We have no planned itinerary or time constraints so we are literally just wandering around Florida, as shown on the map above (blue lines indicate this year’s route so far). Weather forecasts and suggestions from fellow travelers often determine our direction. Websites, tourism brochures, and just interesting features on a map may also direct us. Sometimes the location of a Boondockers Welcome, HarvestHosts, or RVGolfClub host will take us to an area we would not otherwise visit.
After our paddle on the Ichetucknee River we headed to Oleno State Park to camp. Before sundown we took a quick hike to the River Sink where the Santa Fe drops below the ground for several miles.
Early evening reflections on the river.
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) work in evidence here.
Trying out our modified dining table outside before severe weather keeps us mostly indoors for three days while camped in the Ocala National Forest Fore Lake campground. Just $6/night with our Golden Passport! A tornado warning had most of the campers gathered in the bath house for an hour.
Once the weather cleared, we headed to Silver Springs State Park where we had a pleasant and interesting paddle on the Silver River.
Silver Springs is a group of artesian springs that feed into the Silver River in Marion County, Florida. It is the largest artesian spring in the world and Florida’s oldest tourist attraction. In 1971 it was designated as a National Natural Landmark.
Must be really beautiful here when the deciduous trees are green.
This Little Blue Heron allowed me paddle very close. Didn’t need much telephoto to get this shot.
Didn’t get as close to this sunbather…just in case.
A tour boat operator turned a bunch of rhesus monkeys loose on an island in the late 1930s not knowing that they could swim. It didn’t take them long to spread our across the area.
Can’t say I’ve ever seen a monkey while kayaking before.
Lots of fun to watch! Isn’t he a cutie?
We visited Rainbow Springs, but it was too windy to paddle.
While boondocked at Inverness, we peddled part of the Withlacoochee State Trail.
And hiked around a bit. Just love the moss on the trees.
Spotted this guy at Edward Medard County Park.
Explored the park on our bikes.
And hiked around the “Sacred Forest.”
While perusing the map of Florida, Al spotted Snead Island and thought it looked interesting. So, off we went!
Emerson Point Preserve is a 365 acre preserve located at the tip of Snead Island in western Palmetto.
The beach trail led to several small beaches that felt like parts of the Caribbean to us.
Panoramic view from observation tower (click to view larger).
Zoom view from same tower. That’s the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in the distance. Al was wishing he was on that anchored sailboat.
We are now taking a few days off in Sarasota where Al’s nephew Marcus is letting us stay in his guest room. We will be catching up on some business, riding our bikes, and visiting local beaches. Expect to get back on the road next week. Life is good.