Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Hokie O Swamp

Sometime in the past week, I was in conversation about our trip to the Okefenokee Swamp with the fam.  We lovingly refer to it as the "Hokie O Swamp" because that is what Alex (then 2 yrs old) called it at the time. The boys were so little, they maybe only know and remember the trip by hearing about it and seeing photos of our weekend in the swamp.  Nowhere has this trip been recorded, except in our memories...this is my version.  There are others. :)
In August 2005, we spent a weekend at the Stephen C. Foster State Park in South Georgia, an entrance into the Okefenokee Swamp.  (As a note to someone thinking of visiting the swamp, please consider another month for your visit.  It was blazing hot!  And, I love hot, but this was a crazy hot kind of thing.)  Our family of four, plus my brother-in-law and his wife, were down for the weekend.  We rented two motor boats, purchased $3 straw hats in the gift shop, and headed out onto the black waters filled with crocodiles...in the middle of the afternoon.
The beauty of the swamp is its creepiness.  I felt as if there were beady little eyes of all sized critters just waiting for an opportunity to seize a victim an innocent visitor to their homeland.  The trees, the spiderwebs housing the mammoth sized spiders, the bird calls, the silently moving gators, the black water concealing its contents...it all plays into the beauty of the Okefenokee.
As we traveled over the water, following the trail of my in-laws' boat, dodging trees and ducking under webs that spiders built between the trees, the boys both fell asleep.  Alex was on Scott's lap and Tim on mine...the middle of a hot afternoon, add in the constant soothing sound of of the motor...who could blame them for snoozing?
After being in the boat for quite awhile, we saw a dock that we could pull up to and get out and at least stand on to stretch.  Sounded like a wonderful idea.  As I reached for the dock with my hand to steady myself as I stepped up, this Goliath sized spider scurries right in front of me.  I did not get out of the boat.  None of us did.  That's how big that spider was.  I no longer cared that my legs and back were cramped.  I was no longer concerned about the gators in the water.  I felt safer in the boat on the water with them than anywhere near that dock.
A sleeping 1 yr old Tim.
Some time later, I decided to begin a movie clip to document our trip through the swamp.  Just as I am beginning to document when and where we are, something is taking place behind me with Scott's maneuvering the boat.  In a matter of seconds, still videoing, I find myself on my back in our boat, watching a spider-filled web about to go over my head.  The video clip on my camera only allowed for a 30 second movie...it ended a few seconds short as I fell backwards into the boat, so it missed the laughter and the slight panic as that web went over my head.  To this day, I still am not for sure what went wrong, but I do believe we were going too fast around all of these trees and something went wrong with the attention of the one steering us, bringing me head on into the brush along the edge of the swamp.  I am ever so thankful that the brush came at me headfirst and not sideways...landing in the water would not have been a good ending to the story.  I would have lost my camera.  :)
We still laugh about that moment when Scott knocked me over in the boat.  The boys love to tell their own version of the story, too...I end up overboard every time, which I think is funny.
It was a good, hot, adventurous getaway.
I'd go again to the Hokie O Swamp, but I'm driving the boat next time!
When I saw this photo after our ride, I laughed and laughed !


video

2 comments:

  1. how funny that you end up overboard! lol I'm sure you have a great time and it looks like a wonderful place to visit. thanks for sharing a walk with us!

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  2. I don't think that place is for the faint of heart...or for those of us who hate spiders! Not to mention crocodiles!!!! Yikes!

    But it sounds like you have fond memories of the adventure! (:>)

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