We recently went on a slightly longer (5 nights) camping trip. Because our tow vehicle is older (a 2005 Explorer), we’re reluctant to go much faster than 60, maybe 65 if we’re going down a hill. So, we tend to travel only 200 – 250 miles a day. That puts us on the road for about 4-5 hours. I’m sure we could go farther, but we want to arrive with day light to set up and hopefully enough light to check out the campground (aka get the kids outside to burn off some energy). So, on our recent longer trip, we stopped at Silver Springs State Park for the night. We love staying at state parks in Florida – there’s hiking and normally geocaches.
The campsites here were huge! I purposely picked a pull through site since we were just staying for one night. The plan was to unhook and pull the car straight forward. Then the next day we could back the car straight back and hooking up would be easy. Except things never go as planned.
Looks good, right?
No, Mom, we can’t put our bed down.
The slide cleared the water hook up by about three inches!
These are the things that happen when I’m in charge of where to park. Normally DH tells me where to go and things go much better! In my defense, having a slide and side pop out bed are new and I’m more concerned with getting us close enough to our hook ups! You should know that the above pictures happened after we hooked the camper back up and moved it a bit and after I got back from getting gas! Before we moved it, there wasn’t room for the slide. Of course I could blame it on the fact that we arrived at our campsite with 15 miles of gas left! One thing you must know about me is that I am absolutely paranoid about running out of gas! When the miles to empty gets down close to 50, I’m looking for a gas station and that’s when we’re not towing. I’m still not sure why we let it get that low while we were towing!! So, I was mostly wanting to get the camper parked so we could shut the car off and stop using up our remaining gas! Then, because DH does all the outside hooking up, it only made sense that I would be the one to go get gas. Did I mention that the campsite was almost two miles from the main road?? Did I mention my paranoia? I prayed the whole way to the gas station! When I pulled into the first one I came to, I had 9 miles left! I put 19.488 gallons into a 20 gallon tank. That was way too close for me!! On the way back from getting gas, I got a text from DH that we had to move the camper (DD was with me, I wasn’t texting and driving). Gah! So, we moved it. Got the slide out. Still couldn’t put the bed down. Didn’t care. It was for one night and the kids could share a bed (they normally do anyway – they each have a lightweight sleeping bag).
A few days later, on our way home, we spent another night here in the same site. Only this time we made sure to leave room for the slide and the bed. Then, we decided to go for a hike and see the sink hole. Off we went. The trail was wide and well marked.
The picture doesn’t show it very well, but this is the sink hole. It’s fairly large. We walked down the side a bit, but there wasn’t really a path. Also, about here we remembered that we forgot to put on bug spray. We did so good the entire trip and then the last hike we forget. After we arrived home, we found ticks on both boys and me. No worries though- we went to see the doctor when we got home.
Plus, there were spiders everywhere! Not little ones, but bigger ones hanging over our heads. Gah!
As we got to the end of the trail, we heard something moving around in the brush. We stood quietly for a minute and this deer came out. She wasn’t too concerned about us and even my camera clicking didn’t scare her. Then we got a little too close and moved a little too fast and she was gone.
The one thing we really wanted to see was the museum and cracker village. It’s only open on the weekend because during the week it’s used for local schools. So Saturday morning before heading out, we headed to the museum. It’s $2/person and well worth it!
A Columbian Mammoth skeleton – the less hairy, larger relative of the wooly mammoth.
A megaladon (great white shark relative) mouth – they could grow up to 65 feet long!
I would hate to have to use a canoe like this – I’m leery of modern canoes!
This machine looks almost exactly like the one my kids use except that theirs is electric.
A cracker (early Florida settler) house. Once a month they have people who come in and bring the cracker settlement to life. All we could do was look at the buildings and peek in some of the windows.
One room school and church building. There’s a geocache there too.
There is so much more to do at Silver Springs! We didn’t leave the campground area. There’s a whole other section to the park that we’re hoping to check out sometime in the near future – more hiking trails, an ornamental garden, boat rentals, and a glass bottom boat ride.