Tuesday, November 8, 2016

First Time Camping at Jonathan Dickinson State Park Day 2 in Florida

Getting Ready to go Bike Riding
The agenda for the camping trip was to kayak and bike ride.  Due to the weather being chilly, our group decided to do the bike ride today.  That was fine with us.  We had a group of about twelve of us that went bike riding.  I had thought to myself, this is going to be so much fun. We all started out and peddled for a little while.  I was starting to huff and puff a little.  This was not good.  We are just starting out.  There was an observation deck up ahead and we all stopped to take a look.  A huge alligator was there, sunning himself!  We snapped some pictures and then got on our bikes and headed on.  It was hilly terrain and I had a tough time making it up the hills.  I was kind of embarrassed.  Besides the kids that were present, I was the youngest adult there and I could not keep up.  Nadia was having no trouble at all and was at the beginning of the group.  It had been over fifteen years since I was on a bike.  I do not think that should of mattered, but I guess it did.  I accepted my fate and brought up the rear of our biking group.

Alligator Jonathan Dickinson park Florida
Alligator at Jonathan Dickinson Park
There was another observation tower up ahead with many stairs to climb.   We went there to park our bikes, it was a nice hill to ride down, and I enjoyed that, but was worried how I was going to get back up the hill.  I then pictured myself walking my bike up the hill and just telling everyone I would see him or her at camp tonight.  Anyway, we climbed the stairs to the top of the observation tower.  What an incredible view.  The park has various Eco systems, just in the one park.  That was amazing to me.  We then climbed down to get on our bikes and head on.  One of the guys told me that I should run up ahead so I would be up the hill by the time everyone else was there.  He was just kidding, and he gave me a really good laugh.

Observation Tower at Jonathan Dickinson park in florida
Looking down from the Observation Tower
Top of Observation Tower at Jonathan Dickinson State Park Florida
At Top of the Observation Tower

Guess what? I made it up the hill!!! With everyone else :) We then rode on too another campground in the park.  There were a lot of RV’s here and it was so sunny because there were no trees.  I did not like that site.  I liked the section where we were camping in (Riverside).  You have to request by the river.  We were now headed back to the campsite.  On our way back we passed a horse stable and found out that they now offer horseback rides in the park.  This was good to know. 

Horseback Riding at Jonathan Dickinson Park in Florida
Horseback Riding
We made it back to the campsite, it felt like five hours had passed, but it was only two hours.  Lisa was there too; she had gone fishing instead of biking.  Ted wanted to take me to a bike shop he had found, so we could get the bike extenders for our bikes and Lisa needed to go to Publix to pick up some more ice.   So the five of us headed to Publix and the bike shop.  I was only able to find one bike extender rack, so I got that.  At least one bike would go on the bike rack easier.  We then started getting ready to cook dinner.  Lisa made some pork chops. Ted and Lu-Ann made hamburgers and hot dogs with macaroni & cheese.   Nadia and I were in charge of doing dishes.  No problem, hey they cooked and it was a way for us to help out.

After dinner, we all headed over to the leader of the outdoor groups campsite to sit around the campfire.  We chatted and made smores well into the night.  Then it was time for bed again.  This time it was not as cold.  It was nice. 

Sunday was the last day of our camping trip.   We woke and made breakfast, this time Lisa made us all French toast with sausage.  Yummy.  We had to be off our campsite by 2 p.m.  Since the weather was still a little cool, it was decided that we would go hiking today instead of kayaking.  Fine with me, one of my most favorite things in the world to do is hiking. 

Hiking at Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Florida
There were about 10 of us in this hiking group.  Nadia brought along her little Girl Scout book and this time I had water with us.  I forgot to bring water with us on the bike trip.  I also forgot to use sunscreen.  Remember, just because it is cold out, does not mean you will not burn from the sun.  My face and the top of my hands (because I had a long-sleeve shirt on) were a bright red.  Nadia is lucky she tans nicely.  So I lathered us both up in sunscreen and we set out.  We went down a dirt trail in the woods.  We passed the river.  Then we saw animal prints in the sand, our leader said they were panther marks!!!  I hoped we would not run into him, but it was neat to see the prints. 

Animal Prints at Jonathan Dickinson State Park Florida.  Panther Prints?
Animal Prints
After our hike, we headed back to camp to pack up.  Nadia had such a fun time that she thanked me for taking her camping.  That made me feel really good.  Well, we had everything packed up, but our bikes.  It took a little while, but Ted, my friends husband, was able to help me get them hooked on.  I just hoped I could take them off when I got home. We said our goodbyes to everyone and set out to make our way home. We arrived home safely with the bikes still attached to the car.  I was also able to remove both bikes from the car on my own.  Now to unload the car and do the laundry :( We look forward to camping at Jonathan Dickinson State Park again.