Feb 25 2010

Back to Indian Forest

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February 17 – March 3, 2010

Indian Forest Sign, January 2010For two weeks, we're back at Indian Forest Campground near St. Augustine. Time to meet up with Tracy and the girls and check our mail and work on taxes. 

 

We're two sites down from where we stayed in December. This is a nice end spot, so have lots of space. We're on the other side of Don, who has lived in this park for 9 years,  and his dog Tootie. Good Neighbor Don and Tootie, Feb 2010

 

The Live Oaks are in bloom now. We're still getting the occasional nighttime freeze, so I hope they survive this bout of cold weather. 

Live Oaks in bloom with Spanish Moss

 

Don and Jan fishingDon and Jan spent one afternoon fishing in the pond. Didn't catch anything, but it was a good opportunity to sit in the sun. 

View across pond

 

When we stayed at the park in December, Courtney found a collection of "pond" shells on the shore of the pond. Tracy said if the snails from these shells were moving on to find a larger home, then we might not want to hang around the pond. :D

While we were on our travels around Florida, Tracy helped Courtney paint a wood plaque to mount Courtney's "pond" shells. Nice job, Courtney. Courtney and her Pond Shells, Feb 2010


Feb 15 2010

Whispering Pines RV Resort, Silver Springs, Florida

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Whispering Pines RV Park SignWe left Fort Pierce for Silver Springs and the Whispering Pines RV Resort. It's located out of town and surrounded by the Ocala National Forest. It's a nice, small park. The owners are from Switzerland. They're terrific people as are all of the people we've met here. 

On Tuesday before we arrived on Wednesday, the park had 4 inches of rainfall. We had our own private late behind the RV. By Friday, the water had dried up. However, it rained another 1.5 inches on Friday and we once again had lake property. The weather was chilly for our stay. Nights in the low 30s and days in the 40s/50s. 

We went out for a walk around the property on Monday, President's Day, and stopped to play Bean Bag Baseball with a group in the park. What a lot of fun that was! 

We leave on Wednesday, February 17, for the St. Augustine area. Time to check on mail, get the oil changed on the rig, get haircuts, and just catch up with Tracy and the girls. 

 

Whispering Pines Images


Feb 9 2010

Road Runner Travel Resort, Fort Pierce, Florida

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After being out of communication for a week, we decided to go somewhere with phone and internet coverage, not to mention TV. Don hasn't seen TV since Naples, almost a month ago. 

Road Runner Resort SignWe selected Road Runner Travel Resort near Fort Pierce, Florida. It's a nice snowbird park. But it seems more like camping, though no individual fire rings are allowed. They have a group fire ring near the camp store. The store is quite nice and has a wide variety of food, camping and RV supplies. This resort has a tennis court, a small golf course, a pool, and planned activities. There are permanent RVs, park models, and RVs that leave and come back another year. There are also a few like us, that are on the move and stop for a few days, a week, or a month. Golf Course

About 50% of the occupants of this park are from Quebec. From the number of French-Canadians we've talked to here, I hope the last one to leave Quebec turned out the lights. :D

Oh, and Kamahele says, "Dis is da life!" Kamahele1

Road Runner Resort Slideshow


Feb 9 2010

Brighton Seminole Reservation Campground, Florida

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Brighton Seminole Reservation Campground signWe arrived at the Brighton Seminole Reservation Campground on January 31 and departed on February 7. This is still in the Lake Okeechobee area. We had no idea how out of communication we would be. There were no AT&T cell phone towers, so no cell phone service. We did have Internet that was sporadic through our AT&T Internet. I could usually get on every day long enough to check email messages for anything urgent. That was quite a week. No cell phone, no internet, no TV; more rainy days than sunny ones; more chilly days than warm. We called it Area 51 because our cell phone would go dead without being used. 

Our Bounder_Brighton Seminole Reservation CampgroundThe campground was all snowbirds. As usual, we were the only short-timers. However, many of the residences were unoccupied this year; not sure why. There was a Class A, from Illinois, parked next to us. They had been there a month and had been coming down every winter for the past 9 years. He had a bass boat and liked to fish, but he said the fishing wasn't as good as it once was. 

Trading Post / Gas StationBrighton Seminole Reservation Campground had a trading post (mini-mart) and a gas station on property. 

Canal to Lake OkeechobeeWe spent part of one day walking along the canal behind the campground. The trail materials must have been scooped up from somewhere because there were some very nice shells in the road. And we were a long way from the ocean. Shells we found on trail

Another day we decided to walk and find the casino that could have been anywhere between 2 to 11 miles away. We thought it was about 2.5, so decided it would be a nice walk. We walked about 2 miles and saw no sign of the casino, so decided we should turn back. We didn't want to be walking along the road after dark, since we had startled a couple of alligators along the way. On the way out of the park, we found we were only about 1/4 mile from the casino when we turned around. There was a nice ATV trail we could use for our walking trail, but it was soft Florida sugar sand to make the walk a little more difficult. 

There was a ditch filled with water behind our RV. Every night we had a cacophony of bull frogs (for you Big Island readers, that's like coqui frogs on steroids!). Water in ditch

And then on Saturday morning, the day before we left, we heard a yelping dog. We looked around in front of us and didn't see a dog in the campground. Then I looked out the door and there was a white puppy in the middle of the highway behind us. Because of the water in the ditch, we went out and tried to coax it to the driveway of the campground. The puppy eventually decided the easiest way was through the ditch. Then, dripping wet, it went under our RV and Don had to coax it out. We finally got her out and dried her with a towel and then wrapped her in a dry towel to stop her shaking. We took her inside and she and Kamahele got along fine. Gray didn't come out to see what was going on. She was a pit bull (probably a mix) and, in time, was going to be a big dog. She was covered with fleas and ticks, and we were wondering what to do with her. Pit bulls are not allowed in any of the RV parks and we didn't want to spread fleas or ticks inside the RV or to Gray and Kamahele. So we decided to go up to the store to see if anyone had reported a missing dog. We thought it was a long shot since we were sure she was a drop off, even though she appeared well-fed. But she was so timid. We couldn't get her to untuck her tail from between her legs. No one had reported her missing. The Seminole Tribe Police were at the gas station, so we asked them what we could do. Their first comment was to place flyers and then we could keep her. We explained we were leaving the next morning and we couldn't keep her. The police station has a kennel, so they took her to kennel her there. They felt certain she would have a home before she ever needed to leave the police station kennel. She was a cutie. We didn't get a picture of her though because, when we left the RV with her, we didn't really think we'd find a solution that soon. We're hoping she did find a home and feel fairly confident she did because she was still a cute puppy and so cuddly and so forlorn-looking. I still don't know how so many rescue animals end up at our door….

Slideshow – Brighton Seminole Reservation Campground


Feb 9 2010

Aruba RV Resort

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Aruba Resort SignNo, we didn't discover a bridge to Aruba. This Aruba RV Park is on the west side of  Lake Okeechobee at a wide spot on the road called Lakeport. We arrived at Aruba RV Resort on Sunday, January 17, 2010. It's a nice park with nice big sites. Nearly all of the people here are half-year residents and it's a nice little retiree community. The people are all nice and we feel most welcome. They have movie night, water aerobics, shuffleboard tournaments, bean bag tournaments, sightseeing trips, karaoke, and music nights. They have a rec hall, laundry, and a site set aside for picnics, chicken fry, etc. Nearly all the residents ride bicycles or 3-wheel bikes or golf carts. Aruba Residents' golf carts

There's a cafe/bar on property. The sign says "Cafe and Tiki Hut," but someone bought the rights to Tiki Hut, so it's been renamed Aruba Cafe, though everyone will always call it Tiki Hut. They have draft beers for $1.00 and can-beers for $1.25. (Can you tell we're still in shock at the difference in beer prices between Hawaii and here?) The Friday night special was all-you-can eat catfish dinner for $9.95. It was delicious and the serving size was more than either of us could eat. Tiki Hut Sign

Our Bounder - ArubaWe were parked on an "island," between two rows of homes. There are park model homes and others have RVs that they have converted into part-time residences. The Lakeport Canal runs along the property and waterfront residents have boat docks. Nearly everyone has a bass boat and some have airboats. View from rear of Bounder

Lakeport GroceryAcross the road from the park is Lakeport Grocery. We thought we'd check it out in case we needed anything. Everything in it was covered in thick dust. There was a packaged splatter screen hanging on the wall for sale that someone must have used for a bug swatter because there was a squashed roach on the package. They had a lot of used books for sale and not much else. We thought we'd buy a candy bar just because we didn't need anything else, but the store didn't have any candy bars or ice cream bars. Don bought a local paper for 50 cents and the clerk couldn't break a five dollar bill. 

Don on Florida Trail, LakeportWe walked up the highway to the Florida Trail, which is a trail on the dike dividing Lake Okeechobee and the canals. There we saw hawks and more alligators. The biggest alligator we've seen yet was sunning himself along the shore of the canal. One long gator