Thoughts About Our Next Outdoor Trip: Stephen C. Foster State Park

Today I find myself in a most peculiar situation.  It is a Tuesday and I have a day off from work due to working both days of the past weekend.  With that in mind, my wife decided to take a half day off from work so that the two of us could go out and enjoy the afternoon together.  In the shadow of our 21st Anniversary (November 3), I am further reminded of just how special she is and how blessed I am.  Yes...blessed indeed!

Since we will only have about a half a day to spend, I decided to pursue something relatively close to our home.  Two nearby state parks came to mind:  Suwannee River State Park (Live Oak, Florida) or Stephen C. Foster State Park (Fargo, Georgia).  In case you were unaware, Stephen C. Foster penned the famous song "Old Folks at Home" aka Swanee River.  He is also credited for other favorites such as:  "Oh! Susanna" and "Camptown Races".  Both state parks are about an hours drive from our home, but since we have previously visited the Suwannee River State Park, Stephen C. Foster won out.  There are many more details that factored into our decision, but I'll save those for our post trip blog article/slide show.

I have two cameras that I utilize for keeping our memories alive.  My digital camera is the Sony Cybershot DSC-W120 (7.2 Mega pixel).  While it takes great pics and video outside, I find it to be less than stellar for inside shots.  Other than that, I have no complaints what so ever.  It is easy to use, upload, and carry.  If I had to rate my camera, I'd give it 4 out of 5 stars.  How about you?  What kind of camera do you use?

My digital video camera of choice is the Toshiba Camileo S20.  I haven't had a whole lot of experience with this camera so I am limited as to what I can tell you.  Thus far, however, I have found it to be adequate for our purposes.  I chose this camera specifically based on cost and size.  I also like the feature that allows you to upload directly to YouTube from the camera.  Though it also takes still pictures, I have yet to utilize that function.  The battery life seems very good and it is extremely portable.  For a novice, this camera seems to be a great fit.  4 out of 5 stars for this video camera.

As for my hiking companions (other than my wife and son), I have two miniature dachshunds that enjoy the trails as much, if not more, than us.  Just as many others will declare, our dogs are special and where ever we go, they are just happy to be there with us.  I must confess, however, that I am somewhat concerned at times about those tiny little legs having to keep up.  So far, other than their tongues dragging the dirt along with their bellies, they have been up for every challenge.  They provide great company!

My trail shoes are the New Balance 646.  I purchased these because of my experience with New Balance in the past.  These particular pair provide a great deal of stability for me, particularly laterally.  Since I am a carrying much more weight than I ought (big-no skinny jeans here), I need the lateral support that these shoes provide.  They are also very comfortable and have very good traction.  In addition to a reasonable price of about $75.00, the fact that they are also water resistant was very appealing in the decision making process.  To date, I have no complaints about the shoes and I'd give them a 5 out of 5 star rating.

So that's about it for my pre-trip post.  If you don't mind taking the time to comment, I'd appreciate it.  In the meantime, I'll be enjoying Life Outside My Door and preparing a post-trip post and slide show.

The Swanee River(Old Folks at Home)
Written by Stephen C. Foster

Way down upon de Swanee Ribber,
Far, far away,
Dere's wha my heart is turning ebber,
Dere's wha de old folks stay.
All up and down de whole creation
Sadly I roam,
Still longing for de old plantation,
And for de old folks at home.
All de world am sad and dreary,
Eb-rywhere I roam;
Oh, darkeys, how my heart grows weary,
Far from de old folks at home!
2nd verse
All round de little farm I wandered
When I was young,
Den many happy days I squandered,
Many de songs I sung.
When I was playing wid my brudder
Happy was I;
Oh, take me to my kind old mudder!
Dere let me live and die.
3rd Verse
One little hut among de bushes,
One dat I love
Still sadly to my memory rushes,
No matter where I rove.
When will I see de bees a-humming
All round de comb?
When will I hear de banjo strumming,
Down in my good old home?

**For more info about these lyrics, click here.



  1. Hi Sonny - I totally understand the struggle to find the right camera. We've been really, really pleased with our new camera: Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-TX10. My husband is a kayaker, so we needed one that could take a lot of hits and do well in the water. We took it to Costa Rica with us and it held up like a champ and takes the best pics indoors and outdoors of any camera I've ever had.

  2. Thanks for your comment. I am finding out just how much of a novice that I am with my camera. Lately, I've been experiencing with different settings and I've spent some time reading photography tips. I'm grateful for the Cyber-Shots ease of use and it's durability - I can't tell you how many times I've dropped it.


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