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semi-overcast 80 °F

DAY 2-3

Unlike the Keys, Everglades, and Stuart, mosquitoes are almost nonexistent at Blue Springs State Park in Orange city. And the tent is not dripping wet in the morning either...Is really a nice change. The ranger greeted us with a pamphlet on "what to do when you see a bear". It got us really concern. We followed the directions making sure nothing scented or food in the tent and hope for the best. Though our plans was to cook dinner, we decided not to attract the bears with the smell of food. We ventured out several miles from the park and found an area with restaurants, shopping, and health clubs...a complete opposite from the old part of Orange City.

Blue Springs is a famous tourist park where the manatees come when it is cold. The water is crystal clear and you can see other aquatic life swimming about. I walked the manatee Boardwalk while John went on his bike ride thru the massive park. We met up at the Thursby House, a grand White House built in the late 1800's by Louis Thursby, where we sat on the porch and rested for the afternoon, with John playing his Irish music. Every now and then when he played something familiar like "Oh Shenandoah" or "Danny Boy", bystanders would clap. John got a lot of practice in!
We finished off the day by going to the gym. We have gained way too much weight!

One evening we heard rustling of twigs and leaves right outside our tent. John went out cautiously, to find it was just the armadillo.

The grand Thursby House built on precolumbian Indian midden
John playing on the porch of the Thursby House
Funky home of the camp host

The state park we are staying is a whole different story. One day I rode my bike 🚴 over wonderful never ending paved bike trails with bridges over railroad tracks and tunnels under roads. I must have rode over ten miles over hilly terrain without a person in sight. Whenever I got back to camp it was great to lay down for some food or a quick nap then off to the local gym. The Artesian stream here has great Boardwalks for viewing the manatees fish and an occasional alligator. Overlooking the park up on a hill is the Thursby mansion with a big wrap around porch which is perfect for my tin whistle playing for the visitors. There are kayaks for rent and a tour boat on the river so lots of stuff to do for everyone's interest. It is always a perfect day here which leads to a great sleeping night.

Getting ready for the inevitable
Many miles to go
The Boardwalk for viewing....................................................................... Artesian stream

Posted by Bananawind2016 04:59 Archived in USA

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