in Gold Head State Park
Article and Photos by Baron Byrd
assistance from Veronica Byrd
|Getting cooled down at the water
My name is Baron Byrd, but you can call me Road Dog, I am a glossy,
18 pound, min-pin, not quite a year old, and I sure can run real
fast. My person can’t even keep up with me. But she is all right I
decided to keep her, besides she has a drivers license. So let me
tell you about one of our many adventures.
Mike Roess Gold Head State
Park, located in Keystone Heights, Fl. It
is one of Florida�s first state parks, developed on a 2,000-acre
site by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the 1930s. Well
enough of about that.
|That sandy tram trail
I really want to tell you about my adventure, for starters we took a
little road filled with lots of sand they called it a Tram trail.
This tram trail was a narrow gauge railroad owned by Dowling and
Burlington to transport logs and other supplies, it traveled between
Green Cove Springs and Melrose, That was long before I was born,
even before my human, Veronica, was born. I thought it was
absolutely wonderful I sure can get my running paws on there, but my
owner and her mother were traveling on some sort of electric bikes
and they kept getting stuck and sliding all over the sand. They just
couldn’t make it through the whole trail. And so while I was waiting
for them I did a little observing myself.
|Wonder what's up that tree
The park is home to bald eagles, Sherman's fox squirrels, gopher
tortoises, red cockaded woodpeckers, various snakes, hawks, fox, and
numerous songbirds. I didn't see many so I guess maybe a dog running
through their domain scared them off. The time for wildflower
viewing is during Oct.
Well we finally made it off of the tram trail.
|This stream is so refreshing
Next we went to something called a ravine. Veronica told me they
don't have many of these in Florida like they do in North Georgia
where she was living before she had the good fortune to adopt me We
had to trot down what to me seemed like a long staircase, when we
arrived at the bottom the little wooded stream looked so refreshing
and inviting I couldn't resist a swim. Boy I’ll tell you this that
water sure was cool. Too bad my companions didn’t join me for a swim
they really have no idea what they were missing.
It is a great place for humans to cool their feet off
especially if they tried to keep up with me.
|"On the Road Again"
Then we headed back on the road and traveled a short distance to a
water tower, this was built in 1930’s. Water was in such high demand
for the C.C.C. so they had to create this tank and pump system.
|The CCC built water tower
I was a pretty lucky little fellow to be able to stand under it
while my person hosed me off.
|CCC built cabins
As we proceeded to travel on we than approached some cabins, I wish
I could live there, I would be in little doggie heaven, just think
of all the woods and water that I could run and play in all day
long, it couldn’t get any better than that.
|Reading about the Mill Trail
There's even a rough wooded trail Veronica and her mom could not
traverse with those crazy bikes of theirs. They had to park and
walk. All right by me. It gave me more time to sniff things out.
|The steel bridge at the mill trail
They checked the sign that told about an old mill that was there
once while I waded in that nice cool stream under the steel bridge.
Gotta keep your priorities straight.
|The CCC bathhouse
|| Little Lake Johnson swimming beach
||Female Downy Woodpecker
Can you just imagine the old bathhouse in front of Little Johnson
Lake where humans can swim. It was built by the C.C.C. in the
1930’s, these young men had no carpentry experience, but the
bathhouse has been used by thousands and has survived Florida
weather condition. They just don’t build them like they use to.
My owner thinks it‘s peaceful and relaxing, but who has time for all
that. For the humans they can enjoy
bird watching, camping either
outdoors, or in a cabin,
picnicking under pavilions where they have grills where they could
cook one of my favorites, hamburgers, Oh, and restrooms with hot
showers if that’s important to you,
There’s even a play ground for the little human tots.
At night time you can do
some star gazing,
campfire programs and another one of my favorites roasting
Well, we have come to the end of our journey, and as you can see
this is all in a day's work.Now I canenjoy the ride home.
|Nothing like a good nap after a
busy day exploring
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