Monday, March 2, 2015

Taking a break from the snow

Ed and I left town last week for a few days of fishing at the Juniper Club in central Florida. I've written about our times at Juniper on a number of occasions (here and here and here). The thing about the Juniper Club is not much changes from year to year. That is mostly a good thing.

I count on getting excited coming down the gravel drive to the old wooden clubhouse. I like unpacking our bags into the tiny dresser and metal lockers and testing out the squeakiness of the mattress on the metal twin beds that are wedged into the room. I certainly appreciate not having to think what's for dinner -- or breakfast or lunch.

I love cruising out of the Silver Glen – Ed at the boat's helm – headed across Lake George to the Little Juniper River with the boat's well full of flopping shiners and our poles rigged up for a morning or afternoon of fishing for large-mouth bass. I don't even mind standing in line out in the upstairs hallway waiting for one of two showers designated for the women before heading downstairs for cocktail hour, communal dinner, and the marking of the board of the day's fishing reports.

We were down there for a week this time and to shake things up just a bit, we took off two afternoons for hikes, both just down the highway from the club's entrance in the Ocala National Forest. We hiked the Yearling Trail and Florida Trail out of Hopkin's Prairie. Both were easy hikes that led us along a sand path through palmetto scrub, pine forest and live oak groves.

I'm putting up a few pictures from our week to give you an idea of what a special place the Juniper Club is. Here's what  you see once you turn in the drive.

Live oaks dripping with spanish moss line the gravel drive
There's an old orchard that grows in the clearing just before you reach the clubhouse
Our room for the week. Cozy, but comfortable.
The Ladies Bath, reminds me of living with 12 little girls in two straight lines. 
That's Kim, getting dinner on the table before playing the chimes (back left corner) to announce "dinner is served."
Once we were settled in our room, we head out for some fishing, making our way slowly out the Glen, watching carefully for manatees that make their way to the warmer waters of the glen and loll around in groups of two or three.

Some new duck boxes have been scattered along the Silver Glen

An island that sits at the mouth of the Glen
Once we are out in open water, we "resume normal operation.'
I like this sign a lot. What's normal?

Then it's open water, all the way across Lake George.
Sometimes it is smooth as glass; other times, prepare for whitecaps!
We make our way up the Little Juniper River, where we find more than fish. 
And sometimes, we find fish! 

We bookended our trip with dinner in Atlanta with our friend Jeananne and a visit with Margie and Billy in Destin on the way home.

We are back home now, finishing up unloading the car. I brought a bit of Juniper home with us. On the last afternoon, I picked a bunch of oranges, grapefruits and lemons. I think I'll make some orange marmalade (which always reminds me of this A.A. Milne poem).

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