Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Going Back to Baltzell



 
 Going Back to Baltzell.


 Fellow Spring Hunters and keyboard revelers, come along with Angel and I on a journey to one of my favorite Florida utopias, the Baltzell Springs Group. I’ve been here twice before, once with Angel and I alone, and once with Angel and my daughter, Jaycee. Both times previous, the river was high, the trees were bare, and the weather was less than favorable. Not to mention the river’s water being not so photogenic. This time, the complete experience was otherworldly. The river was perfect. The color of the slow and low moving current was more of a muffled blue haze as opposed to the muddy brown stream that we encountered on our last journey. The cypress trees were brimming with glowing green foliage and the wild flowers were bursts of scarlet, amethyst, and other brilliant splashes of color, all around. I hope that you enjoy this blog without the only discomfort that we endured, the buzzing and biting insects. Unless you’re reading this outdoors, of course, on a computer or other device. Let’s go!


A bald cypress oversees the spring run to the Chipola.


Lobelia Cardinalis lines the unusually low banks of the spring run.



Collectively, Baltzell is either a 1st or a 2nd magnitude springs group along the beautiful and wild Chipola River. I have seen conflicting reports regarding the actual recorded flow.
This springs group is a place rich with history. The first recorded crossing of the Chipola River was made in 1686 in the vicinity of Baltzell by Spanish explorer Marcos Delgado. Before Delgado, and his men, the Chacato tribe of native Americans inhabited the area. Delgado was on an expedition in "La Florida". He reported leaving "the Blue Springs" and passing around the head of a smaller spring before arriving at the Chipola River where the water was approximately six feet deep and the horses and men were able to swim across. We crossed this river I imagine at the same location as Delgado, or very close there to. We were on kayaks, not horse back. We were loaded down heavy with camera gear, snorkels, and masks, all tools that we would use to enhance our aquamarine experience.


 Pistia Stratiotes or "spatterdock" sways gently with the flow of crystal clear spring water.


The "swimming hole" in the back.


This is the furthest pool from the river.


If you look hard enough, you will find dry caves.


In 1818, the seventh president of the United States, Andrew "Old Hickory" Jackson and his army camped at Baltzell before crossing the Chipola River at a natural land bridge, about a mile downstream. In 2016, Angel and I put our vessels into the river at the same location, the Chipola River Sink Boat Ramp, which is in the Florida Caverns State Park. A unique karst topography of the area, the river flows down into a sink, travels under the ground for a short distance and then rises back to the surface. Also, a great catfish hole from what a local fisherman told us. Of all the times and portions of the Chipola that we’ve swam, hiked, and paddled, this area is the only place that I’ve ever seen an alligator on the river.


Angel pondering the wonder at the Oasis on the Chipola.


A Praying Mantis does her dance on a cypress seedling as the river rushes by.


Baltzell Springs group was featured in the March 1999 issue of National Geographic. It is also featured, here, in my October 2016 Florida’s Hidden Gems blog! Any images featured here with a watermark in the bottom right hand corner were made by myself. The images without a watermark were made by my dedicated life partner and travel companion, Angel. She puts up with my overly eager sense of seemingly tireless exploration, even in the most deplorable of conditions. She’s definitely a keeper! By the time we headed out to Baltzell, we were already into our sixth day of our panhandle excursion. This morning, we were tired, but giddy with anticipation of what the river had to offer at the end of our paddling voyage. The current was much milder than our last visit. The mile paddle upstream went as well as it could have. We found that if we hugged the muddy banks with our boats, we’d glide along quite smoothly against the current. Much easier with the lower river levels!  


The wild flowers were bursting with color all around. 


A beautiful opaque river spring that we encountered along our journey to Baltzell.


Just upstream to the right of this river spring is the entrance to Baltzell.



How Baltzell Springs got its’ name is quite as unique and interesting as the springs themselves. The Baltzell family came to America from Alsace, Germany and settled in Frederick, Maryland in 1735. Eventually, some of the Baltzell's moved to Frankfort, Kentucky, and then to Marianna, Florida in 1830. Today, not only is the springs group named after the Baltzell family, but a road in Marianna is, as well. I have heard several variations of the name including: Bosel, Bozel, and recently Buttzel.


A healthy green within a Florida spring is more rare than not, nowadays.





I’ve obtained this information from exploresouthernhistory.com :
“On September 27th, 1864, a remarkable incident took place. According to the “reminiscences” of an eyewitness to the Battle of Marianna, a Union officer objected when Colonel Zulavsky ordered the burning of St. Luke's Episcopal Church. This officer, 20-year-old Major Nathan Cutler of the 2nd Maine Cavalry, supposedly tried to have the orders countermanded, but they were repeated and the structure soon went up in flames. According to Mrs. Daniel Love, Major Cutler was a pious and brave man. Unwilling to stand by while the church and its Bible were destroyed, he dashed through the kerosene-fueled flames and saved the St. Luke’s Bible from its lectern. Shortly after he emerged from the church, however, he was confronted by two young boys from an opposing company. They ordered him to halt and he wheeled on them with his saber, but then saw how young they were and was unable to strike. They had no such reservations and blasted him from his horse with shotgun blasts. Major Cutler often visited the area when he returned to Marianna after the war and undoubtedly came into contact with Baltzell. Mrs. Love’s account is further strengthened by the fact that she was a family member of Frank Baltzell. Only thirteen years old at the time of the battle, Frank was one of the two young home guard members who confronted and shot the major.”


A bent cypress dips her roots at the edge of the back pool.


If you look closely, you may see the large bass and chain pickerel resting near the submerged log.


 I chose to revisit and blog about Baltzell based on a primal, yet personal spiritual connection to the area. I imagine that this portion of the Chipola River and springs may look very similar to how it may have looked over 300 years ago when Delgado recorded his encounter with the "blue springs". To this day, there is no "easy" way to access these springs. One must put a small watercraft into the mysterious Chipola River about a mile downstream from the springs and paddle upriver. The only land access would be through the adjoining property which is owned by Southern Cattle Company. For just $55,000,000, the 8,991 acres can be yours!


Myself, doing my best to perfect the balancing act with my camera gear that I so often perform.


After paddling a mile upstream, you will reach the confluence where the crystal clear water flowing out of Baltzell's spring run mixes with the opaque waters of the Chipola. You will realize that all of the hard work was not to go unrewarded.  As you paddle up the 1/6  mile crystal clear spring run, the first thing you will notice is the abundance of a submerged variation of pistia stratiotes, also known as spatterdock, or as the locals call it "cow lily". Attached to much of the submerged vegetation just below the surface are tiny snails with black conical shells. Once you reach the headspring of Baltzell, a sharp pleasure will overcome you. It did me. There are no words to describe the wonders of the azure blue waters and feelings of tranquility that one experiences when they see, smell, hear, and feel the surrounding ancient forests and her sacred waters. The abundance and natural beauty of flora is none surpassed anywhere else throughout our state than on the lower Chipola River, particularly that in and around Baltzell Springs. Jump in and enjoy!


So long, my friend, until we meet again! May you forever gleam in all of your azure glory!


I strongly encourage exploration of our naturally beautiful state. There is still much to be rediscovered. Be sure to make Baltzell , or “Bozel”, as the locals know it by, a stop along your journey! Until next time!



Rain gently falls all around as we paddle on to our next adventure! 




Tuesday, May 24, 2016


The Ginnie Springs Experience



Ginnie Springs confluence with the Santa Fe River.


Ah, Ginnie Springs. For many who have heard of Ginnie Springs, the first things that comes to mind are drunk college kids tubing down the tea colored Santa Fe River with floating coolers full of beer. Then there's the loud music, all day, and most of the night. There's naked people jumping out of cypress trees. Bad karaoke. Hooting and hollering. Laughter. Screaming. Wild all night parties. Horror movies being projected onto makeshift big screens. Lasers and strobe lights. Bonfires. Really big bonfires. Drinking games and fireworks. Yes, it's true. I saw it all this past weekend. It was a blast!


Ginnie Spring, all by her lonesome.


What comes to mind for me when I hear Ginnie Springs is beautiful, muted, foggy sunrises. Cool quiet mornings. Azure blue waters and knobby cypress knees. Mossy wet limestone banks. Overlooks on the bluffs of the swiftly singing Santa Fe River. The call of the red shouldered hawk. The sporadic splashing of mullet jumping upstream. Bullfrogs croaking in unison. Sunbeams cutting through the trees and penetrating the crystal clear freshwater springs. Yes, this is also true. I saw and experienced all of this, first hand, as well. All in the same weekend.


Hazy sunrise on the Santa Fe River.


Two lovers soaking in the Ginnie Experience.


We arrived on a Friday afternoon. The place was already buzzing with anxious revelers. There was a group of about thirty as we made our way to the campsite. They called themselves the "Jolly Rogers". They were definitely jolly. They were all in campers. At Ginnie, one has options when it comes to overnight stays. You can reserve a tent or car camp right on the edge of the river (like we did), primitive camp throughout the two hundred acres, hammock camp right above a spring,  set up a camper with water and electricity, or even rent out the cottage, which can comfortably accommodate up to eight people. We had ten in our group. We were lucky enough to reserve the point just across from Sawdust Spring.


Devil's Eye. More like the stairway to Heaven, in my eyes.

Twin Spring. This little beauty is often overlooked.

It rained on us the first night. It wasn't the typical on and off torrential downpours that we usually get here in Florida, particularly in late May. It was more of a steady drizzle. Actually, it was quite refreshing, as it took the edge off of the steamy weather. I woke up Saturday morning way before the sun came up. This is when I feel the magic happens at Ginnie Springs. I was lucky enough to be blessed with a calm foggy scene. With camera and tripod in tow, I made the trek. I started at Twin Spring, stopping all along the way enjoying the sounds and smells of the Santa Fe River and all of it's natural wonders. I made way to my personal favorite. Dogwood Spring. I stopped to make a few images before making my way to Turkey Roost, also known as the Devil's Springs. The Devil's Springs are a trifecta of springs, Devil's Ear, Devil's Eye, and Little Devil. Little Devil Spring is a limestone fissure at the head of the run. Devil's Eye is next, with it's sapphire water. Devil's Ear is at the end of line, right along the spring run's confluence with the Santa Fe River. I've heard the underwater visual at Devil's Ear described as "fire water". As the cerulean spring water mixes with the tannic river water, a chaotic mixture of blues and oranges swirl about. This is a sight to be seen.


My personal favorite, Dogwood Spring.



The mysterious Little Devil tantalizes us with wonder.


One of my favorite features of Florida's landscapes are the dappled cypress knees that abound the watery terrain. Ginnie is not without an abundance of these curious wonders. Cypress trees line the Santa Fe River and their knees sporadically protrude the surface. Nobody is really sure of their exact purpose, but here are two theories that I have heard and both seem very feasible. One theory is that the knees rise above the water's surface to collect oxygen and quickly deliver it to the tree's root system. The second theory is that the knees act as an anchoring system to keep the ancient giants upright in their naturally soft, spongy, swampy surroundings. I believe that both theories hold some truth.  



Cypress knees standing tall at the confluence of Ginnie Spring and the Santa Fe River.


Outside looking in. The primordial essence was strong, this morning.

As the sun rose above the treeline, I opted to retire my camera for the day. After all, it was past 8:00 a.m.. The rest of the day was spent recreating with friends, both old and new. Our group of ten paddled from nearby Rum Island to the 47 Bridge, which encompasses over twenty springs, siphons, and creek rises along the approximate five to six mile journey. We swam as a group at Rum Island, then I swam solo across the river, and back. We then made our way to Gilchrist Blue Spring. While at Blue, I jumped off of the dive platform into the cavernous depths of the head spring. On our way back to the river, we stopped to explore the intimate Naked Spring, a favorite amongst peers. From there, we pressed on and stopped to enjoy the springs all along the Ginnie corridor. We swam, snorkeled, relaxed, laughed, and shared a camaraderie that was second to none. 

  
A perched view of Devil's Eye.

As night grew close, we gathered for a warm meal that everyone came together and worked to prepare. We built a nice fire right at the river's edge and and ate like kings! After it settled a bit, we convened at Dogwood Spring for a night swim under the spotlight. Myself and John Mac decided that paddling a canoe under the moonlight upriver to the swimming hole was a better idea than walking. Once we arrived, we saw that the others had beaten us there. They were already in the sparkling blue water underneath the moonlit sky. I jumped in without hesitation. This is what the Ginnie Experience is to me. Living life to it's fullest and taking delight in good wholesome fun with like minded friends. It's what you make of it. Everyone should be able to enjoy Ginnie and all that she has to offer. Recreating in harmony with others, no matter what the lifestyle differences are is what Ginnie is about. There is a time and a place for everything, and Ginnie offers all to those who are willing to receive. All good things must come to an end. Until next time. Farewell, Ginnie!









































































































































    


















Monday, September 28, 2015


Juniper's Splendor


Juniper Prairie Wilderness


We had an awesome time on our journey down Juniper Creek. We had seven members of Spring Hunters paddling in our group. The camaraderie that quickly formed among otherwise strangers came naturally. There's something to be said of a group of people from all over the state to gather for a common interest. Together, as a group, we survived the "treacherous" Juniper Creek! 



The secrets of the creek await us



We located and documented G.P.S. coordinates of several possible seeps or springs along the seven mile journey known as Juniper Creek. I, myself, am convinced that the 100 square mile terrain to the north west side of State Road 40 and State Road 19 is a big karst sponge constantly pumping and oozing out crystal clear H2O and dumping it into Lake George at the end of it's journey.



Sun shimmers on the Creek


We stopped multiple times on the run to explore trickles, streams, and small creeks that we saw flowing into the creek. I'm sure that some were just run offs or run through. We all made it down Juniper's rapids without dumping our canoes or kayaks, however we did see some not so fortunate paddlers fetching their belongings that were spilled out of their submerged vessels. I still find it amazing that out in the middle of the Ocala National Forest there are rapids on the creek! After the rapids, my personal favorite part of the paddle is when the sandy white bottom turns to a sheet of smooth limestone, just inches below the surface. We found a few small springs hidden deep off of the creek. Just to lay eyes upon them for the first time was worth getting stuck in knee deep mud and getting cut up on the saw palmettos along the way.



More will be revealed


As a group, we only saw one medium sized alligator along the run. If I had to estimate, I'd say it was a good 6'-7' and well fed, as most of the wildlife along this river are. Around 4:00 p.m. and towards the end of the run, the group came to a fork in the creek. Angel and I decided to take the right , while the rest of the crew took the left. The side that we took was no wider than 6' at it's widest point. In an instant, I heard Angel's voice quiver out, "Oh my God...", over and over, before I saw the largest bull alligator that I have ever seen in my entire 30 years of playing, swimming, paddling, or trekking through the Florida swamps, springs, streams, creeks, lakes, and forests.All we could do was keep paddling. I didn't want to even look the giant in his eyes for fear that I might offend him or have him take it as a challenge of some sort. I've seen some big ones, but this one had them all beat.



A hidden spring somewhere deep along the creek


The behemoth was no less than 12', if not more, and built like a tank. I'm sure he was every bit over 1,000 pounds. He didn't move a muscle. He didn't have to! He just laid there, old and grey, smiling silently with his toothy grin, reminding us of who was in who's territory. He was definitely the ruler of this kingdom. I didn't even attempt to take his photograph. For the first time in a long time, I was more concerned with distancing our canoe from a scaly beast, rather than trying to move in for a photo opportunity.



The beauty of Fern Hammock is spellbinding


30 years ago, I went down Juniper Creek with my father and had the same exact experience, probably in the same spot, on the same creek. Angel quickly reminded me that this was probably the same ancient animal, on the same creek, there to meet me once again, 30 years later. He'll probably be there, in the same spot, 30 years from now. I wasn't as frightened this time as I was the first time that I encountered the colossal reptile, however, I have regained an outlook that had become somewhat clouded of who is on the top of the food chain  out in the Florida wild.



Jhwum, Joe, and myself at the Vortex


After the seven mile journey, we piled up in the shuttle van and discussed our discoveries and explorations of the day. We swapped stories, laughed, and were already making tentative plans to return and do some more hunting. After we arrived back at the head spring, we hiked along the trail to Fern Hammock, which is a magical group of bubbling, little, blue sand boils in the forest. We made a few more photographs then hiked back to the swimming area for a well deserved swim in the cool waters of Juniper Spring. We said our goodbyes and everyone parted ways, one by one. Until next time!!



I SURVIVED JUNIPER RUN!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

An Ode to Baltzell Springs Group

An Ode to Baltzell Springs Group

Baltzell Springs Group, collectively, is either a 1st or a 2nd magnitude springs group along the beautiful and wild Chipola River in Marianna, Jackson County, Florida. I have seen conflicting reports regarding the actual recorded flow.




Baltzell Springs is a place rich with history. The first recorded crossing of the Chipola River was made in 1686 in the vicinity of Baltzell by Spanish explorer Marcos Delgado. He was on an expedition in "La Florida". Delgado reported leaving "the Blue Springs" and passing around the head of a smaller spring before arriving at the Chipola River where the water was approximately six feet deep and the horses and men were able to swim across.
Before Delgado, and his men, the Chacato tribe of native Americans inhabited the area.
In 1818, the seventh president of the United States, Andrew "Old Hickory" Jackson and his army camped at Baltzell before crossing the Chipola River at a natural land bridge, about a mile downstream. Native Seminole and Creek tribes hid nearby in  caves as the general made his way across Florida.

Over 180 years later, Baltzell Springs group was featured in the March 1999 issue of National Geographic.




How Baltzell Springs got it's name is quite as unique and interesting as the springs themselves.
The Baltzell family came to America from Alsace, Germany and settled in Frederick, Maryland in 1735. Eventually, some of the Baltzell's moved to Frankfort, Kentucky, and eventually to Marianna, Florida, in 1830.




On September 27th, 1864, a remarkable incident took place. According to the “reminiscences” of an eyewitness to the Battle of Marianna, a Union officer objected when Colonel Zulavsky ordered the burning of St. Luke's Episcopal Church. This officer, 20-year-old Major Nathan Cutler of the 2nd Maine Cavalry, supposedly tried to have the orders countermanded, but they were repeated and the structure soon went up in flames. According to Mrs. Daniel Love, Major Cutler was a pious and brave man. Unwilling to stand by while the church and its Bible were destroyed, he dashed through the kerosene-fueled flames and saved the St. Luke’s Bible from its lectern. Shortly after he emerged from the church, however, he was confronted by two young boys from an opposing company. They ordered him to halt and he wheeled on them with his saber, but then saw how young they were and was unable to strike. They had no such reservations and blasted him from his horse with shotgun blasts. Major Cutler often visited the area when he returned to Marianna after the war and undoubtedly came into contact with Baltzell. Mrs. Love’s account is further strengthened by the fact that she was a family member of Frank Baltzell. Only thirteen years old at the time of the battle, Frank was one of the two young home guard members who confronted and shot the major.





Today, not only is the springs group named after the Baltzell family, but a road in Marianna is, as well. I have heard several variations of the name including: Bosel, Bozel, and recently Buttzel. 
While doing research, I found a portrait of Colonel Baltzell (the same above mentioned Frank Baltzell) that was hung on the wall at 1st Battalion 22nd Infantry Headquarters at Fort Hood Texas from 1999-2009. The name was spelled "Buttzel".




I chose Baltzell Springs Group as my photography icon spring due to the personal spiritual connection and feeling of adventure, exploration, and wildness of the area. I imagine that this portion of the Chipola River and springs may look very similar to how it looked over 300 years ago when Delgado recorded his encounter with the "blue springs". To this day, there is no "easy" way to access these springs. There is no land access. One must put a small watercraft into the mysterious Chipola River about a mile downstream from the springs. The place where one accesses the river is also where the river goes under ground and reemerges about 1/4 of a mile downstream. The upstream paddle to Baltzell is a natural obstacle course that will test one's paddling skills. Downed trees, snags, limestone outcroppings, banked alligators, and a swift, constant current have dumped many and flushed them back downstream along their journey. I've described my experience of the journey as being in a natural pinball machine, but fighting to get  upstream as opposed to going with the flow. However, once you reach the confluence where the clear water flowing out of Baltzell's spring run mixes with the muddy waters of the Chipola, you begin to realize that all of the hard work was not to go unrewarded.  As you paddle up the 1/6 of a mile crystal clear spring run, the first thing you will notice is the abundance of a submerged variation of pistia stratiotes, also known as "water lettuce", or as the locals call it "cow lilies". Attached to much of the submerged vegetation just below the surface are tiny snails with black conical shells. Once you reach the headspring of Baltzell, a sharp pleasure will overcome you. It did me. There are no words to describe the wonders of the azure blue waters and feelings of tranquility that one experiences when they see, smell, and hear the surrounding ancient forests. The abundance and natural beauty of flora is none surpassed anywhere else through out our state than on the lower Chipola River, particularly that in and around Baltzell Springs.




I strongly encourage exploration of our naturally beautiful state. There is still much to be rediscovered. Be sure to make Baltzell a stop along your journey!




https://www.flickr.com/photos/135092438@N05/sets/72157657659691140/













Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Panhandle Pleasures


Panhandle Pleasures



Welcome to the Florida Panhandle. This is a part of Florida that not many think of when they hear the word "Florida". Most think Mickey Mouse, palm trees, and beaches. I'm thinking cypress trees, freshwater springs, and caves!! There is so much to be rediscovered in the I-10 corridor that I don't even really know where to start. The Chipola River is as good a place as any. The first time that I set eyes on the Chipola River was in the Florida Caverns State Park. The river actually goes underground at the Florida Cavern's boat ramp and emerges somewhere downstream. Wow! What a river!


Chipola River Lime Rock Shelf


Upon entry, I was immediately drawn to the unique features of the river and it's surrounding landscapes. In Daytona, we don't have caves, nor do we have any freshwater springs. I was in awe as I gazed upon the rocky banks. The river has outcroppings of limestone running along the banks known as "shelves".


Chipola River Fissure Spring


There was a surprise around every corner on the shallow, rocky river. Some of the river is fast and wide, while other parts are slow and narrow. The river has a distinct chalkiness, almost textured appearance. I would imagine it's from the muddy tannin clay-like banks and bottom. At one spot, we noticed the water change from it's milkiness to almost a transparent amber color. A spring! As we approached, there was a noticeable boil. This spring isn't on any map that I've ever seen of the Chipola River.


Crystal Clear Spring Water and an Abundance of Spatterdock


On a narrow stretch of the river, there is about a mile of downfall and obstacles around every bend. The current is quite swift, with exposed limestone and stumps acting as if they were intentionally placed there by the River Spirit of Humor. Where we could hit an obstacle, we would hit an obstacle. It was almost like paddling through a pinball machine, but upstream! Eventually, we came to a clearing where there was a flow of crystal clear water issuing into the contrasting river. A confluence.


An Azure Blue Spring Pool 


The paddle up the crystal clear spring run led to one of the most beautiful and wild group of springs that I have ever lain my eyes upon. The abundance of vegetation was almost unbelievable! With most of Florida's springs choked with algae or no aquatic vegetation whatsoever, it was a blessing to see a spring and it's run so full of life, and healthy life at that!


Beautiful Baltzell Spring


As we stepped out of the canoe, I was at a loss for words to explain the feeling that came over me as I experienced this beautiful place for the first time. Being with my family and sharing the experience with them made it that much more worthwhile. It was a tough upstream paddle, but the reward was plentiful!


A Mysterious Spring Deep on the Chipola


Along another stretch of the river, we fought an uphill battle. Literally, we had to paddle uphill. Already having paddled approximately three miles from where we put in, we were approaching a set of shoals where I could actually see the flat river start to elevate for quite a ways. Eventually, we had to make our way to the knee deep muddy embankment where I had to get out and pull our vessel, slowly but surely, through the upstream rapids while the other furiously paddled with all that they had. It was a mentally and physically challenging experience, but I feel that it brought us together closer as a family.  


Eye of the River


We eventually made it through the battle, and the paddling became a little easier. As we paddled, we came to a little waterfall gently lapping into the river. As we stepped out of the boat and walked up the shallow run, we came upon a unique opening in the lime rock bottom. The area seemed too fragile to do anything more than look around a little and take some photographs. Florida is so rich with enchantment that few of us will be able to do much more than merely scratch the surface of what our beloved state has to offer. We definitely did some scratching, this day!


Remember the Alamo


Along a different path of the Chipola, there are caves! Not only are there caves to look at, but one can actually venture into said cave, briefly travel underground, and make their way out to the other side. While inside the cave, I brushed my hand across the sparkling ceiling... Water droplets. Rain and groundwater that had filtered it's way through the porous lime stone ground and made it's way to the cave's ceiling! Another experience that was a first for me!


Inside the Alamo


The temperature difference from above to below is significantly noticeable. If I were a native of the Florida panhandle 5,000 years ago, I would have definitely made this cave (or one like it) my home. Naturally cool in the summer sun and protection from the elements. Being in this cave was quite the spiritual reprieve from the everyday hustle and bustle that I'm so used to. I hope the airy mood was as enjoyable for my family, as it was for myself.


A Natural Land Bridge Above Moccasin Creek

Until next time!