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.)

Living in a Park

Front yard

I love living in the woods.  Deer and rabbits sometimes make appearances.  Occasionally we see opossums slinking along.  Squirrels chatter and birds sing.  Owls hoot.  Whipporwills call.  Doves coo. Hawks soar.  The breeze rustles through the trees.

Since our focus is on travel now, I no longer maintain flower beds, and only a few vegetables and herbs in pots are left

Side yard

to fend for themselves while we are gone.  But the natural beauty all around is so stunning that it needs no additional ornamentation.

It’s been a quiet, peaceful day today.  Just thought I’d share some of the reasons why.

Toward the road

Toward the driveway

Tall Pines RV Park, Shreveport, LA

We got to Tall Pines RV Park in Shreveport around 4:00.  What a great place to overnight!  Clean, quiet, extremely friendly office staff, and a small, well-behaved office dog.   Well behaved dogs are welcome.  They even have a fenced area where dogs can run free off leash.  Badly behaved children are not welcome.  Ahhhh!!!  Overnight heaven!  🙂

Ron said the bathrooms are spotless and smell good.  I prefer to use the little bathroom in the Aliner.

The weather here is gorgeous.  I had all the camper’s windows open catching a balmy breeze earlier.  I plan to leave one open all night for the fresh air.

The park is packed, but it is blissfully quiet.

We paid $10 less than the going rate because our rig is so small.  What a nice surprise!

It feels good to settle in for the night.  Instead of going out to eat, I just opened cans of Chunky Clam Chowder and melted cheese on Rosemary Olive Triscuit crackers.  A nutritionist’s nightmare, probably, but easy, and it leaves us a little more money to spend on fun things with Mike and Gail!

I plan to tat this evening.  Have one more Christmas gift I’m trying to finish.  Then I’ll surf a little while, get a shower, and crawl between the sheets.

It was a strange discovery to realize that a nice RV park with parallel rows of rigs a few feet apart can be much quieter and more restful overnighting than a beautiful state park–with rude campers.

Veterans Memorial State Park Again

Looking toward a small part of Lake Blackshear

Our funny looking little Aliner is back at our regular stopover point on the way between home and Mom’s house — Veterans Memorial State Park near Cordele, GA.

After being sick, the trip really tired us out today.  As soon as we got the camper set up, I grilled hot dogs, opened a carton of potato salad and a bag of chips and called it dinner.  Then I crashed for a 3 hour nap.

Serene, quiet campground

I have never seen this campground so quiet!  There is a decent crowd here, but you would never know it.  The people are all so unobtrusive.  It feels almost like we have the campground to ourselves.

 

Ron and Sunny at the picnic table

Sunny zonked

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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