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Borrego Springs, CA

Friday, December 21, 2012

Found a place to move to

Yesterday morning it was sunny and warm, but a storm was forecasted to arrive in the late afternoon/early evening.  Oddly enough, the weather guessers were right for a change.  At 2:00, all the volunteers and several staff members loaded up into the big van and headed for Waycross, GA.  That’s where the north entrance to the Okefenokee NWR is.  That entrance is run by a private concessionaire, and we were visiting to experience their holiday lighting.  Tonight’s photos are from that visit.

IMG_1420To begin with, we all started down the swamp boardwalk on the way to the elevated observation tower.  The folks in the entrance store said it was a quarter mile walk to the tower.  I figured if I took my time, I could do it, and I sure wanted to see the views from up in the air of the swamp.

_MG_1419

Well I’m here to tell you that it is more than a quarter mile walk down a boardwalk.  See those stairs at the end of the bridge over the water?  I think just getting there was a quarter mile, and the tower was nowhere in sight.  My hip was already killing me; I looked at those stairs and thought of all the stairs going up and down the tower.  Yep, I had to pack it in and quit.  I’ll have to wait until spring to enjoy that trail!

_MG_1424

I gingerly made my way back, but stopped often to enjoy the reflections in the watery swamp as the storm clouds and haziness rolled in.  This may just be the headwaters of the Suwannee River that weaves its way down into Florida.

_MG_1429I finally plunked myself down at a picnic table near the food concession stand.  As I rested, I looked skyward and a whole bunch of vultures began to circle.  I shook my fist and told them I wasn’t dead yet!  Steaming mad  They all began to descend, but in reality I believe they were just looking for good roosting spots to use to weather the incoming storm.  Those trees in the bottom of the pic already harbored around a dozen black and turkey vultures at 4:30 in the afternoon.

_MG_1431

We all had tickets for a ride on the Miss Suwannee train to view the Christmas Light Display in the swamp at 6:00 pm.  As a light rain began, the train boarding whistle blew early hastening us to head out a.s.a.p. in hopes of avoiding the worst of the storm. (No refunds on tickets for bad weather.)  I had just finished a burger at the concession stand, but the workers had thankfully saved a seat up front for me in the first car so I wouldn’t have to walk so far. 

We started out in the dark just as the skies really opened up.  It was a delightful half hour ride through the dark swamp.  I was very impressed with the amount of lighted displays along the way.  There were
Christmas carols playing as we rode, and I sat back on the bench to just enjoy the experience.  Until…the train hit a curve that tilted us a bit, and all the rain water rushed down a groove at the back of the seat and quickly made me sit up and take attention as the cold water soaked into my backside! Surprised smile  Those clammy wet jeans never did dry out until this morning.

I worked the VC this morning, and roved in the afternoon.  It only got into the low 50’s today with very brisk cold winds.  Not many visitors today, and I can’t blame them for not coming.  During the afternoon, I took a little time to once again talk to the folks at Okefenokee Pastimes.  This is a campground/cabin/guide service establishment that is located right at the east entrance to Okefenokee NWR.  It’s only about five miles from where I’m now parked. 

I had spoken to them about staying there for my recovery last month just after my doctor appointment at Mayo.  At that time, they told me they only allowed people to stay a maximum of one week in their campground.  As things have worked out over time, they are making an exception for me, and I will be moving over there shortly before my surgery date.  I am very relieved.  While they seem to have lots of rules for their campers, the place is exceptionally clean, safe, and very well run.  There’s even a handicapped shower stool/seat in the immaculately clean shower room.  The price is $25/night or $150/week.  I can live with that. 

My other choices in the area that I investigated may be cheaper, but I would not be as comfortable at those  locations.  One was  RV sites located between two railroad tracks!  Sam may have loved that deal, but not me, for sure!  70 trains a day go though Folkston.  Well, I have rambled on enough tonight.  Guess I’d better quit.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

30 comments:

  1. Excellent that you found a nice place to land while you recover from your surgery. Things are starting to come together.

    Glad you're able to get where to stay off your mind...and your hip! ;c)

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  2. Glad you found a place to stay.
    I was nurse "Ratchet" for my
    brother a few yers ago when he
    had his hip done...He did very well
    and he had other health issues ...you
    will be doing great I am sure...

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  3. Nice that you have that one worry off your plate. Decent of them to bend their "rules" and let you stay for a longer term. I sort of "get" why they'd want folks to move on, so their park doesn't start to look like...a park.
    Sure hope it all works out.

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  4. Looks like everything's coming together. Sounds like a great place to stay. Bill was my "Nurse Ratchet"... did stuff I'd never dreamed that I'd even need to have done... let alone things that a guy would do... "Gee Honey, Will you still respect me in the morning?". So I really wish you the best recovery possible!

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  5. So glad you found a clean, safe place to roost during your recuperation from surgery!

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  6. Glad u found a safe, clean place to recoup.. Have a Merry!!!

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  7. Finding a place to stay to recuperate must be a load off your mind. Love the third picture ... makes me want to find out what's waiting around the curve.

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  8. Well glad that's settled! I'm relieved you'll be in a place you are comfortable with. And you'll have people you know looking out for you in addition to your brother. (Not that you need it, but still....).

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  9. Your train ride sounds like a great time - minus the water bit of course. Hope you'll be back another time with that hip all fixed so you can do the hike. Great that you have found what sounds like a terrific place to stay. Won't be long now.

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  10. So great that you don't have to worry about a place to stay any more. You are going to do just fine.

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  11. Laughed out loud at your comment about the vultures. Glad you found a nice campground for your recovery and they made an exception for you.

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  12. So happy for you to have found a nice place to recuperate and without 70 trains a day to boot! :) Merry Christmas to you!

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  13. No doubt those people realized that you are an "exceptional" person, and it only follows that they would make an "exception" for you! Good to have that worry off your mind. Now you can think about other things; including how great it will be to be done with the pain!

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  14. Thank goodness a place to stay is taken care of. Now let's get this surgery over and get on with the recovery. Chop. Chop. Now that's how I've been treating Jim all year with all his surgeries. He just looks at me and mumbles under his breath. Don't think he dares say out loud what he's thinking. LOL I just want you to be able to walk to the tower.

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  15. Glad things are falling into place for you! Have a Merry Christmas!

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  16. The place you found to stay sounds like just the ticket.

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  17. Like everyone, I too and relieved to hear you have a home base after your surgery. I had to laugh at your train ride story. That could not have been very comfortable, but at least you got to see the lights.

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  18. This sounds like just the kind of Christmas present you needed, Judy. It sounds like a nice place too which is always a bonus.

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  19. I like trains. Except when I'm trying to sleep. I think you picked the right site. I'm so glad they picked you, too.

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  20. Another thing to check off the todo list. Glad you are happy with the place and they are letting you stay longer than their alotted time.

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  21. Sounds like you have everything set and are ready for the surgery. Merry Christmas.

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  22. Glad you got a good place to recoup from your surgery.

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  23. Glad to hear you have found a place to stay during your recuperation. How long do you anticipate being there?

    I don't like to buy jeans for several reasons. And getting them wet outdoors, can be hazardous. Back when I was young and even stupider, I took one pair of jeans - only pants I took - on a white water canoe trip. My partner dumped us to keep us from going into a strainer and I was totally soaked. A couple of guys lent me their extra pants. That weekend is still remembered as the one in which Marilyn was in two guys pants AT ONCE.

    Hope your next year is pain free.

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  24. Sounds like a wonderful ride with tons to see. Enjoy your new home. It will make a great place to recuperate.

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  25. I hear you on the wet jeans. Those things just do not dry out quickly. I learned that in Busch Gardens in VA after going on a water ride some years ago.

    Leonard and I wish you a Merry Christmas and a speedy recovery. The NWR's just will not be the same without you on board.

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  26. Hey Judy, Thanks for sharing your experience during your on travel. I love to go to travel in different places regarding on your images you've captured, is the bridge is too long because I've already experience to walk over the bridge during when I find travel agents for vacations and it makes me dizzy even if it was only about I think 30 meter long :) and it was a memorable experience together with my friends.

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  27. So glad you found a place to roost until you recover. Have a Merry Christmas.

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  28. Glad you are all set for the recovery period. Great pictures today:)

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  29. Nice post. It is really interesting. Thanks for sharing the post!
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