Posted by: sunnyharvy | February 3, 2017

More Meandering


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.


  1. Great pictures guys. There’s so much to see out there along the gulf. Looks like fun to have a minimal agenda, Enjoy!

    If you head north along the gulf, try Shell Mound campground just N of Cedar Key, and Newport Park near Tallahasse. Both are nice basic, quiet county parks outside of wildlife refuges, with some biking, kayaking, hiking areas.

  2. Yes life is good


  3. So glad you’re getting to see all the best parts of Florida.

  4. Impressive how you maneuver meandering! Monkeys! That’s a surprise! Love all the sights!!

  5. Main Florida Visitor Center (East Coast) has special brochures available upon request (not displayed). You may already have. Ask for kayaking routes, biking trails, bird-watching trails and locations. There may be other subjects of interest, like state forest camping. (Florida is looking at licensing kayaks for extra dough.)

    I like the Annual State Park Pass (good for all state parks but have to pay extra county admission to Florida Keys parks) and the state parks guide (shows things of interest like snorkeling, kayaking, camping, etc; so can cross off the various parks).

    Haven’t read your entire blog so don’t know if you saw the state park which used to be an amusement park or the park which has the underwater mermaid show (extra show fee but very entertaining–the performers have to dive deep and hold their breath for several minutes to become performers; while performing, have long oxygen tubes).

    If join an art museum and/or botanical garden (like Backus Art Museum and Bok Towers), can get reciprocal free admission to other art museums and botanical gardens. Need to choose annual membership institution carefully for cost and restrictions (e.g., no reciprocal privileges if too close so choose an annual membership institution in the boonies). Florida has tons of great botanical gardens as well as art museums (e.g., Dali). Google reciprocal privileges for art museums and botanical gardens.

    (There are even some combined zoo and botanical institutions so your annual membership may get you reciprocal privileges at both zoos and gardens.)

    If need electrical or solar, check John Palmer near Foster State Park area (he put in a Morningstar 300 watt inverter for me and let me borrow ladder/ tools to install a semiflexible solar panel on Westy). You can do work under his supervision or help, or just watch (lo
    Iike Dr. A, he wants you to understand what is being done.)

    Don’t know if you belong to, but there are a couple of Escapees Parks in Florida (cheap $5 boondocking or reasonable hookups). Escapees is the full timers club and they have several parks and coops across USA.

    • In the Miami area, I noticed that several state parks had regular daily groups of Canadian RV visitors (license plates and French speaking). They’d hang out at the various state park beaches all day, with Petanque player groups, social groups, etc. As these state parks had no campgrounds, don’t know where they camped (some with Class A motorhomes). I never asked where they camped overnight but did notice some regulars at the Oleta State Parking at the nearby Walmart overnight.

  6. what gorgeous photos! I love the rhesus monkeys. Who knew Florida was so beautiful

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