Ginnie Springs: Don’t Go Without Earplugs

Kalle and I wanted to reinforce the efforts of whoever had the courage to drive over there and tell them to turn it down and we both screamed something refined, in unison like ” YES ASSSHOLLLLLES  ITS TOOO LOUD!!!”

Arriving at the privately owned  campground  at Ginnie Springs is a bit overwhelming. Ginnie Springs Outdoors LLC operates this privately owned nature park, with over 200 acres of pure woodsy Florida located on the Santa Fe River.  It is a very popular north Florida destination for campers, divers, tubers, and folks with all night partying on their mind.  Checking in on a weekend involves lines to the check in area inside a well appointed dive shop, filling out forms and signing away your right to sue the owners for any possible mishap.

Security is high.  Sneaking into Ginnie Springs will probably not be an option unless you are in someone’s trunk.  You can’t even leave Ginnie Springs park without driving past a guard.

The 7 dramatic crystal clear springs located on the property, make the park popular with scuba divers, snorklers and cave divers. All springs feed the Santa Fe River and tubing down the river from one end of the park to the other is popular pastime. Certified Cave divers can explore over 30,000 feet of passageways in the Devil’s Eye and Devil’s Ear cave system.

Fees are a bit steep.  Campers pay a per day per person charge and must also pay a per day per person charge for use of the park.  Our party, 2 adults and one child were charged over 150.00 for a 3 night stay.  In return, you are turned loose in the campground to choose from a huge plethora of campsites, plenty located directly on the river.  It probably doesn’t matter what time you arrive.. there will still be an acceptable campsite at Ginnie  Springs.  While there are a lot of sites on the river there are still more in the woods surrounding.  You will find a suitable site just about on any weekend  There is much property, all wooded all with primitive campsites set up. Continue reading

View From Sadie’s Retreat in Lake Lure NC

North Carolina is always alluring to Floridians. It beckons us with visions of mountain vistas, cool waterfalls, rushing rivers.  Sounded like just the right trip.  We searched online for cabins, and settled on our cabin “Sadie’s Retreat.”   We left Lutz at 6 am, arriving just before the sun set over the mountains in full view from the front porch of our new home away from home.   We were thrilled!   We spent almost all evenings cooking on the grill and watching the sunset which inspired my vacation painting below.

Porch View From Sadie's Retreat

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Broad River Tubing Lake Lure NC

The nights were cool and refreshing compared to our Florida home, but the days were still pretty dern hot. The solution was simple: Lets Tube down the Broad River.  Our search brought us to River Creek Campground.

Broad River FunThe Broad River and its tributaries feed beautiful Lake Lure with over 10 million gallons of water per day. Like many lakes created by damming one end of a river, The water needs to be released on the downstream side. The release is calculated based on the water height in the lake, Releases can be daily in the event of heavy rain or snow melt. In the event of drought, water may be released only every several days. On days when the downstream Broad River is dryer, tubing is impossible. On release days, however, the river boldly flows and water levels increase above the level of the many rocks in its bed creating small rapids and a really good time tubing. Continue reading