Tuesday, June 28, 2011


We made our second trip to Ichetucknee yesterday, and THIS time I brought my camera!  THIS time, my camera was dead!  I said three words not technically legal on state land - really, it was the same word three times - but I mouthed them so the rangers without lipreading skills would be fooled. 

We swam in the cold waters of the Ichetucknee Headspring, where several million gallons of 72° aquifer water pour out of the (apparently) 72° earth every day.  Please enjoy someone else's photo of this beauty.  It's hard to get a body-picture of what 72° water feels like.  Seventy-two degrees?  That's balmy!  Picture the last time your kid sneaked up on you with the garden hose.  Remember the sounds you made before you could get control again.  That's Ichetucknee.

We went to, but did not swim in, the Blue Hole.  Standing on the deck looking at it will make your breath catch a little bit, but be prepared to leave your breath wrapped up in your beach towel if you jump in.  There's no wading at this spring, and flippers are essential to get above the hole itself;  it will repel you with the force of 67,000,000 gallons/day.  If you control your panic and stay in for one minute, it will be spewing its 46,528th gallon at you as you haul your frozen butt onto the steps.  That's 775 gallons per second.  The point you should take away is, the cave is not interested in sucking you in.  Instead, it will blow your trunks off in its haste to disgorge you.

Here's another picture I didn't take:
Photo by Wes C. Skiles

Ichetucknee inspires even an aquaphobe like me to get a waterproof baggie for my camera.  Do any of you use such a thing?

ETA:  This photo is my current wallpaper.  You can get it, too, on this National Geographic page.

ETA, A:  The AdSense ads next to this post:

I'm not sure I could love this more if it were a bed-wetting cure.

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Malone said...

wow oh wow oh wow!!! I am speechless.

jillbertini said...


I know what 72 degrees feels like. Energizing! But you can get used to it after you get numb; I mean, stay in a few minutes.

DW Nic said...

Love floating down the Itch! We used to tie our beverage of choice to the tube as we floated... no cooler necessary :o) Glad you are having a MAH-velous time!

Gaelyn said...

To cold for me without a dry suit. But I think it would be fun to jump into the Blue Hole.

Phyllis said...


pidge said...

Really beautiful. We are going to have to travel down that way again. We missed a lot, but I had to pick out only a few to visit. Stay safe.

The Good Luck Duck said...

I know, right?

I think my marine-grade blubber helped me from getting hypothermed. DW, when I tubed down as a kid, I took Oreos in a ziploc baggie - forget hydration! - but they don't let us do that now.

Pidge, I'll have to go back to your blog of that time to see where you guys went. We're thinking of the O'leno State Park - did you go there?

Sherry said...

Ok how do you spell it again??

¡Vizcacha! said...

Just like it sounds!

LG61820 said...

Oh, how I needed this post today! Thank you, missy.