Sunday January 15, 2017, 61 miles (98 km) – Total so far: 716 miles (1,152 km)
Paterson to 7 miles south of Folkston, Ga. at the Okefenokee Pastimes RV Park
Awoke to dense fog so no one could see me cook breakfast and break camp. Problem was, the fog didn’t start to break until 9 am. Also, it was so thick, it condensed on the trees and it rained down on everything with thick dew. Everything is now heavier.
My friend’s directions were spot on and leaving Patterson was much faster than arriving. The day soon cleared and I could see the beautiful live oaks shading the yards.
Later on however, the skyies became ominous as the clouds began to build.
Fortunately, no rain developed and the clouds shaded me from the hot sun. Since I’m heading south and the sun is in the south during the winter, it seems I’m always riding into it. The shade was a relief.
I made it to Folkston, Ga., the self proclaimed Entryway to the Okefenokke Swamp. It’s not really a Swamp but the headwaters of the Suwannee River and has a current of 3-4 mph. I know this because I worked at Stephen Foster State Park back in 1974-75 as a naturalist. Those were good times and taught me a lot. So, in a way, I returned to my youth and roots.
The Atlantic Coast route splits here and you can take the Okefenokee Alternative which I did. There is an RV Park there, Okefenokee Pastimes: http://www.okefenokee.com/ right at the entrance to the Suwannee Canal Recreation Park. I knew of this, as long ago when I was 16, my older brother and I came here prior to a 4 day canoeing expedition though the Swamp. We had a pup tent but no mosquitoes netting. We made it work by wrapping the tent in plastic and had the time of our lives. That was the beginning of some marvelous adventures we’ve had together so I had to call him about it.
The RV Park is under new management and will officially open early next month. The owners graciously allowed me to camp here especially after I’d already set up my tent and took a shower before I found them. I know they will run a fine Park and I encourage those traveling to stay here and visit the Okefenokee Swamp.
Tomorrow, I leave Ga. and enter Florida. I’ll actually see the ocean. Should be fun.