Blue Spring Manatees and Motorcycles

We made it out of our truck-breakdown-pit-stop RV park in Tampa, YAY! We had to cancel one set of reservations while a mechanic changed one of the fuel filters (again), but we made it just a day late to our next reservations at Blue Spring State Park, just a little inland from Daytona Beach.

This pretty park has been developed around a beautiful natural spring off the St. John’s River, where manatees spend winters. It’s all about the manatees here.

Peaceful Campground

And its campground is exactly the kind we like most. Our site is surrounded by sand pine forest, and we have plenty of room to spread all our stuff out—which we needed to do so Tracy could take the truck in to the local Ram dealership for more warrantee repair work.

We don’t know how long it’ll be there, so we unpacked what we might have needed for the week in case we were stranded here for a while. (As I’m typing this, the dealer called to say the truck’s ready, so no need to resort to cannibalism.)

Banjo so totally loves this kind of site. We can attach her to a long line, which she ignores as she moves from lying in the sun to lying in the shade, to lying in the sun, to lying in the shade. The life of Banjo.

Except for in this shot from this morning, where she’s on the lookout for Tracy to return from dropping off the truck (he rode his bike back).

The Park

The amenities around the spring are developed: there are boardwalks, a swimming area in the river where you can also snorkel and dive, kayak rentals, plenty of picnicking, yadda yadda. I rode my bicycle through the more crowded areas today just to scope them out. There are people everywhere.

Plus it’s Daytona Bike Week, so the park is swarming with people dressed in black leather, looking for somewhere to ride their bikes to.

Blue Spring

So we checked out the spring last evening as the park was closing, when we basically had it to ourselves. There’s a long boardwalk along the river to the spring, and it rustles with wildlife just out of sight.

Except the main wildlife we all came here to see, of course, which just hang around in the water, coming up for air quietly and ignoring us. A sign declared there were a little over a hundred manatees here yesterday, and the rangers must be tracking them carefully because several are tagged (like the one in my photo at the very top).

Of course they’re magical to see. And water in the spring is richly colored and oh so clear.

I guess I was spoiled at Imperial Bonita though where the manatees swam up the Imperial River seemingly just to visit us behind our trailer, instead of here where we follow park signs and walk on a boardwalk to peer at them. Even though they’re living their lives freely, I feel like I’m at a zoo, reading about them and watching them go about their slow business. Maybe as I visit them each evening here I’ll get to recognizing certain ones and feeling more like I’m visiting them in their winter home just like they visited me.

Okay, you guys take care! I’ll post more manatee photos before we head out this weekend to the next beautiful Florida state park.

2 thoughts to “Blue Spring Manatees and Motorcycles”

  1. Yay the truck’s fixed! Nice to see the manatees too! Mat saw your picture on IG and was all “what’s that?!” To me so I was able to say with authority that it was a manatee. He was impressed with you seeing something so odd up close!