Down here in Florida, it's already in the 90's even in early May. Those temperatures can make camping a lot more uncomfortable. Add the daily afternoon thunderstorm and you can see why most don't camp in Florida in the summer. Despite that my wife and I joined another married couple and headed out for one last camping trip in Florida before it's unbearable to camp until September. It was an amazing time, the weather wasn't too hot and the thunderstorms subsided for a sunny weekend.
When we arrived Saturday morning, we set up our 6 person mansion of a tent that we shared for the night. You would never lug this thing into the backcountry, but it was every bit of car camping luxury. It was definitely interesting to be able to actually stand up at all, let alone fully upright while in the tent. My little 2 person tent barely lets me kneel.
After setting up our camp and tent we headed out for a short hike. The water around Juniper Springs, is gorgeous and crystal clear. We didn't venture onto the Florida Trail which goes right near Juniper Spring, due to it not having much shade and it was already high 80s. We stuck to the short nature trails around the campground and the swimming area. While on our short hike, we snapped some shots of a few turtles sunbathing. It was a lazy Saturday for us and for all of nature. We made our way to the springs for a dip in the chilly spring waters. It felt amazing once we got in, but boy that initial descent into the water is painful.
After a late lunch and a game of bocce ball, we headed back to the springs for swimming round 2. The heat had subsided a good bit and that made the jump back into the water that much more freezing. We spent the afternoon relaxing, jumping off the platform into the water, and racing each other in the water. It was a wonderful day to get away from not only the heat but the city as well. Our evening was spent playing card games, sitting around the fire, and chatting.
Sunday, my wife and I took another short hike in the morning and even got to see a deer 10 ft ahead of us before it scurried into the woods. I love relaxing weekends like these. The fresh air and sunny skies are exactly what I need. Out in the peace and quiet you can gather your thoughts and let go of the things that seem so important in your daily life. I think that's the real beauty of the outdoors, they allow you to forget what you deem important and focus on what truly is: your friends, family, and of course having a little fun.
Remember, Adventure is Calling!
May 19th, 2015