Today we are going to Muse about Wakulla Springs, a bit of old Florida. If this is your first visit, welcome to Musings. If you have been here before, welcome back. Over time we are going to talk about many things: the past, the present, perhaps the future, travel, art, society and more. Wherever my musing takes me. I hope you will come along with me.
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A Bit of Old Florida
2012 is rapidly coming to an end. My thoughts are turning to 2013. Seems strange doesn’t it? When I was a boy I wondered if I would ever live to see year 2000. It seemed so far into the future. Now it seems so long ago. A great deal has happened in these last twelve years.
As I look forward I think of travel. Jeanette and I love to travel. One of the things I especially enjoy are driving trips to out-of-the-way places that have some special local charm. And that my friend has caused me to think about Wakulla Springs. Let me tell you about it.
On the grounds of the park is a beautiful lodge with 27 guest rooms and dining facility. The lodge dates back to 1937.
The dining room menu offers the normal fare of burgers, fish dishes, pastas, steaks, etc., but also southern favorites like fried green tomatoes, “High on the Hog” pork shanks, Penne Picayune and “Old South“ Fried chicken “A Menu Favorite Since 1946, and with Good Reason!”
The guest rooms are spartan to say the least. They don’t even have a television, a bit of old Florida. At least they are inexpensive.
But the spectacular feature is Wakulla Spring, one of the largest springs in the world, discharging an average of 260 million gallons of water per day. The spring pool is an impressive 315 feet in diameter, and the huge vent is about 82 feet wide, 50 feet high, and 185 feet deep.
The water comes out at a constant temperature in the 70°’s. This warmth allows alligators to proliferate in the waters where it would normally be too cold for them in the winter. The Wakulla River hosts abundant wildlife, including birds, turtles, alligators, and manatees.
Part of the fun is to take tour boats down part of the river to see up close the various animals.
Some of the boats are glass bottomed and allow you to see down into the depths of the spring.
That only works when it has been rain free for a time. Right after rains the tannins in the soil leach into the river and turn it dark, clouding the view.
When I was last there it was a sunny day and people were sun bathing on the shore, swimming in the water and diving from the dive platform, having a great time. On the opposite bank separated from the people only by water were a number of alligators. Apparently the gators don’t come over. The ranger did tell people to keep close watch on their dogs, not to let them run free.
If you are an old-time movie fan you may already have seen Wakulla Spring. The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) was filmed there as was Airport and several Tarzan movies.
So if you find yourself in the Tallahassee area wanting something different to do, go check out the Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park. You will have a good time.
More to come
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