You would think being on the road 5 years now we would have learned most of the lessons out there. But we learned another valuable lesson this week. This is the first time we have stayed in an RV Park for a full 30 days. Oh, we have stayed several places for 30+ days; The Farm and Pasha Lake, but this is the first time we have stayed in a park for that long and we should have done more homework.
There were two main factors when picking this location; location and rate. The location is perfect, it is on the water right in our target area less than a mile from where our friends Dan and Jeanie have their boat at a marina. And at $450/month this park one of the lowest we found in the area (this should have been a clue). Since we rarely if ever take advantage of the amenities in a park we did not care that this one was bare bones. We even went as far as going on Google Earth to check it out. We saw it was tight but most parks down in Florida are tight.
What didn’t we expect? Two rigs to our right is party central going late into the night. The rig to our left has a screen porch within 1 foot of our rig with constant cigarette smoke coming through the window. The rig behind us is about 5 feet away and they have 5, count them, 1,2,3,4,5 dogs. 5 not so quiet dogs….. did I mention they have 5 dogs? But that’s not the best part, we have to share a sewer port with them. Since I knew we only had one sewer connection for two rigs I dumped and put my hoses away until we need to dump again. But when they pulled in they hooked right up to it so when I have to dump again I need to remove their hose, hook mine up and dump hoping their valves are closed and they don’t use anything while I am dumping.
|Our neighbor with a couple of their dogs|
On the bright side, everyone is very nice, maybe too nice as if you are outside it is fair game to stop by and start a conversation.
Oh well, lesson learned. Next time we will do a little more research and spend a few most dollars and upgrade.
Despite all of this we are managing to get out and have a great time getting out on the water twice in the past week. Once to take a ride up the canal to check out the sights and once to do some fishing. This area seems to be in transition with mix of really nice homes and homes that have been abandoned with nature taking them back over. Very interesting to take the boat up that canal and see all the different homes and boats.
|The name of this boat was "Dream Catcher" more like a nightmare!|
|This is what happens when you don't tie your boat properly|
Our day of fishing was even more interesting. We went out with Dan and Jeanie on their boat and caught several varieties of fish; Red Fish, Speckled Trout, Sand Trout and some kind of saltwater perch. Both the Red Fish and trout were in the 12-14” range while the perch were much smaller.
One interesting note is how the pelicans here have adapted. The pelicans will sit around your boat about 50 yards out but as soon as you set the hook on a fish and start fighting it the pelicans fly in and try and steal it off your line! You have to reel the fish in as fast as you can while the pelican tries to dive and grab your fish!
|This guy hung around us all day|
|Looks like he got a fish!|
|This little blue crab wanted Barb's shrimp|
|An oyster cluster that got snagged on Barb's jig|
We plan to get out a few more times in the coming weeks so hopefully we will have a freezer full of fish when we leave the area.
Knowing the Jordan’s were just down the road in Ocala, we got together with them a couple of times. The first time at their campsite at The Santos Trailhead State Park. We were joined by Jim’s parents, Jim and Becky, who live just down the road. We grilled up some South Dakota venison steaks while Barb, Brenda and Jim did a beer tasting on the beers they have been picking up on their travels.
|Some of the beers they sampled|
|Two Jim's along with Becky and Brenda|
Another area we have heard a lot about but never visited was Cedar Key so we drove an hour north to visit that quaint little town. We have had several friends stay there and looks like a great place if you are looking for a nice quiet spot for a few days. Of course no visit here is complete without a stop at Tony's Seafood Restaurant for some of their famous clam chowder. This is by far the best chowder we have had. We bought a few cans to bring home with us but sadly it is gone already!
|This Ibis found a snake!|
We also picked up some clams for a clam/pasta dish that Barb whipped up! Gotta love the seafood in this area. We have been here just over a week and we have had shrimp 3 times, crab twice, several bowls of clam chowder and thanks to Dan and Jeanie, some fresh caught fish!
|Clam and pasta coming up!|
|Street after street was filled with vendors and tourists|
Dan and Jeanie on one of our shuttle rides
|Two adults and a baby|