A Change Of Plans - Wednesday - January 29, 2014

Wednesday  -  January 29, 2014

This morning, we were suppose to head to Midway Campground about 200 miles south. The main reason we wanted to go Midway was to ride bikes at Shark Valley and hike a couple birding trails. 

Well, we woke to the cold and rain that was predicted here until Friday. However, when we checked the weather at Midway, it was raining there and not suppose to clear up there until Saturday. It just didn’t make sense to drive 200 miles to sit in the rain. We can do that here, have internet connection, save the diesel money and be closer to our next reservation on Sunday ;0)

29h - Fireworks

One of the really nice thing about E. G. Simmons is they don’t take reservations.  So once you get a site, you can extend your time for up to 14 days.  After that, if they still have open sites, you can extend for an additional 14 days.  If you pay for 28 days when you first arrive, you are guaranteed and additional 28 days at a time up to 128 days.  So you could spend 4 months if you wanted to!!!  We only wanted four additional days which was not a problem.
It was too cold and damp to do much outside, so we decided to use our newly purchased Florida State Park Pass and go check out some State Parks in the area.  There are three parks fairly close to E. G. Simmons:  Alafia River SP, Little Manatee River SP & Lake Manatee SP.


We headed east from E. G. Simmons (E) to Alafia River SP (B).

00 - map


Entrance to Alafia State Park01 - Alafia - Entrance

Alafia, pronounced al-a-fie, covers 6000 acres.

We entered at the Ranger Station entrance.00b - Park Map

After talking with the wonderful park ranger, we turned to the right to see the Campground.

The campground has 2 loops, one with 12 sites the other with 18 sites.

The sites are large, well spaced, paved with water and 50amp electric hookups!!

The bath house with showers is located between the two loops.00e - Alafia Campground Map

There are back-in and pull-thru sites.02 - Alafia - Campground

Our favorite site is Site 4, the only site with a view of the pond:o))03 - Alafia - Campground - Site 4

From the campground, we drove down to the Picnic and Bicycle Trail Head area.04 - Alafia - Picnic and Bike Trail Area

It is very well maintained with excellent maps and trail head markers.

Alafia River State Park will definitely go on our campgrounds to visit list!!


Our next stop was little Manatee River State Park (C).00 - map

We headed south and then east along route 674.

At the intersection of Rt 674and 301 at Sun City Center,
we stopped at Super Wal-Mart to pick up a few things.


Turning south on Rt 301,
we had a short drive to Little Manatee River State Park.
05 - Little Manatee River SP - Entrance

After receiving a park map from a less than enthusiastic Volunteer,

we headed down the park road to the Canoe Launch.
06 - Little Manatee River SP MAP

The Canoe Launch was a beautiful area.

06b - Little Manatee River SP- Canoe Launch Area06c - Little Manatee River SP- Canoe Launch Area

Next stop… The Campground06d - Little Manatee River SP- Campground

There are 34 sandy sites with water and 50amp electric. However, the sites are small and much closer together. In our opinion, the campground was less than impressive.  A better option for us would be to camp at Alafia River SP, then just drive to Little Manatee SP if we wanted to kayak the river :o))

The next park on our map, Manatee Springs State Park, will have to wait for another day to visit.  It was already nearly 4pm and we decided to head back to the motorhome. 


Thursday  -  January 30, 2014

Today was a Rain-out :-((
   Rain, Rain, Rain

We did get a short break in the rain in the afternoon and went for a walk.  While we were walking, we got a call from Linda Payne who was looking for a place to hang out while Howard and the guys were installing a new satellite dish on their rig.  The 3 of us went back to our motorhome and managed to kill the rest of the afternoon laughing and reminiscing about past RV-Dream Rallies and discussing future plans!!

Friday  -  January 31, 2014

 Another rainy day !!! 
  01 - Rain Rain Go Away

We did have some entertainment though ;o))

This cute kitty thought he could catch a squirrel???
02a - Stalking Cat

He would stalk the squirrel on the right, creeping closer and closer!02b - Stalking Cat

Finally, the ATTACK!!!
02c - Stalking Cat

Close… but the Squirrel always got away !!!


Weather report says tomorrow is suppose to clear and get warm.

Hopefully, we will get a chance to go kayaking!!


  1. Quack, quack! I think I'm beginning to suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD)!!! Our weatherman is saying the same thing about tomorrow but I won't believe it till I see it! LOL!
    Loved the tour of Alafia River State Park. We'll have to put that one on our list. Florida is certainly not lacking in state parks!
    The cat/squirrel chase is too funny :)

  2. Yes the state parks in Florida are great. Too bad the weather has been sour lately. The sun'll come out tomorrow.

  3. Okay, you guys need to quit complaining about the weather! You don't know how good you have it! Just saying! :)

    1. Yea... we know it could be much worse...guess we are just spoiled;o)) Hope the weather warms where you are!!!

  4. I've been hearing about the rain from George. He's not too happy about it!

  5. Alafia river is a very nice campground. We stayed there a couple of times. Great bike trails but some wild riders.

  6. We stayed at Little Manatee River our first year of full-timing. We really liked it! We had the very last site....it was quite private! Here's to warm weather for the rest of the winter!!

  7. Seems it's been raining everywhere in Florida. Flamingo had rain and that of course brought out the mosquitoes. At least you didn't have them. Nice plan for filling your rainy days. What hiking trails were you wanting to do in the Midway area? Maybe we'll do them for you ......although 84 tomorrow......hmmmmm mosquito weather AGAIN???