Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tamiami RV Park, N. Fort Myers, FL.

This morning I phoned the Super Walmart in Punta Gorda, FL to verify if they allowed overnight RV Parking. I was assured that they did and was even told where in the parking lot they preferred we park. So I plugged in the address into the Garmin and we hit the road at 10:00 AM this morning.

When we arrived, I phoned the Super Walmart and this time asked for a manager. She told me that they, meaning Walmart, didn’t mind if we wanted to stay the night, however, it was against the county laws and we might get a knock on the door in the middle of the night by the local police, or worse, get a ticket. She said it all depends on if the police have a slow night, if they do we will be asked to move. Well that didn’t set well with us at all, and we were not going to tempt the police to wake us up in the middle of the night.

I searched on the Garmin, while Gary phoned our destination in Naples. I found a campground just 20 miles that had an over flow area with water and 15 Amp service for just $25.00. Gary found that our destination could not take us a day early.

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Tamiami Village & RV Park, Sunshine Dr., N. Fort Myers.

We all agreed to take the Tamiami RV Park’s over flow sites. Back on the interstate for another hours drive and we arrived only to find the office closed. I’m glad I talked to them before we came as the lady told me where the sites were and we would settle up later.

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Overflow sites are to the right of the office.

The temperature got up to 86 F. today and we really enjoyed the shade the motorhomes made. We sat around talking about the drive today and how lucky we were to find a campground that was not completely full.

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Tomorrow we only have about 30 miles to go to get to our destination. We cannot arrive before noon, so this will be a sleep in morning tomorrow morning. Winking smile

We stayed out and watched the sun set on the Palm Trees and the rest of the RV Park. Then the mosquito’s came out and chased us inside where we had a great supper.

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Tomorrow I will FINALLY get internet connection! Open-mouthed smile I’m really feeling the withdraw pains of not having an internet connection. Can’t wait.

We are all anxious to get to our destination tomorrow. Hopefully we will be able to fall asleep tonight. See you all tomorrow!

So until then, be safe and God Bless.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Last day at O’Leno State Park, High Springs, FL.

It turned out to be a perfect day today. Temperatures in the mid 70’s. We all decided to hike and explore the park on our last day here.

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I picked up some information at the ranger’s station and will share it here.

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Nature & History:

The Natural Land Bridge that spans the distance between River Sink and River Rise provided an easy passage over the Santa Fe River from as early as 7,000 BC. The old Spanish trail and the first federally

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funded road connecting St. Augustine and Pensacola used this crossing.

In the mid 1800s, the town of Leno was founded along the banks of the Santa Fe River just upstream from where the river disappears. The first telegraph linking Florida to the outside world passed through Leno.

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In 1896, the railroad bypassed the tiny town, causing Leno’s inevitable decline. By the turn of the century the settlement was only a memory.

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The old wire road and mill dams are all that remain of this early pioneer town. Acquired in the early 1930s by the Florida Board of Forestry, the park was developed by Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the

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Works Progress Authority primarily for use as a summer forestry camp. Several of the original structures are still standing today.

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O’Leno State Park is located on the banks of the scenic Santa Fe River, a tributary of the Suwannee River.

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The distinctive geological feature of the park is the River sink where the Santa Fe River disappears underground to re-emerge three miles south at River Rise Preserve State Park.

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Numerous sinkhole lakes may be seen from the trails throughout the park. The Limestone Trail guides visitors to an abandoned quarry that played a significant role in providing building materials for construction during the CCC era.

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There are 18 distinct natural communities within O’Leno and River Rise Preserve. These diverse habitats host a variety of wildlife including white-tailed deer, turkey, grey fox, and gopher tortoise.

Reprinted from the O’Leno & River Rise Preserve State Park hand out Pamphlets.

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Wilma does not like bridges, especially hanging bridges. I think you can tell from her stance above as she looks over the hand railing.

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We didn’t cross the bridge and stayed back as the rest of the gang continued exploring.

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We took in the beauty of the park with the Dogwood in full bloom.

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This was our first “long hike to us” and it felt good to accomplish it, especially here at this park.

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The different varieties of Palm Trees are our favorite. Probably for most people from the North!

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We have really enjoyed our stay at this Florida State Park. Our salute goes out to the State of Florida for this beautiful park and we look forward to staying at more state parks in the future.

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We will be leaving in the morning and heading toward Tampa, FL. We all would like to stop south of Tampa at a Wal-Mart for the night. Our travel distance tomorrow should be only about 130 miles or so.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Monday, February 27, 2012

O’Leno State Park, High Springs, FL

We had another great night sleep at the Super Wal-Mart in Lake City, FL. last night. Wilma and I were pretty wore out from the 325 mile ride and we were in bed by 9:00PM. The manager was right when he told me that they have at least a dozen RV’s staying every night! He didn’t tell us there were also a few Semi’s that usually stop. One pulled in within a 100 feet of Joe and Gary around 5:00AM and left his engine running. Both Joe and Diane said it didn’t bother them at all and they had a good night’s sleep also.

By 8:00AM everyone was at our coach going over the plan on where to stay tonight. We didn’t want to drive more than 200 miles today, and that would put us close to Tampa, FL. We made about a dozen calls to various campgrounds, trying to get 3 sites for a night. No luck, as they were all full. Gary then called a state park and found that a park about 20 miles south of us had sites available.

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We originally just wanted one night so we could empty our tanks and take on fresh water, but after we saw our sites and how nice they were we went back to the office and booked another night.

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Gary & Cheryl’s coach with enclosed trailer, entering the park.

Even with the slow drizzle and mild temps in the 60’s, we were excited and loving the weather! Back home we heard that it was in the high 40’s with winds picking up, and the temperature going down into the 20’s. Brrrr.

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What looks like water drops on the window are the white flowers of the dogwood trees.

Tomorrow they are predicting highs in the 80’s with full sunshine! As we are not used to those kind of temperature’s it will probably feel much warmer to us. But I’m sure we will adjust just fine and we are looking forward to it.

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Water and Power hooked up, getting ready to open the slide.

We will be here Monday and Tuesday nights. According to our Garmin, we have about 300 miles to our destination of Naples, FL. That adds up to just 150 miles per day, Wednesday and Thursday, when we are scheduled to check in at San Marino Park in Naples, FL.

Wednesday night we will be staying at a Super Walmart somewhere around Tampa, FL. which is half way from where we are now to our destination in Naples, FL.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lake City, FL. Wal-Mart Stop

Our destination this evening is Lake City, FL Super Wal-Mart. I again early this morning phoned the manager and asked if we could stay the night and where he would like us to park. “Sure you can stay, just look for all the RV’s toward the back of the store parking area, and enjoy your stay”. “We have at least a dozen RV’ers stop for the night every night.”

Off we went after filling up with gasoline, Gary and I knew we had enough to get to our destination. I phoned Joe and told him we were leaving and where we were headed. But we need to all stop in the Florida Welcome Center for a photo. He told me we would meet up on the interstate, which we did.

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The famous sign “everyone” gets their pictures with.

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It’s just about 54 with a 25 MPH Wind. Brrrrr.

We drove about 325 miles today to reach our current destination. Now I understand when I read other RV Blogs about not traveling more than a couple hundred miles in a day! Whew we were tired after today’s run! But the 6 of us arrived safe and sound at the local Super Wal-Mart here in Lake City, FL. Even Joe and Diane are staying for the night. I hope their experience is a good one.

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A couple from Alabama took our this photo

We have all talked about tomorrow and I guess we will be looking for a campground where we can spend a couple nights. One that just has to have wi-fi that’s for sure! We all agreed we won’t be driving for more than a few hours maybe three at the most.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Wal-Mart stop in Calhoun, GA

Today, Saturday the 25 was a windy day to drive, but we had already stayed an extra day in Lexington, KY and were anxious to get out of the cold and into Florida.

I phoned ahead of time and talked to the Manager of Wal-Mart in Calhoun, GA and he explained where he would like us to park for the night. It was at the rear of the building where the shipping docks are located, and he wanted us to not block any Semi- trucks. I thanked him and assured him we would not be in the way of any deliveries and appreciated his hospitality.

Joe and Diane decided they would drive to a campground and spend the night.

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Gary & Cheryl’s coach with us parked behind.

After arriving at Wal-Marts, the four of us just had to go shopping. We all picked up a few items then headed back to eat our dinner. After dinner Gary and Cheryl came over to our coach and we played Euchre. Of course this time the guys beat the gals 3 games to none! Open-mouthed smile And that’s pretty hard to do!

After those three games we all were ready for shut eye. We had a very quiet night, with plenty of parking lot lights lit to keep everyone safe and sound.

Tomorrow we are planning on doing another Wal-Mart in Florida.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Lexington Horse Park Campground

First off today, Feb. 24th., we wish our eldest daughter Angel an Happy 42nd. Birthday! I know she is not going to be happy with me for putting her age down, but I’m sure she will forgive me.

We left home at 1 pm Thursday afternoon, the start of our month long Florida trip. Gary phoned and told us he just got on I-94 at 23 mile road, we would be getting on around the 13 mile road area. I told him I would only do about 50 which would allow him to catch up to us. Somewhere between Detroit and Toledo he caught up.

As we drove into Ohio the skies were getting darker. It was from the storm that we were running away from in Michigan. The weather forecast for Ohio was for rain all night and part of Friday.

We stopped at a Cracker Barrel in Findlay, OH. and talked about how far we wanted to drive. We all agreed we would get South of the storm and into Kentucky. Back on the road there was Lightening flashing to the South. I turned on the weather radio and heard that the storm was packing 40 mph winds with hail! About 20 miles later we drove right into the storm. Had to slow down to 30 mph as the hail pelted us, but we kept rolling. Question now is how do the Truckers keep going 70 mph through weather like that?!

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Above we have the Pilot, below the Co-Pilot

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When the hail hit my Co-Pilot bailed and headed for safety.

Further down the road the storm hit us waves. It would pour then stop then repeat the cycle. We arrived at the Ky. Horsepark campground in a downpour. This made it very difficult to pick out a campsite as there is very little lighting in the campground. But we prevailed and had a great night sleep. We woke this morning to the singing of Morning Doves and Robins. Smile

As I’m writing this blog, Wilma went for a walk and captured a few of the Wild Life here at the park.

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The Robins are in full Courtship today

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As we had our morning coffee, Kybee decided it just wasn’t time yet to get up.

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Joe should be leaving MI this morning and headed for this park. As the winds are gusting to 40 MPH, we are staying here and waiting for Joe. Tomorrow we will head for a Walmart north of Atlanta, GA.

 

Until next time be safe and God Bless.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Snow on it’s way. Time to boogie out of here!

Angel phoned us this afternoon wondering if we heard the news. No..we have been pretty busy getting the Motorhome packed with last minute things, why? She proceeded to tell us she heard that there is a snow storm heading our way. So at 5pm this evening we sat watching the news and weather while we ate our dinner.

According to our local weather forecasters we are going to get 4 or more inches of snow. The storm should start Thursday evening continuing through the night, and by Friday morning rush hour we will be in a mess. This was when we were planning on leaving for our trip to Florida!

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These pictures today are from the snow storm back in 2008.

I got out the weather radio and tuned it in to our area. They are calling for 6 or more inches by Friday morning! YIKES! I made a phone call to Gary who lives 50 miles north of us. Cheryl said they are predicting 6 to 8 inches for them and that they are pulling out a day early, meaning Thursday to beat the snow. Then I called Joe, our friend just south of us that is also going. He isn’t ready and won’t be able to leave until Friday morning. I warned him about the snow that’s being forecasted but he doesn’t seem to be too worried.

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Not me…I’m leaving! Wilma and I have been working all day putting the last items in the Motorhome, all that’s left is a handful of clothes, some “get pretty in the morning” items and that’s it. Oh yes, can’t forget the dog food! Smile

So it looks like we will be pulling out of here in the early afternoon tomorrow. I want to be South of Detroit before the afternoon rush hour. Probably stopping somewhere North of Dayton, OH. for the night. I now have to get on Google and find us a campground that will be open in Northern Ohio, or at least a Wal-Mart.

Florida Sunshine Here We Come!

Until next time, be safe and God bless.

Monday, February 20, 2012

GPS - Social Security and Spring Flowers

Last week Gary, my best friend since 5th. grade, stopped by for me to help him update his new Garmin GPS. I was bragging to him a couple weeks ago about my Garmin and I think it made him want one for himself.

Knowing that I have already updated mine, along with adding some special points of interest (POI) he wanted me to give him advice on how to do it.

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Gary lives in the country and only can get dial up internet, way too slow to upload any map updates. It took me an hour at least to upload mine a couple weeks ago on my cable connection. We started uploading his map updates, and 5 hours later it completed the upload! I just knew something wasn’t right as it should not have taken that long to upload. We then proceeded to update his GPS and for some reason the program said there was a problem and to contact the techs at Garmin. We put it all away, had some dinner, and played a little Euchre, which the girls beat us 2 games to 1. (We men keep close track who are the better players). Crying face

The next day Gary phoned me in the early afternoon with an update on his GPS. Seems that he was on the phone for 2.5 hours with the techs at Garmin. Final conclusion is that his GPS is updated with only some small minor map changes, and that his Vista laptop is restricting the downloads and blocking the update to be transferred to the GPS. Gary did mention that he may have  messed up Vista by deleting some programs and files he didn’t want when his laptop was fairly new. I asked him if he “deleted or un-installed the programs”. He deleted them. Ooops. I guess we will have to get him fixed up after our Florida trip. He said most everything else works so we can work on it when we all get back from Florida.

Have I told you how mild our Winter has been for us so far here in Michigan?  Knocking on wood here! Tina was over for a visit yesterday and noticed that our Spring flowers are pushing through the ground.

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I just hope we don’t get any snow until AFTER this Friday, as that is the day we are leaving for our month long trip to Naples, Florida.

Wilma reminded me that I still have to go to the Social Security Office to apply for S.S. So this morning I’m off to their office to apply. I should start receiving checks soon as I turn 62 this May. 62! Holy Cow I’m getting old! After returning from the S.S. Office I’ll resume packing the Motorhome with “stuff” for our trip. It’s still too cold at night to put any liquid food items in it, but that will come by Thursday when I will have the Motorhome “un-winterized”.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.