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  1. #1
    Senior Member Sparkfly88's Avatar
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    3-days spent in Ocala National forest,Juniper prairie,hidden pond TONS OF PHOTOS!

    This is some of the written directions of the meeting area...way better than I can write it since I'm totally navigationally challenged
    This is the beginning of the journey.....

    "Forest Road 33 (used to be 65), which is not marked well (if at all) on
    SR 40. The best you’ll see is a little brown sign with the number 33 on it. When you see this
    little brown sign, and the little dirt road you’re supposed to turn onto, and you wonder if
    David is completely nuts to bring you all the way out here, then you’re in the right place. If
    you pass Juniper Springs, or come to the traffic light at SR 40, you went too far. Way too far.
    Go north on FR 33, for 3.4 miles to the intersection with Forest Road 38 (used to be 76),
    which leads west from FR 33. At that intersection, there is room to park on the east side of
    FR 33, where old Forest Road 76 (going east) has been closed to vehicular traffic. If you step
    out of the car here, and figure you’re in the middle of nowhere, and it’s so dark the starlight is
    casting shadows, and you wonder why you ever agreed to do this, then you’re in the right
    place. Load up your backpack, lock the car, and walk about mile east along the old road,
    which is deep white sand. This old road goes due east over a hill and down the other side.
    When the road makes a left turn at the bottom of the hill, find your way through the trees into
    the clearing visible to the east. This is a grassy pond area, with plenty of dry grassy land to
    camp on."

    This guy who wrote the instructions to get there, and who planned this trip entirely is my friends step-dad, he's been a scout master for so many years it's crazy...as you can see, he has quite a sense of humor...

    Basically everyone was supposed to be meeting up at this spot around dark, since we had people coming from GA and all over FL..
    Myself and my friend got there around 5 so we were there about 4 hours before anyone else got there.
    Ended up being a nice total of people.
    Most were related, and their friends.
    My friend and I were the only hammockies

    We slept at the meeting spot for Friday night, when the final couple showed up around 11pm...

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    The next morning we broke camp, moved our vehicles east, drove back to our starting point in one vehicle and headed out on foot.


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    For the most part we did our own navigating since he's been coming here for YEARS...


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    We took a break at this big oak tree he had marked on the maps...



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    Then we met up with part of the FL trail and followed that to Hidden pond

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    BUT our special little spot ended up being east of hidden pond.


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    MY FAVORITE SUNSET PHOTO I HAVE EVER TAKEN

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    After we camped there Saturday night, which was below freezing ( I have never camped in that temp EVER, and my first attempt was in a hammock!!! )
    I slept so good I actually DREAMED!!!!
    I woke up confused where I was because I slept so good.



    We broke camp and headed out 6 miles or so on the Florida trail to where our vehicles were parked.


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    We hit the grave site, and sinkhole on the way there.

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    My descriptions are pretty awful, but the photos speak for themselves.


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  2. #2
    What's with all those things on the ground???

  3. #3
    MAD777's Avatar
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    3-days spent in Ocala National forest,Juniper prairie,hidden pond TONS OF PHOTO

    Quote Originally Posted by JollyGreen View Post
    What's with all those things on the ground???
    They look like some sort of canvas igloos!

    Great trip report! I loved those directions!
    Been there, done that!
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  4. #4
    Senior Member Sparkfly88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JollyGreen View Post
    What's with all those things on the ground???
    Don't you guys worry, I laughed plenty when we broke camp and setup camp...her and I were the first packed, and the first setup

  5. #5
    richtorfla's Avatar
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    Real nice pics Sparky!Glad ya'll had a good time. Even though I hammock, I am still the last one packed. Either I am too slow or too finicky! Looked like a good group!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Sparkfly88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richtorfla View Post
    Real nice pics Sparky!Glad ya'll had a good time. Even though I hammock, I am still the last one packed. Either I am too slow or too finicky! Looked like a good group!
    Thanks I do love taking photos for sure.

    Everyone got along, we had a blast.

  7. #7
    Senior Member jayf124's Avatar
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    Great pics. Looks like you guys had a good time. How many people wanted to try out your hammock? My hammock felt pretty used and abused after the last group camping trip I went on when everyone got a chance to hang for a few minutes.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Jay

  8. #8
    Great White's Avatar
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    Great photos! I can see you had a really great time. The directions remind me of this xkcd comic. "Do not wake the straw man."

    The cool things about the ONF: The ability to camp anywhere you can find water and expect to find plenty of hanging opportunities.

    Thanks for the report.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Sparkfly88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Great White View Post
    Great photos! I can see you had a really great time. The directions remind me of this xkcd comic. "Do not wake the straw man."

    The cool things about the ONF: The ability to camp anywhere you can find water and expect to find plenty of hanging opportunities.

    Thanks for the report.
    THATS EXCELLENT!

    I'm gonna send him that

  10. #10
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    Looks like a mighty pretty trip, there, Sparkfly88! Hidden Pond and the surrounding prairie sure is a beautiful area. One of the favorites any time the temperatures are below 90*, for sure.

    Thanks for sharing!
    "Just prepare what you can and enjoy the rest."
    --Floridahanger

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