Snakes & Scenic Views

We spend a lot of our time exploring the places we go, even when we’re back home.

One thing we like to explore is National and state forests. If you want to see the natural, mostly unspoiled and free (generally) beauty of an area, look on Google Maps for the huge green areas that end in Forest.

So far, we’ve visited Ocala and gave a quick glance at Okeefenokee.

Today we did some yeehaw backroading in Osceola. Home to the Big Gum Swamp wilderness and several campgrounds, this forest is pretty good for bopping around.

The roads are in great shape in my opinion and are all well labeled. It’s certainly not as rough or creepy as the Freetown State Forest. 😳😳

We were putting along, and in the still quiet of trees, came across the remnants of a prescribed burn. Seems this district does a lot of burns and you can clearly see evidence of it throughout the forest. They have signs up explaining why they do it.

It was eerie and odd to see the trees burning, and something we’d never before witnessed. I took a short video ⤵️

Here’s The Quick Vid ! 🔥

We found a peaceful remote campground with no amenities but a fire pit with bullet casings and no neighbors.

We moved further north and the roads got thinner with more muddy ruts.

It was utterly beautiful, beside the swamp and palmettos and under the towering pines.

We saw two snakes 🐍 , one coiled on the side of the road, unmoving like a statue.

We headed out, and on the way found the last campground in the forest.

It bordered a pond and we came across one of the most awesome free campsites I’ve seen thus far:

Signs at the entrance made sure to mention that you were most certainly in bear country.

One of our kids likes to have massive tantrums where he throws random camping supplies and food into the woods. The other two are toddlers and babies so camping in bear country in a tent is not necessarily prudent. Although, with the level of noise that emanates from our campsite round the clock, bears would probably run screaming in the other direction.

In any case, I stood in this campsite facing the lily pad covered pond, hundreds of miles away from home, wishing that in the sea of kids and meltdowns and fussing, that we could have one night alone.

I amuse even myself.

On our way out, we saw the second snake in the road, but sadly this one was no longer live. Slightly graphic image below:

Our guess is it was a timber rattlesnake.

We returned to the campground and made our first ever campfire tacos.

Yea buddy!

We prepared for another torrential rainstorm which was supposed to start overnight and last all day.

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