Kary WrightOne of the great things about travelling in an RV is that you can pull off and enjoy unexpected things, and if you want to stay a night or two, you do. A couple of years ago we escaped the northern winter and headed to Florida. We had a few days to kill before meeting my daughter and brother in Orlando, so we camped around the area, looking for manatee. Exploring the map, we found Blue Springs State Park near Orange City, a mere 45 miles from the Orlando International Airport.

We pulled in, parked at our campsite and were anxious to go and explore. Following the paved trail to the springs, we first spotted a cute little gecko. I’m always amazed to see these quiet little fellows. They look so friendly, but they are fast when they want to be! There was crystal clear warm water by the trail boiling up in pools and flowing into the St. Johns River. There were even scuba divers in them. It seemed that everywhere we looked, there was some kind of wildlife. The water was full of fish, and being a certified fishing nut, I wondered if people would try to catch them. There were large turtles on the banks and on the floating logs.  We spotted a huge alligator, and then we were really rewarded — at the bottom of the river we saw our first manatee. It slowly surfaced for air, breathed out and then in loudly, and with a stroke of its tail it zoomed off upstream. Farther downstream there was another, and another, until they seemed to be everywhere.