Last week was the week of fall break for schools in our area. Although we home-school our sons, we try to follow the local calendar and so we took time off as well. Wanting to get out and enjoy the mild fall weather and get away from home for a little while, we decided on a camping trip to one of our wonderful Georgia state parks.
After calling around to a few parks to the north and west of us, I found that their campgrounds were all filled for the weekend. Turning my attention to the east, I found the Stephen C. Foster State Park in Okefenokee Swamp. When I called I was greeted by a very friendly lady who assured me that there were plenty of campsites available. She warned me, though, that if we were coming I should bring everything I needed with me because there was absolutely nothing around where she was. I reserved a spot and we began to load up our Jeep for the trip.
We found the park to be located seventeen miles in the heart of Okefenokee Swamp. It was literally at the end of the road, but it was an absolutely gorgeous place to camp. Wildlife was abundant and we saw a large number of deer, along with squirrels, raccoons (who overran our campsite during the night), a fox, a possum, an otter, a variety of birds and of course, alligators (sorry, Beverly, Pogo didn’t show up 😉 ).
Friday night was very relaxing as we sat by the fire under the moonlight. The only sounds that could be heard were the crickets chirping and an occasional owl hooting.
On Saturday, we rented a boat and traveled about 4 or 5 miles up various creeks and waterways through the swamp. Gigantic cypress trees towered overhead and reflected in the still black water. Water lilies were blooming as were black-eyed Susans and other wildflowers. At times the waterways became so narrow that there was only a few inches of clearance on either side of the boat as we passed between trees.
It was an amazingly refreshing time that we hated to see end. We all left reluctantly, counting the days until we can go back.