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Published: April 15th 2017
Campsite at Faver Dykes SP
Faver Dykes State Park, St. Augustine, Florida
After five or six nights at 'glamping' campgrounds, like Boyd's or KOA, we have returned to our favorite kind of campsites, State Parks. The Florida State Park system has received multiple awards for their parks, and, after staying in Collier-Seminole, and now this one, I have to say the awards are deserved. They are well maintained, and with clean restrooms. The sites are large and have both power and water.
From what I've read, Faver Dykes, where we will be for a few days, is one of their Crown Jewels, so we are lucky to have reserved a site several months ago - they are full up this morning. They only have 30 sites, which is one attraction, and they are all very good size. But, importantly, they are spaced out and protected - you hardly know you have neighbors.
And the setting. I mentioned in yesterday's post that we were leaving the mangrove and cypress trees, but we have entered an entirely different kind of forest, that of the Southeastern coastal plain, which is a mix of long-leaf pine, some cypress, and hickory, ash, and oaks. Down below are a
Joan after a hard day traveling.
lot of palmetto trees. And, in the state park, they have pretty much done nothing to change any of that. So the campsites are right in the middle of a thick forest. On the way in yesterday, we spotted an armadillo on the side of the road, the first live one either of us have seen. This morning the forest is alive with bird calls of all kinds, which I, of course, can't identify because I know nothing about birds. Mammals here include black bears, deer, and bobcats, along with manatees in some of the waters, and cottonmouth snakes, but we haven't seen any.
We are used to seeing the warning posters for bison, bear, and rattlesnakes on park bulletin boards out west. But in Florida, you get different kinds of warnings. In the Everglades, we were told about alligators, crocodiles, and mosquitoes. Here in upstate Florida there is a big poster about ticks!. The girls have their Frontline, but we will still need to check them, and each other after every hike. Each place has its own sets of precautions - part of the joy of being there!
Ride up was rather unremarkable. We left Okeechobee and
Spanish moss everywhere.
proceeded north for about an hour, then proceeded East to the coastline. This area has been managed for agriculture. Lots of citrus orchards, which we expected. But also large tracts of pine trees which are in such straight lines that you know they had to be planted. I suspect these are managed forests for lumber. But the trees are so skinny, its hard to imagine more than a few 2x4s out of each tree, but they are straight enough.
Once we hit the coast, the plan was to catch US 1 and head up that way. And we started to do that, but the traffic was just miserable. We had forgotten that it was Good Friday and a lot of religious Floridian were headed to the beaches to celebrate. Although it might have made for some good people-watching and some interesting towns along the shore, we were tired and decided we needed to get to the campground. So we headed back to I95 and sped up the interstate in the slow lane.
We did try to find an interesting sounding place for lunch in Cocoa, but it was down near the docks, the streets were looking pretty narrow,
All my girls hanging out.
and the worst possible scenario for me is to get the rig stuck in a narrow street with nowhere to turn around. So we gave up and went back to another one of the Sonny BBQ places. Pretty good food and it was easy to park.
Finally reached the campground around 5, after another 230 miles. We are going to be here for a few days, so we've declared today a down-day and intend to rest our weary bodies. Might go for a hike here in the park with the girls and we probably need to find a grocery store, but that will be it for the day, I'm sure. (17.1.38)
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