Last Day at Ocean Pond

campground road

Main campground road

Lunch time!

Lunch time!

Rarely have I felt such a profound sense of peace as at this campground.  Many campgrounds are quiet and peaceful, but this one outdoes them all.  Our loop is full of weekend campers, but I just stepped outside at 9:45 p.m., and the only sounds are the night sounds of –maybe cicadas?  Tree frogs?  (Last night’s noisy campers left early this morning.)

There are no street lights here so it feels almost like we have the forest to ourselves.  This is the only place I’ve stayed that I haven’t gotten antsy to move in a week.  In fact, I almost regretted that we are leaving tomorrow.  I think this is a place I could happily spend the winter.

Cypress tree

Cypress tree

At least, I felt that way until Ron got the truck packed this evening, and I finished my shower and turned the water heater off.   Now all we have to do is unhook the water and electric and make the beds in the morning and we’ll be ready to go.

We were considering boondocking in one of the Ocala National Forest campgrounds that don’t have hookups.  But then I remembered that big rigs will be running generators there.  So we’ve decided to head for Salt Springs instead.  They have full hookups for $16.00 a night with our senior pass.  And hookups mean no generator noise.

Florida Trail sign

Florida Trail sign

We are going to have to head back home in 9 or 10 days.  Ron’s temporary driver license is expiring.  We had our mail forwarded to Mom’s house this trip so we could pick up the permanent license as soon as it arrived in the mail.  But we didn’t realize they won’t forward driver licenses.  So a trip back home is mandatory.

Ron considered leaving me here and driving back home and taking care of business, then coming back.  But that would leave me without a vehicle.  And I need to see my doctor anyway, so we’ll just cut the trip short.  Then, maybe after we get done with taxes, we can head back down here.

Picture of the trail.  See, I really was there!  :D

Picture of the trail. See, I really was there!

We decided to check out one of the trails here this afternoon.  I had heard that there was a short trail that we could easily manage.  So we headed toward the trail sign and discovered that it was actually part of the scenic 1400 mile long Florida Trail! We walked a short distance just so I could say I hiked on the Florida Trail.  😀

Really cute tent

Really cute tent

Cute little Aliner

Cute little Aliner

Miniature garden growing in stump

Miniature garden growing in stump

Finally!  A mushroom sighting.  But I don't know what it is.  It looks similar to a Northern Tooth, but the books say they don't grow south of Tennessee.

Finally! A mushroom sighting. But I don’t know what it is. It looks similar to a Northern Tooth, but the books say they don’t grow south of Tennessee. (on edit – A member of my wild mushrooms forums has identified it as Spongipellis pachydon.)

What Does Camping Mean to You?

For all you fans of extreme traveling, Waldseilgarten mountain resort in Bavaria, Germany might be the destination for you. How does camping in a tent hanging 6,562 feet in the air sound? Waldseilgarten resort offers a variety of camping options from the top of a Bavarian mountain summit. From enjoying a good night’s sleep while dangling off a tree top or cliff to sleeping in a hand built igloo, this resort should provide the right fix for any of you adventurous thrill seekers.

As I wait for our next camping trip, sometime after Labor Day, I’ve been pondering over all the different types of people who are attracted to the outdoors.  Some of us seek the thrill of adventure, yearning to push our boundaries and conquer the unknown.

I get a severe case of vertigo just looking at this picture. But it’s apparently a thrilling adventure to this guy!

Others seek to escape the frenetic pressures of modern living and escape into the peace and serenity of natural surroundings.  Still others hope to meet new friends among the very special people who share their love of the outdoors.

Some of us like to boondock in the wilderness alone.  Some of us need the feeling of security that camping near other people provides.

Just for fun, I did an image search on camping this evening and found the following photos that cover many different camping styles.

The kind of camping our grandparents might have enjoyed.

Snoopy and Woodstock sum it up for me. 🙂

What style camper are you?  🙂

Hiking the Trails at F. D. Roosevelt State Park, GA

Entrance to the campground office

We are still wondering at the beauty all around us here.  And the peace.  It is Saturday evening and one would expect the weekend campers to be partying.  Instead the campground is quiet.  Outside, campfires are burning and one can hear distant, muted conversation, but that only adds to the ambiance tonight.  There is no feeling of being crowded.  The sites were really designed well.

Last night and tonight there were free hayrides for all who were interested.  We preferred to stay by our campfire.

Stone building built by the CCC

As usual, we were asked for tours of the Aliner.  It’s a fun way to meet people.  Everyone always comments on how much bigger it is inside than they expected.

View behind the office. Unfortunately my camera flattened it out.

Yesterday we decided to hike a bit.  The woods are hilly with constant climbs and descents. It was a reality check of how out of shape I am.  It really wore me out!  We finally came to a road and decided to road walk back to camp.  We ended up walking a lot longer than we had planned, and I was stiff and sore last night.  But I slept really well!

While we were on the trail, I bumped my camera settings, so the following are poor photos.  They should still give you an idea of what it is like, though.

Road walk

This is the drive to the little lake near our site.

Ron and Sunny on the trail

Another trail view

Forest floor where we stopped to rest. Lots of half-chewed acorns.

Some areas are pretty rugged.

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