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First impressions

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Once in a while I have the forethought to make a good decision for me, and today was one of those days.  I had decided to just visit Okefenokee NWR in my car today since I’m only about 60 miles away, and not drive the rig in until tomorrow.  As it turned out, it was also a good decision to leave Emma at home while I made that visit since it was quite warm and she would have been roasting in the car.

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I had some rather involved written directions from Gracie Gooch, the volunteer coordinator, but I tried putting the address into Jack-in-the-Box and it wouldn’t recognize the street name.  So I just put in the number of the closest highway, and Jack took me a different way than I had originally planned.  I went with the new to me directions, and it turned out best in the long run.  The mileage may have been slightly longer, but it kept me off of the Interstate and on a couple of other great roads.  The best part of that is I found an easy in, easy out gas station to fill the rig at only 30 miles from my destination.  So I get to avoid those nerve wracking jam packed truck stops along the Interstate, and my tank will essentially be full upon arrival.Thumbs up

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I’m going to include just a few photos tonight of my introduction to the refuge.  It’s interesting that the refuge doesn’t show up on any GPS units.  The first thing I did when I found it was to stop at the visitors center.  I went inside and introduced myself to Barb, the volunteer that was working there.  Her reaction warmed the cockles of my heart.  “Judy Bell, the Bird Lady?  We’ve been waiting for you to get here! Welcome!”  Wow!  What a difference from the welcome, or lack there of, I got at Alligator River.  I then met a couple of other staff members, and they were also most welcoming. 

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Gracie was not available, so Kathy, one of the interns, took me to show me the RV sites.  It was at this point that I was sure glad that I hadn’t driven in with the RV.  It took us a while to figure out the best approach to the sites considering the tallness of my rig.  I was most concerned about low hanging (for my rig) electrical wires on one approach, and very low live oak branches on the other approach.  Kathy was most helpful, and we figured out a third way to get to the sites with no wires or branches to cause havoc.  I’ll show you some pictures tomorrow of the site I chose and why.

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I took a quick drive around the wildlife route, and found my first ‘gator at this refuge.  I’m sure it won’t be my last.  My first impressions of Okefenokee NWR are that it will be a most friendly place to volunteer with some interesting things to do.  I’m really excited about the possibilities in my near future.

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When I finally got back to the rig it was nearly 4:00 in the afternoon.  I took Emma out for a walk around the campground, and as I rounded a curve I noticed a familiar looking Winnebago Journey with South Dakota plates.  It made me think of Paul and Marti Dahl, but I figured it couldn’t be.  They weren’t taking I-95 north from Florida.  Surprise!!  It was them!  What a treat.  This was the sugar topping to the day.  Since they knew through the blog where I was staying, they stopped here over night so we could go out to dinner together.  Best I can say is, “Cool Beans!!”

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

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