You can take the GRITS out of Florida, but you can't take Florida out of the GRITS!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Jonathan Dickinson SP and CacheApalooza

Last weekend, we spent some time at Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Hobe Sound. I'd never been there before, but there was a huge geocaching event called "CacheApalooza 2" so we decided we'd have to check it out. My bestest friend from Pennsylvania (who is also a major cacher) flew into the Palm Beach airport and we picked her up on the way.
Lj had reserves 2 cabins for us and some other friends. I really had no idea what to expect. The website only showed the interior of one kind of cabin and it was more like a very nice mobile home. Well ours were the "rustic" ones, but they turned out much bigger than the fancy ones, and quite nice, too. We had a separate bedroom, 2 daybeds, a bathroom, kitchen, dining rom table, air conditioning and outside was a picnic table and our own fire pit. Not bad, not bad at all!
The second night there, a bad storm hit. We were out in the scrub hunting a cache and got soaked, but at least had a nice dry place to go back to. Most of the other cachers there were in tents. From what I heard, it wasn't a pretty sight. It seems most everyone had left their tents open and had gone out caching. By the time they got back, any had a big mess on their hands. One friend had muddy water in his tent and things were actually floating around in it! I felt bad for all those folks. I bet next year there will be a big rush on cabin rentals for that event!
The following are some random pictures I took while we were exploring the park...
Beautiful, but deadly. Rosary Peas, Abrus precatorius. These were everywhere. My mom says when she was little, she used to use these in her pea-shooter. Amazing she's still alive!

The lighthouse at Jupiter Inlet. We got there too late to go inside so I had to shoot this through the surrounding chainlink fence. It's really pretty.

Along one of the many trails in Jonathan Dickinson. Back in the forties this was home to Camp Murphy, a top secret military communications base. There are still many bunkers out there and even a barracks. Fun to explore!

A bunch of us on a trail that had several caches hidden along it. Pretty area, but it was HOT! Too hot for December...

Along that trail, I found this white blob. I have absolutely no idea what it is. A wasp nest? Some kind of fungus? A bizarre flower? Any ideas???

Then, a little further down the same trail, I found this red blob. Again, I have tried to figure out what it is, but have no idea.
Some pretty White Bushy Asters, Aster dumosus

Over by the lighthouse in Jupiter, my son spotted this Spotted Eagle Ray! Wow!!! We got all excited...

And what trip to the swamp would be complete without seeing one of these guys?

On our way back home, we, oif course, had to grab a few more caches outside the park. One that I really wanted to get was an Earthcache at Blowing Rocks Preserve. All I can say about this place is WOW. If you have never been there, go. It is so beautiful! Unfortunately, we were not there for the incoming tide, so we didn't get to see the sea water shooting up through the holes, but it was still awesome to see. And the best part? There were no other people there! The beach was empty!

I'm waiting for the weather to get a little cooler to go back to Jupiter and JDSP to explore some more and maybe even put the canoe or kayak in and check out the Loxahatchee River...maybe go see Trapper Nelson's old place...yeah, that would be nice...
But now, it's back to Christmas shopping, decorating the house, putting all the camping gear away and finishing up on the hiking sticks I made for Christmas presents.
On a personal note, I have to say Thank You again to Lj for your generosity. TOO MUCH, woman, too much! Suhzon, Corky, Ana, Peter, Aaron...thanks for being great "neighbors" And to my 2 kids for just being great kids and for making this weekend such a fun and memorable one. Next year, CacheApalooza 3!!!!!


C.L. Jahn said...

Your "mystery objects" look like praying mantis egg cases to me.

SwampAngel65 said...

Oh, interesting...I'll have to check that out. Thanks!

SCG said...

As always, beautiful photos and a joy to look at!


lisa's chaos said...

Oh I love your new look and all your photos and we sure are missing LJ up here but I bet she prefers your hot day to our freezing one, digging in the snow. :) It's the time of year we can walk on water again. :)