October 30, 2016

Gainesville is such a beautiful part of Florida. As I wandered along my way I headed to Payne’s Prairie not really sure what to expect. I walked up to the cool visitor’s center and then headed to the Observation Tower. What an amazing view of the prairie! Such variety of color and the panoramic view was stunning. After soaking it in for who knows how long, just rocking on the bench, swinging without a thought or care in the world, I headed off to the next park. On the drive, I spotted another view of the prairie, this time from the ground. An observation dock was built and stretched out into the prairie. I strolled down the dock enjoying all of the flowers and colorful foliage along the way. When I reached the end of the dock there was a gator, just basking in the sun, taking a little nap (on the ground of course).

My journey continued to get better as I reached Devil’s Millhopper. Talk about breathtaking! It was a sinkhole and so much more. It reminded me of the movie Ferngully but this was real life! There were waterfalls, big beautiful ferns, streams, rock walls; oh the beauty! There was a sturdy walkway to guide me to the bottom and several places to rest and take everything in. The park was closing so I headed off to make one more before dark.

San Felasco Hammock was for hiking. I will admit, I hesitated a little bit at the thought of hiking alone in the woods when the sun was going to set soon but I sucked it up and took a mile hike. It was a very nice walk with really cool trees to see and even a little stream. I am still wondering just how much of this hiking thing I really like. I feel like I have to be heavily rewarded with an amazing view at the end in order for me to actually enjoy it! We will see if this will change as time goes on and I will learn how to enjoy the journey to the destination.