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A Cold but Great Iche Nippy Dip 2018

 

Yes it was cold, but no one complained, and once the initial plunge was past, it was totally exhilarating.  Recent previous cold days may have played a role in the low attendance this year, and perhaps the flu also.

Totally fearless and fully ready for anything, perennial & habitual dipper Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson strides toward her 2018 Dip Destiny. She has not missed a single dip.

The double dip, immediately deemed “dip-shifts” by the agile-minded, barely materialized, and was certainly not needed, although the name is fun, and we would hate to see it go away.

Father and son Kinards. Wayne runs Amigos Dive Center near the park, and is a true friend of the rivers and springs. He does cleanups of the Santa Fe and cares for the environment.

But the park was ready for the crowds!   Never have we seen so many park rangers in one place.  All in good humor and dressed in their finest,  a fitting example for Florida’s excellent state park system, not yet ruined by those who would try.

Friends of the Ichetucknee were there in force, as was the tent with hot coffee and cocoa, so very welcome after the dip.  And this year was the addition of fine chili, for the first time and we hope not the last.  As was the bonfire, a gathering place for the recently-dipped, where we sat in the wood smoke, savoring the warmth and letting it saturate our clothes.

Greeting old friends and meeting new, gathered all for a like purpose at  a unique and special place on this planet.  A rare experience, shared by like-minded good people, whose following generations may not have this opportunity.

 

Bob Knight of Florida Springs Institute, and Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, Organizer for Sierra Club. Both participated in the first dip.

And the spring was ready for the dippers.  Easy access with new concrete steps.  Pristine and transparent, still replenished from our aquifer, flowing less and more laden with nitrates, but in this year of our lives, still welcoming and furnishing a cleansing plunge like nothing else.

For this we celebrate our spring.

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