Saturday, July 9, 2011

Water under the natural bridge

I got tingly reading about this park:  a river (the Santa Fe) tumbling along like rivers do, then PLUNGING into a sinkhole to travel underground for three miles before it GUSHES back to the surface and resumes its riverly ways.  I couldn't imagine what that would look like!  Can you?


At great personal danger I recorded this phenomenon for you to enjoy.  You will feel the exact rush of wind and see the current raging in real time, more or less, but exactly as we saw it.

Hold on, Annie!  I'll pull you back from the rushing waters! Grab that Styrofoam cup full of lead.  Notice her hair getting unkempt from the winds.


This is a beautiful natural area, with lots of wildlife.  When you get to the sinkhole, you'll know only because there's no more river.  If you happen to know which way to go, you can walk three miles and be there when the river re-emerges and continues flowing into the Suwanee.  I think it looks sort of like the sinkhole, but backwards.

Creepy part:  Divers have explored the three miles of underground river.

Interesting part:  we met a man on the trail who told us we had passed alligators on the river rocks!

Can you see it?
We couldn't either, until he pointed it out:


Once we knew how to look, we saw them everywhere.





NOW I get it.

The O'Leno (say "oh LEE no") State Park benefited big time from the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).  





I hadn't realized they replanted forests and fought wildfires.

Here's Annie, with a cypress slice for scale:


The dot at the middle is the cypress as a seedling when Genghis Khan did notable stuff, like killing Kirk's son.  KHAN!!!  Eight hundred years later, here's Annie.  A lot has happened.

Eat your heart out, Tucker.  We got nuthin' BUT cute.

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Merikay said...

Loved it! I really searched that first picture for the gator! You got me!

DW Nic said...

You. You crack me the heck up! Love it!

Sherry said...

Plunging and Gushing waters are my favorite kind so I guess O'LEE No State Park will go on my list.

But don't try to kid me. Those alligators are your pets. Else why would they follow you everywhere???

Gaelyn said...

I can't believe you weren't eaten alive with all the alligators. ;)

Always like to see the work done by the CCC. Would be a good idea to bring this idea back.

pidge said...

Looks like an interesting place. I guess you now have gator shoes and gator purses.... :)

heyduke50 said...

what a croc! are you sure those were all gators?

¡Vizcacha! said...

You all got me. We can't keep the cats and alligators together, because you know how aggressive cats are.

I think it would be wonderful if it were part of our national culture for all kids to go off for a year and do something for the greater good. A new CCC, Vista, Peace Corp - whatever.

¡Vizcacha! said...

Oh, and Sherry - before you make the trip, I should emphasize that there was no gushing or plunging at this park. That was all a figment of my anticipation. We actually couldn't tell which way the river was flowing, it was so lazy and slow.

wheelingit said...

That gator sure did get around :)
I have to admit all those gator signs crakced me up in FL, and I had no end of jokes for the mad Floridians that happily live between them.
Oh, and watch that hair...getting a little out of hand methinks LOL

Carolyn said...

LMAO... you guys! Tucker aint got nothing on cute... HAhaaaaa.. that is your Mom, right, Roxanne? soooo cute

Carolyn said...

BTW ... your blog is hilarious... I love it. You were so quiet at the GTG... had no idea you wuz so funny... HAhaaaa

¡Vizcacha! said...

Nina, her hair was a mass of tangles. I wish she'd cut it.

Thanks, Carolyn! Yes, that's my mom. And, I'm only funny when it's quiet. ;oD

Soaring Sun said...

Wow, Roxanne, I can't believe you stood there taking a photo instead of warning Annie that the gator was creeping up behind her! Some people will sacrifice anything for a good photograph!

¡Vizcacha! said...

Oh, she had LOTS of time. How many chances am I gonna get for a shot like that??

Phyllis said...

Oh my, I do hope you check under and in your beds on a regular basis. And watch out opening kitchen cabinets. Can't be too careful you know.

¡Vizcacha! said...

Phyllis, you're right! Now I let Annie open all the cupboards

ThE MidLiFe CrUiSeR said...

We Louisiana folk would wrassle (that word is in MY dictionary....look it up) that gator & eat the tail. Maybe we'd cook it in our Cajun oven first...don't ask ;)

Annie needs a haircut before Rox starts complaining that her hair is getting caught in the vacuum & that's why it smells like its on fire....oh wait....that's my life story ;)

¡Vizcacha! said...

Nellie, what's a Cajun oven? I tried not to ask. I thought Google would be my friend. Instead, it turned its back and started spreading rumors about me like Sheila when I hit on her boyfriend at the Spring Rain semi-formal.

Laura said...

Very nice photos!

Anonymous said...

the weirdest photos ever

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