Withlacoochee as the Last Hurrah...

Last week, we had dinner with our friends Chad and Amy celebrating mutual birthdays and mentioned to Chad that we would be in the Crystal River area looking to do a longer day hike, for our our final practice hike. He mentioned the caves in the Withlacoochee state forest and directed us to a 14 mile loop that accessed the Dames Cave complex. 

I know so little about Florida.  

Dry caves. 37 discovered within an hour and a half of the house. What have I been doing?  

Get there if you haven't. It's so very cool. Well, don't get there now. Now it's a bit hot. It's a bit tick-y. And it's a bit Florida in the summer.  

The caves, however, were cool and they were cool. 

Henry stood nervously at the mouth of the first cave mouth we came upon, Girl Scout Cave. But as soon as we crawled in we lifted the lid of his imagination and wonder. "What's beyond that narrow squeeze?" We all enjoyed the exploring (except for Monica) , but Henry most of all.

Unfortunately, our good friends, the Ewerts, gave Henry a lightweight harmonica for the trip. Their friendship status now hangs in the balance dependant on how quickly Henry turns the corner in his talent. Currently he is as committed to the effort as he is bad in application. Bad harmonica, is bad to walk to. Here is to Henry's rapidly improving in skill.

The grand silver lining at the end of the hot day was a cool spring. We took Monica's sister, Shannon up on a long standing offer to stay at their Crystal River condo. The day finished well, and the morning brought a couple of manatee.

It was a great way to finish (And made for a fun video).