September 10, 2016

I will confess, I only added this park to my trip to get it over with. It’s pretty close to Lake Griffin so I figured why not. I just went to that park recently for the first time with my dad and I did not think I was going to be able to top that experience. When I pulled up to the ranger’s station I noticed that the entrance was very different than the one I went to on my first visit. The GPS took me to a different entrance, yes!

I parked and got Casey out of the car and we took a walk around what looked like old living quarters. Lots of cabins, a smokehouse and an outhouse; pretty cool! I later found out it was an old Pioneer village. During the week the grounds are used for something to do with school and closed to the public so it was good went there on a Saturday. My tummy was talking to me so I decided to have lunch under a huge oak tree. While I was eating I thought it would be best to just continue to enjoy the side of the park I was on and picked a trail to hike.

Remembering the frustrating experience I had with Casey a few weeks before, I chose the trail that was the shortest distance. That trail led to the Silver river. While I took the time to soak in the beauty of nature, Casey took the time to rest up for our walk back. While we were walking back I noticed Casey as she steadily jogged along beside me and I thought about how tough it must be running at that pace, so close to the hot ground with all those bugs right in her face. Perhaps I was a bit tough on her before but the fact still remains, she is a dang dog!

With my car in sight, we took a little detour at the end because we ran in to a Gopher Tortoise! How cool is that? I was so excited. I talked to it and got as close as it would let me. When its mouth started moving in a chomping fashion I quickly decided our visit was complete. It was a pretty amazing experience. I am really happy that these parks continue to surprise me with how awesome they are. It just makes me that much more eager to get back into the car and see what the next one has to offer!