Sunday, May 9, 2010

Snapshot: Leon Sinks

In an effort to post more often, I'm doing what I discussed here. I've decided to be a little cutesy and sort of name types of posts a little. So this is called "snapshots". PLEASE comment or something if you've got a better name. Thank you.

So here's my latest:

I lived for a short amount of time in Tallahassee, Florida. Although it's the capital, it's not what you'd call touristy as much of northern Florida isn't. Topographically, a lot of northern Florida isn't really what people generally think of when they think of Florida: there are lots of hills, pine trees, and, at least around Tallahassee, few of those endless, white, sandy beaches that grace "normal" Florida. And nothing even remotely Disneyfied--in fact, I don't even think there's a Disney store at the mall.

I've actually talked a little about this before so instead of writing endlessly about the amazing geography of Florida, I'll just briefly mention that there are a lot of sinkholes in the northern part of the state.

Just a few miles south of Tallahassee is a park called Leon Sinks. A short drive from Capital Circle, Tallahassee's ring road brings you to an easy to miss turn-off with a small sign pointing to Leon Sinks. Like many parks in the area, parking/visiting costs a few dollars but it's sort of honor system--no parking attendants. Technically you're supposed to put a hangy-thing on your rear-view mirror but I never saw anyone check for them. The park itself is pretty much right off the road--you're already in the wilderness.

Of the park itself, I remember a long walking trail that loops around offering a nice walk of maybe two or three miles. I think? Some of that is on wooden walkways because of the sinkholes and the fact that some of them are basically lakes or something. So anyway, the picture above is one of the water-filled sinkholes. It's not very large but I honestly have no idea how deep the water is. It's my understanding that the worn-away rock that essentially creates the sinkholes creates a vast network of caves and tunnels underground. I know I read about some exploring of those caves and I must look for details because it was interesting. Really.

What else can I say about Leon Sinks and sinkholes? Although I clicked on this picture randomly, it's actually one of my favorites because of the way the sky is reflected in the water. Although it's possible to see alligators there, I never did and I'm not sure if I'm disappointed or not. Despite the threat of alligators, walking through the park was peaceful, serene, tranquil, and just about any other synonym you might think of. The light breeze ruffles the green leaves, the sun gently warms without beating down (except in the summer, I think), and, as far as I can tell, it's rarely crowded.

Warning, after all that happy, floaty talk, I'm about to sound insane. Maybe it's just me, but Leon Sinks and the places like it around northern Florida seem just the tiniest bit sinister. Part of it is that the Earth could literally, like, yawn up a gaping hole at pretty much any time. Not that it's likely (I hope) but it is possible. And while I think there are sinkhole/lakes with swimming and boating access, the lakes seem the tiniest bit bottomless-pitesque to me. I know they're not bottomless even if they are part of a major cave network. And Loch Ness which totally has sinister connotations and caves etc. scares me not at all. I just think it's awesome.

So, does anyone think the lake looks nice? Peaceful? Scary? Jekyll? Hyde? I just can't decide.

Next up: a contest, a post on New Jersey (yes, really), the rest of BSC in the USA, and Yosemite. Hopefully all this month. I'm working on being motivated.


  1. TINIEST bit sinister? They are downright creepy. I kind of like them, though. I also love the name Leon Sinks for some reason.

  2. Okay, fine. Downright creepy. They are pretty awesome, though. Really. And you should marry a guy with the last name Sinks (if there is one somewhere), have a son, and name him Leon. That's what I'd do. Maybe.

  3. Wow, I've never heard of these, but they sound awesome. I just happened upon your blog - nice to meet you :)