Monday, February 27, 2006

Way down upon the Suwannee River...

We are at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park (map), an outdoor festival and event venue with a generous amount of camping around the property's 800 acres. We are here visiting our friends Charles and Vicky, whose family owns the property.

The Suwannee, a blackwater river, originates in the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia and empties into the Gulf of Mexico, neatly slicing the Florida panhandle from the rest of the state. Last January, we stopped off at Fanning Springs, closer to the river's mouth, where it crosses FL19, and swam in the crystal clear waters. The river makes a bend through the park here, and a concessionaire rents canoes, though we decided to postpone any river activities to a future visit at a time when the water is warmer.

The river, made famous by the 1851 Stephen Foster song (whose actual title is Old Folks at Home), is otherwise unremarkable. Nevertheless, as the inspiration for Florida's controversial state song, the river valley sports a number of parks and museums which honor Foster, who, ironically, picked the name from an atlas and never visited the state himself. We passed several of these monuments on our route here yesterday.

We had a pleasant visit with our friends last night, though we felt a bit guilty for pulling them away from the never-ending list of chores that goes with running a place like this. We agreed to return some time when an interesting festival is happening, and they've promised to set us up with a good spot.

Today we will head west, following US90 through the panhandle.

1 comment:

  1. As you noted, the availability of the Elks Lodge parks made the Florida jaunt possible. Odyssey, while a magnificent "beast," seems to require a lot of compromises as to where you can go, and frustrations as to where you can stay. That, along with the engine problems and other glitches, would make a large diesel-pusher daunting to we less intrepid travelers. If you had it all to do over again, would you still elect to go the Odyssey route, or would you choose a somewhat smaller RV?


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