Awhile back we decided to strike out close to home and visit Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia. It is just enough across the Florida border to give you the impression of taking a long trip but is just down the road.
Just before we entered Georgia we stopped at one of the inspection stations and talked briefly with the wonderful officer Penny. He is the first line of defense against illegal fruit and other contraband being brought into the state of Florida. He was a wealth of knowledge in addition to being entertaining.
And there on the horizon... Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. You can't miss it as you are truly in the country and it is the biggest draw around.
The Eastern part of the Park offers a re-creation of a early swamp farm. It is characteristic of what is called "cracker" houses with high tin roofs and a long front porch.
The home kitchen is large and open. Notice the huge iron cooking stove. I'm sure many a meal was cooked in just this manner.
We decided to take the hiking trail off into the swamp. The sign pointing to the trail did not tell us what to expect but we were feeling adventurous.
Our reward was this tower, two miles into the depth of the swamp which would allow us to take a bird's eye view of the entire area.
The view from the top begins to give you an idea of just how large the area is.
The next day we ventured off into the western section of the park (The park is so large there is an Eastern and Western gate entrance). It is both wild and beautiful.
Wild, with tons of Al E. Gators (Alex' joke) everywhere you looked. We took a boat out to get this shot. I kept telling Alex to move the boat closer and he kept reminding me that the ranger said they can jump!
The road back home after an hour in a small boat alone. It was fun but we also were glad to see the dock because we had truly ventured into the wild.