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.
http://enpundit.com/extreme-camping-in-germany/

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! http://myfavouritestuffs.com/extreme-camping/13067

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. http://www.scenicreflections.com/download/385130/Camping_Wallpaper/

Snoopy and Woodstock sum it up for me. 🙂

What style camper are you?  🙂

Back to High Falls

The Aliner at High Falls

The Aliner tucked into a private site of the Lake Campground at High Falls.

We stopped by Mom’s for a couple of days after we left Salt Springs, then headed north toward home.

Our stopover point was High Falls State Park.  We loved the Lake Campground when we were here earlier and wanted time to explore the river trails.

The River Campground is huge and accommodates large and small rigs.  The Lake Campground only accommodates rigs up to 25 feet, so you mostly get the campers instead of the

window view

View out of our (very dirty) front window. The peace was pervasive here.

RVers here.  And the campers are our kind of people.

We were shocked when we saw the Falls.   They were a raging torrent when we were here before.  But the weather had been very dry and now they were a fraction of what they had been.  Where there had been white water rapids before, now there was a lot of bare rock exposed.

We took the River Trail to see if there were more interesting sights downstream.  Hiking in temperatures in the 90’s was

Two weeks difference in view of the Falls

The Falls during our visit two weeks ago and this visit.

not a lot of fun, but the scenery made it worthwhile.   Even though a lot of the rock riverbed was exposed, there were still a series of smaller, scenic waterfalls to enjoy.

One nice surprise on our walk was seeing a mother waterbird (heron?) and her two little brown babies.

Lower falls

Lower falls downstream

We also met a very friendly couple, Barbara and Butch, who had bought an ’84 34′ motor home in great condition.  They preferred the Lake Campground to the River Campground, and the office told them if they could get the motorhome into a site, they could stay there.  By backing onto their picnic table/fire ring pad, they made it!  Grandkids joined them for an overnight visit.

There was something so special about our time here.  A timeless sense of peace and well-being enveloped us.  We never wanted to leave.

Heron and babies

Heron (?) and her two little brown babies

But budgets are budgets, and after three nights, we had to pack up and head home.

And now, we are anticipating our October trip to North Carolina.

Downstream

Downstream

river rocks

River rocks

End of our walk

This is where we ended our walk and turned around.

river trail

A view from the trail

Ron and Sunny

Ron and Sunny on the River Trail

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