Stephen Foster Folk Cultural State Park

Trip Start Dec 24, 2010
Trip End Jun 01, 2011

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Where I stayed
Site Number Eight

Flag of United States  , Florida
Wednesday, March 16, 2011

We decided to stay another night so we could visit this State Park.  It was located only about five miles from our camp and took no time to get there.  It's a beautiful park, nestled among the pines and hardwood trees.  The day started out cloudy, but cleared as we visited the area.

Stephen Foster, as most of you know, was a composer of music of the south.  He was born in Pennsylvania and never actually came here, but is well known for his music about the area.  We started at the museum, which contained several excellent dioramas depicting a number of Stephen's most popular songs.  I did get only one decent photo as the lighting was not the best for such things.  Many of the instruments were from a later era, but the piano shown was actually used by him when he composed.  He eventually died a nasty death in New York City. 

We then proceeded to see the Suwannee River.  It's a beautiful, slow-moving stream, very dark in color.  The stones in had a rust color and added to the mystique.  Lots of saw palmetto grows here, brighter in color than in Louisiana.  It contrasted with the darker colors of the pines and hardwoods.  We walked for about an hour along the Florida Trail.  This trail runs the length of Florida and is for foot-use only, much like the Appalachian Trail farther north.  It was interesting, since it's covered with leaves, and quite slippery.  There are actually a number of hills on it, which adds to the beauty as well as the challenge.  The Video I took on the trail was done while the clock in the tower was playing one of Foster’s songs.  If you listen closely, you may be able to hear it...
The park includes a beautiful campground where we wanted to stay, but was without any spaces for our time here.  We usually "shoot from the hip" in planning where we'll go and where we'll stay.  We actually have reservations for the next ten days or so, which is a novelty for us.  

At the gift shop, we met a pair of folks who were musicians.  She, Betty, lives in South Dakota and her partner, from Michigan.  The took requests and I was able to ask the to play one of my favorites, Oh Susanna, and get a short video of it.  Lynnie, later, purchased a few items in the shop as gifts.  I've been on the hunt for some good jam, as in strawberry, not music... No luck.  The clerk said that they used to have some from a local woman, but due to state regs, they are no longer able to sell it.  Too bad.  My palate was all warmed up and ready to taste.

Later, we drove to Live Oak, about fifteen miles from here.  We didn't actually plan to go there, but the Hussy led us to a non-existant Walmart and an O'Reilly's Auto Parts that kept us busy.  She has a mind of her own, I tell ya!

We're back at camp now enjoying the eighty degree heat and Lynnie is reading and hanging out outside while I type.  

Oh, later, we did have lunch at "Fat Belly's" cafe, near the park.  I found it recommended on my Droid.  A real local hang-out it is.  The food was great, as well as the service.  I had a delicious cheeseburger that would choke a horse... in a good way, of course. Lynnie had fried catfish.  It was a treat also.  It kind of messed up our dinner plans, with so much food, but popcorn for dinner should remedy that.  

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