Out of the back woods
Dec 9, 2017
|12/02/2017 made it to Salt Springs Recreation Area off Highway 19 in the Ocala National Forest at about 2 pm today. We had nice weather for traveling and traffic was not bad at all. We got backed into our site with no problem and got everything leveled and hooked up. Our friends from VT (Jan and Cary) live almost across the road at Salt Springs Village and they invited us over for a lasagna dinner. We quickly found out cell service here is spotty to non existent. Dinner was out of this world awesome good! After a nice visit we returned to the RV and and called it a day. The moon was out brightly, wow how beautiful.
12/03/2017 we spent most of the day exploring the park and also took a trip into town for groceries. Palatka is about 25 minutes away and has big stores like Walmart and Publix. The park we are in is very rural. It is not at all like the concrete jungles of Orlando etc that most of us think of when we think of Florida. We picked up some bbq pork at Sonny’s while in Palatka. We returned to the park, managed to find room for all the groceries, had a late lunch, and checked out the springs in the park. The area is huge and the 72 degree water comes up out of the ground constantly at something like 19 million gallons a day! It is crystal clear and there are many such springs here in Florida. We saw many fish, lots of birds including an eagle, lots of squirrels, and also a deer. We have not seen any bear yet but the park ranger was quick to explain they do come through and rules posted about food items left out, and proper care disposing of trash were very important. Night time provided a beautiful star filled and moonlit sky.
12/04/2017 Jan and Carrie took us to De Leon Springs (about 40 minutes away) for breakfast. The table had seating for 4, with a griddle in the middle. Pancake batter, eggs, French toast fixings were provided for us to cook. The restaurant cooked and served bacon etc and kept the coffee cup full. Ahh, another wonderful meal. De Leone springs is as awesome as our parks springs and it is almost beyond imagination to see that much water coming up out of the ground. We then took an hour longboat tour down the river and saw many birds, some gators, and turtles. We caught a couple glimpses of some manatees too! In the evening back at Salt springs in the late evening, there were several fish (mullet I believe) putting on a jumping show. They were about 20 inches long and the would jump out of the water several times in a row. They would launch themselves from the water in an arc that appeared to be about 4 feet long and maybe about 2 feet out of the water at the highest point. They would land with a resounding kersplash!
12/05/2017 we were treated to a 4 hr pontoon boat ride around little and big lake Kerr courtesy of Jan’s brother Louie. Another awesome day!
12/06/2017 we enjoyed the wonderful weather yet again. In the afternoon we went back to the springs and Tom went swimming for a bit. Tom said he was out of shape and tired quickly from his mile long swim .... then we paced it off only to find it was maybe 50 yards total!!! LOL, but not bad for one that swims like an old dog. More practice needed, but ya gotta start somewhere. Best of all it was so refreshing. Cary and Jan came over in the evening for a wonderful bbq chicken, baked beans, and pasta salad meal prepared by chef Deb. It is another star filled sky tonight. Hard to imagine that tomorrow we will need to start preparing for Friday mornings departure. We will be heading to Orange City.
12/07/2017 It was a cooler misty day, we got everything ready for tomorrow’s trip to orange city and relaxed a bit Went out to backwoods bbq with Jan and Cary for dinner, wow what a meal. Sure nice to have local friends that know the good places to eat.
12/08/2017. Fueled the bus and car and got them hooked up on our first try. We are learning! The trip to orange city was short (about 1.25) hrs. The park was pretty full and it was the first time Tom backed the coach into our spot when there were cars trucks and other rv’s so close by. We used our walkie/talkies and took our time. The first try we started turning a little to far back, so we repositioned, and second try was a perfect success. Whew, Tom said! Time for a cold beer now! We got settled and then Jack (we bought the coach from jack and Loretta) came over for a visit. We later went to their house for dinner and a movie and a nice visit. Temps here are in the low 80’s.
12/09/2017. The rain overnight also brought cooler weather (55ish). Wow what a change! Spent the morning catching up on emails. We have been invited back to Jack and Loretta’s this evening. They are having bingo and a meal at the club house in their community. Great evening all around. Back at home base settling in for a cool winter night temp’s are dipping down to mid thirties tonight, but sunshine and mid fifties tomorrow. We plan to meet with Jack and Loretta for a run over to Blue Springs to see the manatee’s coming in. When the weather dips down they move into all the local springs in the area as the water temperatures range in the mid seventies. Good night for now, sorry for such a lengthy post, backwoods and no WiFi made it hard to post sooner....
Travel safe to all our new and old friends out on the road...