Kayaking The Silver River - Monday & Tuesday, October 3&4, 2016

Just a quick update since I am typing this from our Daughters house in Raleigh, NC.  We evacuated Silver River State Park, Ocala, FL on Wednesday and drove to Cedar Key RV Resort on Florida's west coast and dropped off Baby.  After that, we drove the truck to Murrells Inlet, SC and spent the night in a Hampton Inn.  We picked my Mom up on Thursday and drove to Raleigh to wait out Hurricane Matthew.  So here we sit, safe and sound, watching and waiting!!!

We were headed to The Keys and hopefully we will get down there for the rest of our reservations after all this terrible weather clears out.  Before we left Silver Springs, we were able to kayak the Silver River twice...Monday and Tuesday morning.  It was wonderful as we had the river to ourselves.  It is our favorite paddle and I would just like to share some photos of the beautiful things we got to see.  ENJOY...........

Double Click O Any Photo To Enlarge
















Just an AMAZING river to paddle :o))

On The Road Again !! - Friday, September 30, 2016

Yes, it has been awhile since I have posted.  Our lives and travel plans were put on hold since May.  My mom's health took a bad turn and we were needed to take care of things.  Fortunately, she is doing better, but it took the last 5 months to get there.

In May, we were workcamping at Huntington Beach SP and preparing to head to Maine for the summer on June 1st.  Mom took ill on May 24th and was hospitalized on May 27th.  At that point our plans changed.  We knew we wouldn't be going anywhere for the summer.

We were very fortunate that Huntington Beach said we could continue to workcamp as long as necessary.  They had a maintenance vacancy until September.  That was a real blessing as finding ANY campsite ANYWHERE at the beach in the summer is very difficult.  So Bill spent the summer workcamping while I tended to helping mom regain her health.

I would love to say that she is back to normal, but unfortunately she must create a "New" normal. She was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis and must wear oxygen 24/7.  It became apparent quite quickly that low oxygen levels have caused major memory issues and she could not be left without help.  Long story short... we had to move her from Independent Living to Assisted Living.  Bill and I made that move happen the end of August.  That way she had time to make some adjustments to her new environment and we had time to see that all the pieces were in place for her care before we were scheduled to end our workcamping and get back to living our life a bit.  It is still a work in progress but at least we are making progress :o))

So Bill and I left Huntington Beach yesterday headed to the Florida Keys for 7 weeks.  YES, WE KNOW THERE IS A HURRICANE OUT THERE!!!!  So here we sit at Walkabout CG in Woodbine, GA waiting for Matthew to make the turn north and hopefully spare The Keys and Florida Coast.  We will stay here until we see where he is headed and head in the opposite direction if he turns his track towards us.  In the meantime, we may run down to Silver River for a couple days and do one of our favorite kayak paddles on the Silver River!!!  Can't wait to get back to nature and be re-nourished by its wonders.  My camera is screaming...take me, take me!!!!

We are always amazed by the serendipity in this lifestyle.  Yesterday was no exception.  Bill and I were headed down Route 17 just south of Charleston, SC.  I mentioned to Bill that I was wondering where several of our RV friends might be right now.  Specifically, I said I had lost track of  "Gail & Rick as well as Bruce & Laura!"  It was only 5 minutes later that our phone rang. When I looked at the phone, it said Laura.  I went immediately to which caregiver Laura might be in relation to my Mom.  Yes, I am still on high alert and will get better at relaxing.  When I heard a voice on the other end say, "Hey, are you on 17 heading south?"  I couldn't believe my ears...it was Laura of BRUCE & LAURA... They were right behind us!!

We managed a quick visit at the Georgia Rest Stop and made a promise to see each other this winter in Florida.

we are so happy to get back to the life we love
the wonderful people we have met along the way!!!

Waiting for Spring - Thur, Mar 24 to Sun, Apr 18, 2016

Here it is April 18th, almost 2 months since our last post.  

We have been hanging out at Huntington Beach State Park...


Other than the chilly weather, all is well.

We have been getting our annual stuff taken care of
helping my Mother with things she needs.

We spend a great deal of time at Huntington Beach State Park as it is only a few miles from my mother's residence.  While it is convenient, it has gotten very expensive since the rates on the South Carolina Beach State Parks have increased dramatically. We have looked for less expensive options, but that's not happening at the beach. SOOOOO, we decided to take another approach... Work Camping!!

Yep, we have landed a work camping gig at Huntington Beach State Park beginning this May.  This year we will work May, September and December. Then in 2017 and 2018, we will work April, May, September and December. There are 3 work camping positions: Maintenance, Atalaya Host and Camp Host. Most of the time we will be Maintenance which requires 20 hours per week in exchange for a 50amp FHU site:o))  This will save us a ton of money, but more importantly it will help keep Bill busy while I spend time helping my mother!!
This past weekend, we traveled to Jordan Lake State Park to camp with our grand-kids.  We had a chilly start (in the 30s) to each day, but still enjoyed lots of fun as the sun warmed things up.  The grand-kids are getting so big and they are just a wonderful bunch to spend time with. 
Steve (SIL), Julie (daughter)
Grandchildren: Andrew 15, Daniel 14, Emily 10, Samantha 9
Happy 9th Birthday Samantha!!!

Even with a small, sloping yard, we managed to play games!!

Then when we finish with the competition...

There's the TRAINING table...

ice cream and leftover Birthday Cake for all!!!
Grandpop cleaning up the cake pan;o))
We took a nice hike through the woods with the girls!
No camping trip is complete without SMORES...

Time together around the campfire...

Beautiful Sunsets to celebrate each day:o))

Family Time is the BEST Time!!!

The Long Way Around - Sat, Jan 23 to Sun, Feb 28, 2016

Where has the winter gone and where have we been ??

Well, we are just 100 miles from Disney World which we left 5 weeks ago.

Today, we pulled in to Sebastian Inlet State Park where we will be for 2 weeks.

However, instead of the 100 miles trip east from Disney World,
we traveled 675 miles through southern Florida to get here;o))

We left Disney for a short 2 night stop at Lake Louisa State Park.  

We like to stop here so we can pick citrus at Showcase Of Citrus close by.
Well, our lovely Disney weather turned cold & rainy
so no citrus picking this year ;o((

However, my SIL-Judy emailed to tell me she was going to visit with Gerry
a mutual friend at The Villages.  It turned out that she would be there when we were at Lake Louisa just about 1 hour south.  So we had the chance for a fun, but short reunion.  The 3 of us were best friends all through high school:o))
Nancy - Gerry - Judy

Our next stop was Myakka River State Park for two weeks.  
We love the biking, hiking and wildlife watching at this park.  

Well, we did a lot of biking, 
but there was very limited hiking and wildlife watching. 

As we will find during the rest of our winter travels, everything in south Florida is flooded.  So hiking trails are underwater and the wildlife is spread out away from the normal places we can find them. 

We did enjoy several nice days visiting with Sherry & David 
who were camped just around the corner from us. 

Together, we biked the Legacy and Venetian Trail.

The four of us also got to visit with Bruce & Laura and Mike & Terri
who are volunteering at W.P. Franklin Recreation Area.

We were able to find some Vultures...
 which apparently are trouble makers;o))
Just had to include this "too funny" photo ;o)

After Myakka River State Park, we moved further south to Midway Campground on the Tamiami Trail, Rt 41.  We were only there for 3 nights and our main focus was to bike the tram road at Shark Valley.  

Our first day at Midway was cold with 20mph winds so biking was out.  
Instead we visited all the visitor centers in the Big Cypress Preserve. 

Fortunately, our second day improved and we got to bike at Shark Valley.  
Just like everywhere else, Shark Valley was flooded 
so there was not much wildlife along the tram road. 

Even the tram road was flooded!!

All the flooding did move the few gators we saw a bit farther out on the road!!

 It is a very different winter this year.

Following Midway, 
we headed further south to Flamingo Campground in Everglades National Park.

At Flamingo, you are off the grid.
No phone or Internet unless you have AT&T and no television.
We really love it and enjoy disconnecting for 2 weeks.
This visit was a bit  different do to the flooding.
All the trails were underwater,
most of the wildlife was dispersed except for the Osprey
mosquitoes were in charge ;o((

Yes, it was a very different Flamingo visit this year.

Unfortunately, DEET became our friend,
but you do what you have to do.

For those who have visited here, you know that Eco Pond is a birders paradise.
This year the only birds you could find there were mosquitoes;o))
But the reflection of the clouds on Eco Pond was lovely.

We spent our days, walking and biking the park roads.
This is just an amazing place and there is always something wonderful to see!!

I braved the mosquitoes to get to see beautiful sunrises ;o))

The manatee made daily visits to the marina.

We were able to see the crocodiles at the marina every time we visited.
Flamingo is the only place you can see crocs and gators in the same waters!!

We saw the usual Great Blue Herons, Little Blue Herons, Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets but many birds like Blacked Necked Stilts, Wood Storks and Roseate Spoonbills were missing.
I got one peek at some Spoonbills as they flew over.

I did get to see a Great Blue Heron (White Version) which is not so common.

The Osprey were the most prevalent and active birds this year!!

The most unusual bird I saw was a juvenile Bald Eagle.

Our friends, David and Sharon who were camping in Homestead,  had planned to come down for a few days and pitch a tent on our site.  We were looking forward to sharing the wonders of Flamingo with them.  However, since the mosquitoes were such a nuisance, tent camping didn't seem very appropriate.  Instead, they did come to visit for a one day adventure.  The highlight of that was the Ranger led Nine Mile Pond Canoe Trip!!  We had such a great time... the weather was perfect and the mosquitoes don't bother you on moving water:o))

Through the Mangroves

Across the River of Grass
It was a magical day in the Everglades!!!

Even though the environment and wildlife at Flamingo and the Everglades were quite different this year, we know we will be coming back next year :o)))


After Flamingo, we started the trek back north along the east coast of Florida.

Our first stop was 4 nights at Jonathan Dickinson State Park.
We had hoped to kayak to Trapper Nelson's, but the winds were near 20mph during our entire stay so that didn't happen.  What we really needed to do was LAUNDRY!!  We did manage to get that caught up and the groceries restocked.

Jonathan Dickinson SP is a well kept FHU 50amp state park near Hobe Sound.  

We always joke that we are camping right across the sound from our good friends, Tiger Woods and Celine Dion ;o))  The State Park has lots of roads for biking and the river for kayaking, 
but for whatever reason, it is not one of our favorite. 

There are miles of state park roads to bike, a river to paddle and trails to hike.  But guess what, it is flooded and the hiking trails are underwater.
But the biking trails were clear... or were they???

We left Jonathan Dickinson on Sunday, Feb 28th and finally 675 miles later, 
we made it to Sebastian Inlet State Park!!

We got a great site #46 with our own Gumbo Limbo Tree;o))

We can't wait to spend the next couple weeks, 
fishing the inlet and catching the beautiful sunsets!!!

The Sebastian Inlet looking East

Sebastian Inlet looking West

Gorgeous Sunset

So that's where Bill and Nancy have been hanging out...

Just Going In Circles
Loving This Life :o)))