Oct. 2, 2016 Big Lagoon SP to Florida Caverns SP

We were in no hurry to leave this morning with 154 miles to go and most of it was Interstate.  We left the dazzling white sand beaches and blue Gulf waters to travel through rolling hills of forests and grasslands.  What a difference a few miles can make!  Our destination was Marianna, FL east of Tallahassee, where we'll spend 2 nights at Florida Caverns State Park.  Florida Caverns State Park is one of the few state parks with dry air-filled caves and the only state park in Florida to offer cave tours.  I'm excited!  On our drive here, we crossed Blackwater Bay which leads to the Gulf.  The waters were very calm out on the Gulf today. 

We arrived at the park at 2:00 and checked in at the office.

We got all the info about the cave tours for tomorrow.  They don't offer tours on Tuesday and Wednesday, so I had to plan our visit here accordingly.  The park is a 1300-acre sanctuary bordering both banks of the spring-fed Chipola River.  The park's primary attraction is its cave, but visitors can also enjoy swimming in the Blue Hole Spring.  We'll check that out tomorrow, along with a cave tour and a hike.  The campsites are huge with plenty of privacy.  Each site has water, electricity, and sewer hookups which are nice.  We relaxed at the campsite for the rest of the afternoon.

Bob did a load of wash after we unexpectedly discovered they had washers and dryers for $1-1.50 in the park.  While we enjoyed sitting outside, the campground host, Richard, came over for a visit.  He was very friendly and helpful in pointing out the poison ivy around our campsite.  We shared some stories of our travels with each other and visits to other state parks that we've been to.  After he left, Bob gave Auggie a needed bath just to be sure that he didn't pass on any poison ivy "juice" to us.  He was walking around in the area where the poison ivy was.  I can be pretty susceptible to it, so I went and took a shower just to be safe.  Hopefully, those nasty, itchy red bumps won't appear.  We had dinner and took our evening walk with Auggie.  It seems to get dark faster in the woods and with the sun setting around 6:30, we have to take our walk a little earlier than we did a month ago.  We are looking forward to our cave tour tomorrow.