Awesome Friends, Wet Kiddos, and Giant Rubber Tubes! Makes for some unforgettable Fun!

Unforgettable. That is only one word that explains our AWESOME time on the Itchetucknee river, and springs. The scenery, the experience, the time with friends, and the AMAZINGLY clear water!

“The heavens declare the glory of God (YHVH), and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”

Psalms 19:1

“Let everything that has breath praise the LORD (Adonai)! Praise the LORD (Adonai)!” 

– Psalms 150:6

“Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of these does not know that the hand of the Lord (Adonai) has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.”
– Job 12:7-10
“Praise the Lord (Adonai) from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds.”
-Psalm 148:7-10 
Okay, so by now, some of y’all might be thinking I’m going to get all preachy on you =P No, I won’t. I just felt so led to add those verses to this post, because they really truly exemplify what the whole trip was like.
So, last Sunday my wonderful family and two other families, friends from Shul, went to Itchetucknee Springs State Park in Fort White, Florida. Aprox. 100 miles from our house. We were told about this place by some friends, who lived here nearby us, before they moved to C.O. (miss them a lot) a year ago.They raved about it, and how great it was! Well that was like 5 yrs ago! So when my Birthday rolled around, I asked for two things, to get my ears pierced and to go to Itchetucknee. So, that’s what we did. We took some friends with us. My Best friend, Violet, and her family came, and Sam Cook, my good friend, and his family came with us also. Actually, when I say Sam’s family came, picture 7 boys, 2 girls, and their dad! Yea a whole lot of us where there, but that just made it more awesome =).
We came prepared to go tubing, down the river, and go swimming in the head spring, and Blue hole. We also brought picnic lunch stuff. So, my family got there around 10-ish, in the morning. As we were waiting for our friends to show up, we formulated a plan. We would go swimming in the head spring, until everyone showed up, then we would eat lunch and hit the river! So that’s what we did. we swam in the Head spring for a while, which was awesome, but cold. You see, the head spring, stays at 72 degrees , year round, so it is a little chilly, when you first get in. But after so many times of going swimming in cold water at the beach, I’ve learned that in order to deal with it, you just dive in head first, and then you will get used to it. Besides Last Sunday started out as a rather hot day, so it was like, you would dive in, and finally stop freezing, and shivering, and then, once you were in totally,if you got out you were like, wow it’s hot, I gotta get back in! =)
Around 11 am, the Cook Clan, showed up. So we went swimming with them, and pushed people in the water, and dove in, and practiced flips and dives,and stuff. That was a lot of fun. After doing that a while, we wanted to go over to the Blue hole, to see what it looked like and kinda just see it. So we walked about ten minutes to the south, in the woods, to the blue hole. The blue hole is a giant hole or cave rather in the ground, that goes down for quite a ways and it’s crystal clear, blue. None of us Children had ever seen or been to a Blue hole, so it was pretty cool. Papa, and I went out into the middle of the water, and swam around looking down into the hole for a couple of minutes, but the current from the spring, was moving at a considerably swift rate, so it was sort of hard to swim in there. My arms wanted to fall off, when I got out.
After all that swimming, Violet and her family, finally arrived, so we all ate lunch together. We had sandwiches, and guacamole, and potato salad and chips, and all kinds of stuff, for lunch! After lunch we all got read to go for a float down the river. It was a two and a half hour trip, for us, so we wanted to make sure we did not take anything with us, that could either get lost, or that we would not want to carry, during the trip.
Now the State park has a certain system set up, so that you don’t get stranded and that you can get home when you get out of the river. So how this works is that, you arrive in the North entrance of the park, drop off all your tubes, passengers, and whatever else and then, when you are ready to get on the river, one person from your group, will take your car about fifteen minutes away, to the south entrance, and then a shuttle will bring them back.The only glitch, is that the shuttle that brings the drivers back, waits till it’s full, to bring everybody back, which amounts to about a 45 minute wait. So we would be waiting a while, before we got on the river, because we all wanted to tube down together.
So while we were waiting for our extra group members to get back, some of the younger children went to play at the playground there, while the teenagers (yes that includes me) all sat around joking around and chatting with each other, that was really cool. And just imagine after talking for about 4 & 1/2 hour straight, almost, where did my voice go?! =P Yea I had almost no voice after that. Well and also when we were on the river, we were kinda hollering back and forth to each other, between tubes =) But it was really fun. I think my favorite part of the trip was the fact that it was so relaxing to just float down the river, and chat with my friends, and just hang out! Violet and I got a double tube, so we were on that, and then we, somehow fit three people on our two person tube, so that was Me, Violet and Maggie, all on one double tube, and then, we had Sam’s tube tied to ours, so we were all floating together. It was pretty awesome. A few times while we were floating along, we came to some really narrow areas and there were like trees over the river and stuff, so that was kinda funny to see how each “team” tackled” the obstacles =) We all kept with in Shouting distance of each other so yea. In the middle of the trip, it started to drizzle, and lightning stuck about oh, i would say like 1 8 or 10 miles away. So we were all like, looking at the pretty spectacular lightning show, and hoping it would not get any closer. Also, once it started to drizzle, we all got sorta chilly, because by that time we were mostly dried off, except for our bottoms, which were in the water, of course. So most of the group was pretty ready to get out, as soon as the dock came into view, With the exception of one group of tubes. Can you guess? Violet and I were kinda cold, but we were ready to deal with it if we could just keep going! We wanted to keep floating, down the river! But once we got to the first half way mark, landing, it was already like 5:30 pm, and if we had kept going we would have had another 2 more hours to float, before we could get out, so yea we did not do the whole trip, but Vi and I plan on talking our parents into letting us do the whole trip. next time =)
Well I should go, so that’s all for now =) We hope to go back, some time really soon, and we all look forward to that time =)
Shabbat Shalom, y’all =)
~Sunshine
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2 thoughts on “Awesome Friends, Wet Kiddos, and Giant Rubber Tubes! Makes for some unforgettable Fun!

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