Tallulah Gorge State Park

Tallulah Gorge State Park

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Peacock Springs Slough

Mayo, Florida

We changed our plans this morning and decided to take a drive over to Peacock Springs State Park.

This is a photo I borrowed from the website.  This area is a cave diver’s paradise.  There are many underwater caves to explore.  Al and I never had any desire to do any cave diving and never took any certification classes for it.  It’s a very specialized sport and you can easily die if you’re not trained properly.  People come from all over the country and world to dive in the Florida cave system.

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The park has two springs and 6 sinkholes.  Cave divers have explored and surveyed nearly 33,000 feet of underwater passages at Peacock Springs. This park features one of the longest underwater cave systems in the continental United States.

We’ve seen much prettier springs, but it was a nice day to get out and explore a little.  We talked to a couple about our age (old) who had just come up from a two hour dive.  The cave openings can be pretty small and tunnel like, and they they might open up into a large room.   A lot of cave divers have died in these caves over the years.  There is one way in and one way out and if you lose your way you’re in trouble.  If you panic and silt up the water you lose your visibility.  If your flash light quits, you lose all light.  If you run out of air, you can’t just pop up to the surface like you can in the open water. They run out of air, panic, and die deep inside the cave. Some of these caves go hundreds of feet  down and  miles and miles.  You can easily get lost.  They  have to send someone in to retrieve the dead bodies. 

This is a day use only park and mostly used by cave divers.  The springs had a covering of Duckweed  on the water which looked like green slime.  We understand that underneath that green slime was a beautiful cobalt blue water.

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We talked to a female park ranger about volunteer positions.  She told us that they have river front camping all along the Suwannee and they have camp host positions.  She invited us to go down to Peacock Slough and check out the camp host site.  Was it ever nice.  The public can only access these sites by water.

We met Fred and Ann who have been volunteering there since August.  They have a real nice FHU site, with a washer/dryer, good satellite hook-up and a beautiful site right along the river.  It’s a beautiful area and they have it all to them selves except for the occasional overnighter.

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Here is a view of the river.

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This is a campground for people in  boats, canoes and kayaks who bring tents and just want someplace to camp for the night while paddling the Suwannee River.  There is only one campsite for rv’s and that belongs  to the camphost.  They have 6 wooden screen rooms that paddlers can stay in for free.   There is electricity, ceiling fans, grills, hooks for their clothes, water, picnic table, and a restroom and showers next door.    It’s completely free!  There is no furniture, but you can bring your sleeping bag and be pretty comfy.

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A lot of the people who stay there just bring their tents right inside and spend the night.  You sure can’t beat the price!

There are also regular campsites overlooking the river, still free.

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The volunteer positions fill up rather quickly and the next ones are due in November and will stay through June.  You can’t find a better campsite.

We understand there are river camps along the Suwannee River and all have host positions. 

This is a picture I took of a beautiful field of Goldenrod.  Pretty, isn’t it?

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We then headed over to Madison Blue Springs State Park.  It’s another day use park and there are also underwater caves and caverns.  We saw a few divers there  there today.

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It was a little late in the day so it isn’t as pretty as when the sun is right over head.  I think the photos I took last fall were better, but this is what I got today.

We headed home and hope to watch Survivor.  Our good satellite with local channels only lasted one night and  now we only get the cable channels.  We will either walk over to the clubhouse or set up our antennae for the local stations…which is my vote.

Tomorrow we plan to head over to Big Shoals State Park and explore that a little.   It’s another park on the Suwannee River.

Oh, I forgot to mention.  I had another trip and fall this morning.  I think I’m getting klutzy in my old age.  I was stepping up to go to the bathroom and m big toe got caught in my pajama leg and tripped me!  Almost hit the wall before I managed to catch myself.  Another freak accident.

Still nothing from our potential home buyer. 

5 comments:

  1. Those springs are so gorgeous! Like you, however, I can't imagine actually going into the caves. I never lived in Florida, but visited my friend there often. The photos make me homesick. Silly to miss a place you never lived.

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  2. Cave diving has never ever been on my list of things to do. I sure do like the pictures though.

    Sorry about your near fall. I've certainly gotten a lot more careful since i cracked my head open.

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  3. A beautiful place. Once again there are so many places I want to explore someday!

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  4. Sure are some beautiful spots there. Nice camping sites by the river for sure.

    Cave diving looks scary and dangerous.

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  5. OMG, sorry you fell again. Those places sure look like the type of places you would want to workkamp when you start full-timing. The blue springs sure are pretty.

    How are you liking the new camera for the shots you have been taking?

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