Stop 1 – Laura Walker State Park

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CJ enjoying her breakfast outside our first stop, the Waycross Walmart.

By The Rikker

After getting an 8:00pm departure out of Atlanta on Sunday night, we arrived at our first destination around 1:30am: the Wal-Mart in Waycross, GA. The overnight low was 26 degrees so it was a cool night in the trailer with no heat.  The good news is that the freezing temperature inside the trailer motivated us to get an early start. After breakfast and grocery shopping we arrived at our first park, Laura Walker State Park, which abuts the Okefenokee Swamp. We had our morning coffee and watched the kids chase after dozens of Tree Swallows who were flying around us in search of their morning meal.

After lunch we took the kids on a 1.5 mile hike and while we didn’t see any wildlife we did observe a lot of scat (Liam insisted upon looking at every dropping with his magnifying glass) as well as a gopher tortoise burrow. Along the way, Liam learned that 250 species use abandoned gopher tortoise burrows for shelter.

Later in the afternoon we met the campground hosts, Matthew and Celeste, who are related to a friend of ours. They’ve been living in their RV full time with their two kids for the past 4 years. They were kind enough to invite us over to their Airstream to see their set up and let us pepper them with questions over beer.

Unfortunately, we were sad not to have been in Atlanta for the UGA game, but I think Rick felt slightly better about missing it after the Dawgs heartbreaking loss.

Next on the itinerary, paddling in the Okefenokee Swamp!

(Above clockwise: Laura S Walker was naturalist and our first stops’ namesake, Rick and the kids paddling in the Okefenokee, our only gator sighting and he was checking out the nativity scene, Liam showing off some of the huge pine cones he found, one of the many tree swallows that were zooming right past us as we sat by the lake, and finally, our campsite!)

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