
Wild Turkey
Ibis in the swamp
Ibis in the swamp
Egret in the swamp
Egret in the swamp
Butterfly beside the trail
Butterfly beside the trail
Turtle swimming in the marina
Turtle swimming in the marina

Coming up in my next post – a ranger guided boat tour into the Okefenokee.