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Georgia: Savannah, George L. Smith, and Okeefenokee!

Sunday, November 29, 2009
The last two nights we spent camping at parks in Georgia.. George L. Smith State Park was our first real camping experience. We arrived at the park around 5:30 pm after calling about 5 others which were entirely filled up (who knew November/December was prime camping season in Georgia and Florida?!) We were exhausted... earlier that morning we departed from Columbia, South Carolina and drove to Savannah, Georgia where we paid $10 to park and walk around the beautiful historic city. It's been such fun just walking around new places and getting a feel for the people and the unique atmospheres.


So 5:30pm... got our campsite, set up Raspberry (the lovely blue tent we are journeying with) and made a quick Wal-Mart run (we've seen 9 Wal-Mart trucks on the road so far, btw). Some apples, bananas, yellow squash, broccoli, green peppers, carrots, animal crackers, a sponge and a pan and we were on our way back to our quaint little site on the water. The plan was to make rice and a stir fry; however, halfway back it came out that we really weren't that hungry and were really just exhausted, so we scratched the food idea (it seemed like far too much effort to either make a fire, which is clearly not our forte, or try to figure out the campstove, which we hadn't used yet), deciding to save the feast for the next day. Instead we resolved to ask our "neighbors" if we could use their fire to heat up some water for tea.

How to meet people 101: share fire.
Such wonderful people they were! We warmed our water and shared some light, easy conversation.. they were a middle-aged couple, camping for a few days in search of some greatly desired peace and down-time away from the regular, working life. The next morning we traded them a couple jump-starts from our suburu in thanks for the flames of the previous night. In the morning, after a run (kendra) and a walk (keturah) we had a nice slow morning of re-packing the car, hot showers, and finally used our camp stove (!!) to make delicious stir fry in our pan and rice in the pot from Pam and Jack (this has turned out to be perhaps the most useful thing we packed, just so you guys know!) We made way too much rice (perhaps eventually we'll get better at "eye-balling" measurements) and ate every last bit of it. By 1pm we were on our way to Okeefenokee!

This time we decided not to take Interstates but rather a smaller route that was said to be more scenic. Not sure we'll ever go back to the interstates! The "scenic route" was wonderfully full of stores and stations that left us feeling like we were driving through an old film..

Arrived at the park and drove around the 66 sites 6 times, finally agreeing upon one that seemed to have access to a good plot of split trees and branches (ideal for a fire?), was fairly secluded, and not too far from the "comfort area".
Our second attempt at fire! After at least 30 minutes of trying sooo harrdddd:
kendra: there's always hope!
keturah: if this fire works i'll be a convert to your pathetic idealism
well friends, the inferno BLAZED for at least 45 minutes! Plenty of time to roast marshmallows and warm chunks of home-made wheat bread smothered in peanut butter! mmm this is the life!

Huddled together beneath our sleeping-bag bed, eye-glasses in place, head-lamps lighting the well-worn pages of our books, we discussed our bowel movements like an ancient couple as fatigue sneakily pushed its way into our tent. Ah, it's good to be young! (?!)
Dead to the world.
Up for a walk around chilly Okeefenokee followed by ORGANIC oatmeal, ORGANIC peanut butter, ORGANIC honey (but we are sooo not "organic" freaks. promise.) Plopped it all in our brand new camping pan, mixed it together and enjoyed a communal breakfast (we're getting used to eating like this). Dang! GoOOOooOD duffel! After breakfast Keturah guided us on a very educational walk through the swamp on a boardwalk. We spotted a real live alligator (oh my) and learned about all sorts of trees and plant life. (Or a real plastic alligator...Keturah swears they make plastic alligators that pop up at the push of a button to appease the nagging tourists. "It only blinked its eyes once in two hours!").

Oh, Okeefenokee, what a luxurious swamp you are.. and so good to us!
high temp: 68

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