FL - Cary State Forest
WetRivrRat and I were itching to get away even if only for an overnighter. Unfortunately the other guys had to bail so we headed out on our own. We got a late start since I had a prior engagement and we didn't get to the campsite until about 9pm. The beauty of Cary is that there are only three sites and I'm pretty sure we had the place to ourselves.
Cary boasts over 13,000 acres of land with a variety of activities including hiking, primitive camping, wildlife viewing, horseback riding, environmental education and hunting. There is also a very nice educational pavilion that is rented to the public.
I actually arrived first and after picking my trees got started on the fire. I'd brought about a 1/2 truck load (I have a small truck) of blackjack oak and hickory to get us through the night. I'm quite pleased with my fire making skills this weekend. It took one Vaseline-coated cotton ball and a single strike from my firesteel to build a beautiful fire that lasted all night.
Once the fire was going well by itself we both got busy setting up our hammocks. The site was huge and we had a great selection of trees to choose from. The temperature was warmer than the forecast low of 57 but the fire still came in handy for keeping the slight chill away especially as the night gave way to morning. We ended up staying up talking until 3am before we finally wised up and turned in.
Sometime in the morning while we were still crashed hard a family with some noisy kids showed up. Fortunately we were able to sleep through most of it. I know I woke up a few times but it wasn't too bad. We finally got up around 10 and I dove into breakfast after getting the fire going again. I was starving and it felt great to heat up the mountain man breakfast, fry some Spam, and fix some coffee. Following breakfast we sat around the fire talking some more and pulled our tarps down to expose our hammocks. The skies were overcast but the sun was trying to break through.
This was my second opportunity to hang in my WL Lite Owl. I have to say I had an incredibly great night of rest. I think my Light Hiker just moved to the back burner. I find the Lite Owl to be very comfortable!
It didn't take long before our hammocks were gently calling to us. Like sailors drawn to the Siren's call we soon found ourselves laying down again. I tried hard (ok, not really) to simply enjoy the view and stillness of the forest (in between the kids' ruckus) but I couldn't fight it.
After a nice nap we got up, finished packing, and headed back to the real world. If you're every looking for a nice getaway in the Jacksonville area be sure to check out this state forest! But be careful with your hammock, or this could happen to YOU!
Looks like a good time. Might have to get up that way someday.
Mmm--Spam around a cozy fire! Looks like a great trip. Thanks for a nice write up and pix.
That last picture was SCARY! :lol:
Looked like a good time!
Sorry I had to miss this one. Let not make this a rare occurrence. Cary is a great area. Was out there a week ago.
Mike, I consider it my responsibility to warn people about the dangers of hammocking. :)
SA, hope things are looking up. I predict we'll be out there again before the end of the year.
Thanks. Yes they are. Can't wait.
Originally Posted by JaxHiker
This was hard to miss. Lets plan one before next year.
Thanks for the trip report! I'll have to check this place out, didn't know about it.
Glad to hear it Ron. Rick, we got your back. Hope things are ok for you as well. We plan to get you out before the wee one pops out. :)
Duffy, I'd heard of it but never really looked into it. I think it's another hidden jewel for us in Jax.