Thursday, November 14, 2013

Freshwater Interlude

This week we visited one of the many fresh water springs near Daytona. The kayak and bicycle were loaded up into the van and off we went to the state park at DeLeon Springs.

Dave peddled while I paddled.
Moss Monster!
I saw lots of bird life including two bald eagles. It's pretty hard to get photos of them, but I did manage to snap these photos of coots, gallinules (that have very eerie calls), and a great blue heron hiding in the marsh grasses.

There used to be a resort at the spring head but now just the old Spanish sugar mill remains and was turned into a great rustic restaurant.

Here are the mill gears on the inside of the building.
The restaurant is famous for its pancakes that the customers actually cook on the griddle located on each table. Sometimes the wait can be up to 3 hours to get a seat. Luckily it was a slow day and we were seated right away. I decided to have french toast and got to grill it myself.

After lunch the foggy day turned into sunny skies so Dave took a dip in the 71 degree crystal clear water at the head of the spring.

The swim area is around the spring boil, but as you can see in the above photo, people scuba dive into the caves that go a long way beneath the water.

Next time we visit this historical park I'll be sure to bring my walking shoes to explore the 4 miles of nature trails. Perhaps Dave will be ready to do some diving in those underwater caves too!

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