northbound riverflow

Monday, February 17th
Green Flamingo Organics
Oak Hill, FL

Another day off – another day of exploration in nearby nature! We decided that the ocean shore nearby was too full of people, fees, rules, and such baloney. So we decided to head west, inland, away from the coast. We both looked at Google Maps separately, and we both picked the exact same spot without knowing it – a little beach on the Saint John River, within a patch of wilderness named the Hickory Bluff Preserve.

We took a meandering drive toward it, pausing to probe down several dead end roads and trails more fit for an ATV than a car.

finally, a wild pig sighting - a momma pig leading a train of 4 or 5 piglets across the road, duckling-style
finally, a wild pig sighting – a momma pig leading a train of 4 or 5 piglets across the road, duckling-style

IMG_7213c

Widget watching
Widget, watching

 

IMG_7225c

We arrived to find an empty parking lot and a couple of trailheads – we took the blue trail, toward the river – going first through a dry, sandy palmetto wilderness, and then, as the trail dropped down slightly into the river valley, a gorgeous cypress and live oak forest, with softly swaying curtains of Spanish moss bringing a fantastic atmosphere.

We were both already in love with the place by the time we got to the river, and found a perfect, private beach on the shore of the wide, undeveloped stretch of river – which weirdly flowed from the South to the North, unlike every river I’ve known.

IMG_7227IMG_7266

IMG_7233 IMG_7239 IMG_7243 IMG_7246 IMG_7262  IMG_7270 IMG_7271 IMG_7273 IMG_7276 IMG_7289 IMG_7295 IMG_7308

Occasionally, the quiet birdsongs and wind through the trees were interrupted by a passing speedboat – but even this was perfect; each boat made a wake that came splashing to the shore – and Cleo is obsessed with chasing such waves. The sandy shore was ideal for her to dash along the water’s edge, chomping and stomping at the cresting waves (compared to the shores of Lake Superior, for example, where on many shores sharp rocks cut up her pads).

 

IMG_7311

Cleo quickly made the connection, and when the water was still, she would stand and look imploringly up and down stream, waiting for another boat to appear and bring the waves for her.

IMG_7313 P1090561 P1090562 P1090581 P1090585 P1090602 P1090609 P1090610

a cypress knee taller than Gabe
a cypress knee taller than Gabe

 

P1090635 P1090636 P1090650 P1090654 IMG_7323 P1090662c P1090655P1090559

When the sun went down, we reluctantly left our little paradise, and headed back to civilization.

The drive-through at Frosty King was a perfect way to end the day out  with delicious homemade ice cream in a waffle cone.

P1090677c

 

Kristin, amazed by the power and glory of her Sea Salty & Sweet / Dark Chocolate Orange ice cream
Kristin, amazed by the power and glory of her Sea Salty & Sweet / Dark Chocolate Orange ice cream

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.