America '98
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America Trip
Map
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Days 4 to 10
Day 11
Day 12
Days 13 to 14
Day 15
Days 16 to 18
Days 19 to 23
Days 24 to 34
Days 35 to 38
Days 39 to 44
Days 45 to 49
Days 50 to 57
Days 58 to 70
Days 71 to 86
Days 87 to 100
 Days 35-38:

We ended up camping in the forest a few miles east of Fort Walton after spending the day on the beach. It was one of my favorite campsites, typical in that it is land that somebody wouldn’t notice if two travelers happened to put up a tent for the night. Florida’s forests are quite different from the Arizonian forests I’m used to. Many different, even strange plants and trees cover the land. The night air is warm and damp, and insects chirp and sing in harmony with frogs, birds, and other critters that remain mostly unseen. Supper was warm off the camp stove under the stars. From the people we have talked to, they have all said that the South is experiencing a drought and heat wave. Kinda funny since Guru and I thought it looked extremely wet and healthy, and while there is high humidity, the heat isn’t as hot as the Arizona deserts. We spent most of the next day driving east through Florida. Florida has the slowest speed limits I’ve seen yet, most of the back highways are 45 mph. Since we’re in no rush, and want to see what’s to see, we drive slowly and relaxed. We stopped at several beach shores, checking them out. After passing through some farmland mid-state (northern Florida), we camped again in a lush forest. The next day we arrived at Gainesville. After checking out some of the time, we stopped at Allen and Julie Burns’ home. They are good friends of my parents, and lived in Willcox many years ago. We talked with them and enjoyed a delicious dinner. Their son, Chris, stopped by for a little bit. We stayed that night and the following night at their home. During that time Guru and I went tubing down the Ichetucknee Spring, about thirty miles west of Gainesville. The water was the clearest I’ve ever seen, just as clean as a fresh swimming pool. The cool water comes from an aquifer, and is naturally cool and clear. The sides of the spring were basically swamps or limestone walls. The forest was the most lush, jungle like I’ve seen in Florida, with fish and turtles in the river. It was a very nice day, floating along the spring.

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