Earlier, I had begun telling about when I took the wife to the Okefenokee Swamp. But it's taken a while. And I'm not leading up to any great revelation or anything, I'm just telling what happened and what all popped into my head in the process. Sort of like every other post you read here.
Anyway, in Part I, I told a little about how this area used to be underwater, and that the water table is high. In other words, perfect for a swamp.
In Part II, I didn't add much, other than the Okefenokee Swamp is a big deal to those who live near there.
Now, we're actually getting to the trip.
First, let my tell you about my first trip to the Okefenokee. If I'm remembering correctly, I was a pre-teen. Anyway, the six of us (parents, sisters, me) went there one day. I think we all six went. If any missed it, too bad. I was more concerned with my having a good time. And if one of the others disappeared into the swamp ... oh well.
The things I remember the most were a boat ride through the swamp. It was one of those slow moving boats and the water was black. Just like you sometimes see in the movies. Only this was real. I remember a sign that said "Mirror Lake" only that's not what it said. It was written upside-down and backwards. And, if you looked into the water at the reflection of the sign, you could read it. That will impress a pre-teen.
The other think I remember was feeding Mountain Dew to a raccoon. Next to the sidewalk, they had a bunch of animals in cages -- I don't know why, maybe they were moving them, maybe that's how they kept them -- and one of them was a raccoon. There were more than one raccoon, but I'm talking about one in particular. I suspect there was a sign that said "Do Not Feed The Animals" that I either didn't see or that I ignored. I don't know which. But I had been drinking a Mountain Dew in a bottle.
Remember the old Mountain Dew bottles? They had a drawing of a hillbilly opening a jug with "XXX" on it or something, and the cork was shooting off and putting a hole in his hat. Anyway, I was drinking a Mountain Dew and saw the raccoon and the raccoon saw me and had that "Hey, I'm thirsty and I sure could go for some of that Mountain Dew" look on his face. Since I was nearly done, or since the bottle of Mountain Dew was not as cold as it was (and warm Mountain Dew is not fun!), I decided to share. And the raccoon was appreciative. He didn't say anything, but you could tell. His taking the bottle and turning it up and drinking everything in it and then licking out the inside as far as he could, that gave me a clue. Anyway, he wanted more but I didn't have any more. So he did without. Just like I did after I realized I didn't have anything else to drink.
Anyway, those two memories stayed with me and I knew I'd go back there again one day. And I did. Only, it was a long, long time later. About 25 or more years later, in fact. I took my son and one of my nephews over there. They had a pretty good time. It cost more than I realized it would, but, like I said, they had a good time. But I didn't see any cages of raccoons to feed. Or any Mountain Dew in the bottle.
And, even later, I went back again. That third trip was the one I took the wife on. Maybe I'll get around to telling that story soon.