BY: PATRICIA SICKLES Today was an extraordinarily hot day – even by Florida standards. I gazed out at the St. Johns River from the oversize porch of the River Park Inn Bed & Breakfast. From the porch I can see the mighty St. Johns River, the open air gazebos in the park, the main opening of the spring, the kids splash park, and my personal favorite; the newly constructed Spring Park Swimming Pool. I could hardly contain myself while I thought what a great day this is going to be with swimming, fishing and a relaxing in the park. As I scanned the Spring Park I was searching for the fresh cool breeze that usually blows off the river and greets me as I open the front door. There is no breeze today as it is late August in Florida. I don’t mind days like this since I know my salvation from the heat is only a few steps away. I look to my left to see if the spring fed pool is busy; this is the refreshing escape from the heat that I am looking for. I think to myself how relaxing and refreshing a swim in the temperate mineral water the spring will be. I even imagine my achy back and knees may feel better after a swim. The healing powers of the spring have been known since the 1870’s. The 78 degree mineral water is loaded with healing power much like taking a natural Epsom Salt bath; which is exactly what I need today. The water bubbles out of the spring and flows directly into the pool before making its way out to the main river. Today the pool is not busy since all of the kids have just gone back to school. I will have the pool all to myself. I get my things together and take a scenic walk along the river through the park before making my way down to the pool area. On the way I can’t help but think how lucky I am to start my day with an introspective walk along the beautiful river and finish with a cooling dip in the pool. I soak in the pool until my fingers prune. Even then I find it hard to pull myself out as I can’t stop watching an Egret, Ibis and Heron fish for their lunch in the spring as it runs to the river. This truly is old Florida at its finest and most relaxing. Please consider using River Park Inn as your home base as you explore and enjoy the natural beauty of Green Cove Springs in Clay County Florida this Autumn. Our location is convenient to Jacksonville and the Oldest City, St. Augustine.