My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Wilderness Camping Trip in Okefenokee Wilderness Area - Days Two and Three

After spending the evening listening to alligators bellow, then sleeping before waking in the early hours and admiring the beautiful bright stars above our tents, we woke to another beautiful day.  We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, then packed and got ready to leave. I set up my camera on a little tripod so we could get this picture.  Took me about six leaps into the canoe.

Leaving to start our second day
 I wanted to see how much further we could get down the orange trail so we started off in the opposite direction we needed to go to get to our next shelter. Along the way we found a moma alligator sunning on a log with several babies sunning behind her. (To make sense of our trails, click on the map showing the various trails and shelters.)

More baby alligators
 After about a mile of paddling, we go to this set of logs and had to turn around.

Current end-of-the-line for Orange Trail
We continued back down the orange trail and stopped back at our camp to take a break.  Then we went on down to the turn for the purple trail. By the time we got to the intersection with the green trail we decided to not explore it but to continue to our next camp site, Roundtop.

With all this power, we paddled nearly four miles an hour

My end of the canoe - both of us switched between single and double blades

Soon after we turned on the purple trail, the swamp turned into mostly a marsh with scattered islands of trees.

View after we turned on Purple Trail

Ibis on Purple Trail

We didn't reach Roundtop until about two in the afternoon. We approached it from the back but this is a better view of it.

Roundtop  - Our quarters for the second night

We again set up our tents, this time keeping them under the roofed part, because we were forecast to have rain during the night. This place has a 360 degree view and we had a relaxing time just watching different parts of it.  We did have an alligator that took umbrage with us being out by the porta potty and hissed at us. Later he had a confrontation with another alligator and made it leave. He attracted our attention to the confrontation by giving a kind of a coughing sound which seemed to intimidate the other alligator who was almost nose to nose with the aggressive alligator when we noticed the confrontation.

Supper that night was black bean quinoa soup with  jalapeno cornbread muffins.  Pat volunteered to heat it all up.  He even figured how to heat everything up with only one stove and pot.

Pat cooking supper 

Black bean quinoa soup with Pat's fresh cilantro and  jalapeno corn muffins

We got an almost sunset just before the sun actually set and just before the clouds obscured everything.

An almost sunset before the clouds closed in

We did fight the mosquitoes after sunset and finally went to bed soon after dark. It was very warm and I found it hard to sleep until after we had had several showers.  Pat felt his tent getting wet so got up and moved it; he also drug mine to a drier place on the platform with me in it.

The next morning, we got two tiny showers while we were packing up.  The rain falling on water among the water lily leaves was so beautiful, I had to take a picture of it.

Morning rain 

We only had a few hours of paddling so we were in no rush to leave.  We finally left about 9:30 A.M. under cloudy skies, but with an occasional glimpse of the sun.

New Pitcher plants among the old 

Sandhill cranes and golden club

In only a few miles, we were at the turn back into Suwannee Canal and headed back to the beginning.

We got home in time to eat a late lunch before repacking for the next two days of paddling and camping on the St. Mary's River.  It was a wonderful, warm trip with rain just how I like it best - at night and falling on a tin roof.

Postscript:  Pat sent me a picture of our route.