An extra hour

The State Park here on the shore of Lake Seminole was a little busy when we arrived with a scout troupe, their leaders and parents for the long weekend as Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. day. The camp host reassured us it would quieten down as from Monday night we would be one of only three campsites occupied. Hey no problem hiring a canoe bright and early in the morning then!

Alarm set with plenty of time for a shower and good breakfast, so that we could get straight off to the rangers hut to hire a canoe for the day, the “Brucie bonus” being; it costs only $12 per day (we could have one each…)

In my enthusiasm for the bargain day out I forgot the time zone change and I was all ready by 8am – the Ranger office opens at 9 – I hadn’t put the clock back. Betsy didn’t seem so enthusiastic but off we both went and soon had buoyancy jackets, paddles and the key to unlock a canoe from its rack. I suggested a short paddle round to Bree (remember we – Leo – named the RV) to collect the day’s victuals. We turned the canoe upright so that Betsy could sit in on dry land and have her first paddling lesson. Sitting there her face didn’t exactly light up with the thought of the next stage being in the water but that’s exactly where we went. Maybe five minutes later we pulled up on the shore just 10 yards from Bree, we both survived, still dry and I think I saw a slight smile when I asked if we were ok to go for the rest of the day – success!!

After collecting a snack and some drink to take with us we paddled away into the unknown (well Lake Seminole – the middle of which is the border between Florida and Georgia). Hey, back to the wildlife – flocks of coots running and flapping in front of us as they “ran” from our lake travels. There were the obligatory herons, anhinga, snowy egrets but also we witnessed an osprey swoop down just a few yards from us, unfortunately he returned to the sky without prey. No alligators this time either (I don’t think Betsy would have been so confident in her new aquatic role if we had seen any) nor any of the huge 250 pound alligator snapping turtles that supposedly inhabit the lake. The day was a great success, rounded off with a walk in the woods before the sun went down after returning the canoe. The finale being sitting by our campfire eating barbeque fish and looking up at the stars, listening to frogs croaking and night birds calling – apart from Betsy’s paddling skills – the stars were the stars of the night.


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