Tuesday, November 14, 2006

White Springs, FL

We revisited Stephen Foster State Park. Now, of course, I can't get the song out of my head..."way down upon the Swannee Ribber"...but a nice place to visit. The museum has several dioramas depicting scenes from his songs, the carillon bells toll his songs every two hours, and just walking the grounds with all of the live oak trees puts you back in time.

Afterward we drove over to Big Shoals conservation area and took a one-mile hike to the Big Shoals. Now this is some low water levels! At normal levels this is a Class III rapid. At these levels, you can't even get a kayak down. I tried to find out exactly what water level the river is at, but couldn't find the information. Average I think is 40-50' (above sea level); flood stage is 70'; 18 mos ago it reached 82'. We've seen signs showing how high the water level reached in previous floods - 5' above ground, half a mile from the river! One of the reasons the conservation areas were created was to reduce property loss during these floods. One of the advantages, hopefully, of having such low water levels (besides no motor boats on the river) is that we are hoping to find some fossils or artifacts. Several rivers in Florida are known for finding shark's teeth and other interesting fossils.

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