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The two RV Gypsies went to
Blue Spring State Park
in Orange City, Florida
and enjoyed a St. Johns River Cruise with friends
November 1, 2014
Florida showing approximate location of Blue Spring State Parkmap showing the location of Blue Spring State Park in Florida

Blue Spring State Park is a state park located west of Orange City, Florida. The park is a popular tourist destination. Available activities include canoeing, SCUBA diving, Kayaking, fishing, camping, hiking, wildlife watching, and swimming.

The spring is the largest on the St. Johns River and serves as the winter home of many Florida manatees that come up the St. Johns to bask in the relatively warm waters (constant 72 Fahrenheit) of the springs.

Over 100 million US gallons of water flow out of Blue Spring into the St. Johns River every day.

Blue Spring State Park sign St. Johns River Cruise sign

history bookThe spring and surrounding land was acquired by the Thursby family in the mid-19th century and a large plantation-style home was built upon a shell mound on the property. The area seemed to be excellent for cultivation of citrus fruit, and a small railway was built linking Orange City to the dock at Blue Spring. Ultimately, the Florida East Coast Railway was constructed not far from the present-day park. A killing freeze occurred in the 1890s, wiping out area citrus groves and driving the industry south. The Thursbys switched to the tourist trade, taking advantage of the beautiful spring and excellent fishing and hunting opportunities along the St. Johns River.

The park was acquired by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in 1972 to kick-start its Manatee Protection Program.

The shaft in the photo below once turned a paddlewheel on the steamboat Fannie Dugan, a side-wheeeler in the late 1800s.

steamboat fossiil sign
steamboat fossiil s

The two RV Gypsies plus their good friends, Dee Dee and Forrest Pierce and their daughter Judy went on a St. Johns River Cruise in Blue Springs State Park. The tours run daily at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. The two-hour narrated nature and ecological cruise on the beautiful and historic St. Johns River was very nice and informative, but it was not manatee season, so all everyone got to see was a lot of birds.

cafe at Ble Spring State Park
the cruise boats

laughing clipart dudeKaren Duquette took a photo of everyone. Dee Dee Pierce gave Lee Duquette a big salute.

Dee Dee, Lee Duquette, Forest, Judy
Dee Dee gives Lee a big salute

On the boat and ready to go!

On the boat and ready to go
Karen Duquette, Judy, DD, abd Foirest

Does the sign below mean that there is ONLY ONE alligator around?

alligator sign
St. Johns River scenery
St. Johns River scenery
St. Johns River scenery
birds in the St. Johns River
bird flying over St. Johns River

Birds are really good at camouflage. There are birds in most of these photos, but some are definitely hard to see, like the birds in these first two photos below.

bird on a log
bids in a tree
bird flying
birds flying
birds flying
birds flying
birds flying
bird flying

It's a beautiful day
The scenery along the way was very pretty and relaxing!

an inlet on the St. Johns River
swamp on the St. Johns River

A turtle on a log

3 ducks in the water

A turtle on a log
3 ducks inб═the water
laughing chipmunk animated

Even though it was a beautiful day, and everyone enjoyed the trip, it was very cold - almost cold enough for teeth to chatter.

Judy and DD
Judy and DD

The cruise did provide blankets for everyone, but it was still cold.

Karen Duquette a cold monster
St. Johns River
bird at St. Johns River

Karen Duquette photographed the houseboat
because she liked the slide.

A fish swimming under the water.

houseboat and slid
sign about Blue Spring State Park
painted manatee statue
sign about the history of Blue spring

After the cruise, it was dinner time. J.C's Lobster Pot had good food.

J.C's Lobster pOt
Forest Pierce

Love itA skeleton in the motorcycle's side-car.

A skeleton in the motorcylc's side-car.
A skeleton in the motorcylc's side-car.
A skeleton in the motorcylc's side-car.
A skeleton in the motorcylc's side-car.
A skeleton in the motorcylc's side-car.
Menu for the two RV Gypsies in Florida
October 23 - November 1, 2014
You may visit these 11 sections in any order you choose.

Jacksonville, Jacksonville Landing and dolphins

Friendship Park, Jessie Ball Dupont Park
and the famous Live Oak Tree

Pecan Park RV Resort in Jacksonville and alligators

Jacksonville Beach

Fernandina Beach / Amelia Island Lighthouse

St. Augustine Pier and Lighthouse

Fort Matanzas National Monument

St. Augustine Sculpture Garden at Lakeside Park

Suwannee River Rendezvous RV Park in Mayo, FL

canoeing the Suwannee River in Mayo, FL

Blue Spring State Park and St. Johns River Cruise (this page)

look below

go to the next adventure of the two RV GypsiesAFTER you have seen all of the above sections, please continue on to the Norwegian Getaway radio station cruise to the Caribbean.