Okefenokee swamp

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Okefenokee swamp

Post  chukbuk on Wed May 13, 2015 8:39 am

Good morning everyone!  I was in Daytona for my last gymnastics championships...I'm retiring from coaching at the end of May.  Anyway, on the way home I camped at Stephan C Foster state park in GA.  It's the western entrance to the Okefenokee swamp.
     Yesterday I kayaked to a remote lake by following a water trail through a cypress forest.  Call me a hugger but the broad bases of the cypress trees in the water are incredibly beautiful.  Counted 42 gators on my 8 hr adventure.  It was a little unnerving passing close to the ones that I estimate were more than half as long as my 13' kayak.  They definitely like their personal space!  Sometimes the skinny water trail forced me too close to where they were sunning and the gator would erupt off the bank with what I figure is much like a bear's bluff charge!  About crapped my shorts the first few times.
      All day I listened to the vocal sounds from gators I could not see.  Loved hearing them, especially the eerie low roar they sometimes make.  Only person I saw was a USFWS employee who stopped to talk to me while I rested on a shady platform built for camping (more about that), he motored up in a War Eagle boat with a long shaft motor.  That is the ultimate swamp machine!  He was out clearing water trails by chopping up vegetation with it.  
     I learned too late to schedule a reservation on the camping platform...you have to do it well in advance of the trip.  There are a handful of them in the refuge and the only place one can camp in the swamp.  It's essentially a dock with a metal roof and outhouse on it.  You pitch your tent safely 3' off the water.  Someday I will return to do it if I have the guts...I'd love to hear the night sounds of the critters in the swamp.  JC (the USFWS guy), said sometimes you hear frightening loud noises you can't identify as those of a known animal and just have to dismiss it or worry all night!  Might have to bring a flask of Jack Daniels but I will definitely be back!
     That's my adventure...in a crappy hotel in Savanna, GA on the road home soon.  I'll get some gator pics then.
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Re: Okefenokee swamp

Post  soil on Wed May 13, 2015 9:41 am

That sounds pretty exciting!  Not sure I'd have the guts though.
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Re: Okefenokee swamp

Post  shedder on Wed May 13, 2015 9:46 am

That sounds incredibly amazing!  Yet something I don't think I would have the fortitude to muster!
I can only imagine the sights and sounds you whitnessed!!!
I'm freaking out walking around the mangroves casting for snook and permit...doing the what's behind me twirl... Can't imagine being in fresh like that!!!
Congradsulations on your retirement!!
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Re: Okefenokee swamp

Post  bowGal on Wed May 13, 2015 3:54 pm

Sound's like an amazing time,CB  kind of   scarey, (gators scare me anyway-LOl) but can not wait to see the pic's when you get  home,

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Re: Okefenokee swamp

Post  Willy on Wed May 13, 2015 5:05 pm

I have spent many a weekend on the water trails in the swamp. Its an amazing place indeed. Nothing like setting out on a two day trip with your trail maps only to find that half way in there has been nobody down the trail in over a year to clear it. It dont take long for the swamp to re grow over those water trails.  There use to be camping islands on the eastern side. Just little spots of dry land that had places to pitch a tent. You needed ball bats to beat back the racoons though. they would show as soon as you beached your canoe. man that was a lifetime ago.
Get the pictures up, cant wait to see them.
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Re: Okefenokee swamp

Post  Pa. Bowhunter on Thu May 14, 2015 8:49 pm

I always loved the rush of a gator busting out of the water , well within "crap my pants " distance Very Happy Very Happy !!! But to tell you the truth , I would rather deal with my bears over a gator !!!!
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