12/28/18 Dunnellon-Ocala, FL

DAY #69

Had an excursion planned for the day and was eager to get to it, so eager in fact, I got up at 8:00 am. What was this excursion that motivated me enough to get up so early? I was taking an air boat tour around Lake Panasoffkee and the Lake Panasoffkee Wildlife Refuge. This was something I hadn’t done before and yea, I was looking forward to it.

The tour was through an outfit called Swamp Fever Air Boat Adventures and was located about 45 minutes away from the campground. It was a leisurely drive there and I made it with plenty of time to spare for the 10:30 am departure. There were a total of seven of us and the tour lasted for about 75 minutes, as we crossed the northern part of the lake and went into the backwaters of the wildlife refuge. It was a fun and interesting experience.

At full throttle, it can get loud.
Cloudy & humid, and 80 degrees…Nice
It’s a big lake.
Water levels in the lake and swamps is high for this time of year.
Going into the backwaters.
You have to look to see them…They see you.
You have to look hard to find these critters.
Most of the gators are juveniles, this is an older and way bigger one.

Took the long way back and stopped at a couple of places I rail against (Walmart & McDonald’s). The plan was to get back to the park and hookup the water. After reading the manual for the water heater, I was still confused about starting it. There seems to be a fair number of RV places around, I’ll check into it tomorrow.

It was a good day in Central Florida.

12/27/18 Dunnellon-Ocala,FL

DAY #68

What’s the weather like today you ask? Well, thanks for asking. It’s feeling like summer. High in the mid 70s, partly cloudy and humid.


I’m a happy camper (and perhaps a bit of a hypocrite). I scanned for TV and picked up four channels. They’re crappy channels, but its for the noise as much as anything, and I HAVE VERIZON. It is so nice not having to go to some parking lot to get service, and then write the daily blog. Plus it’s a strong enough signal that I should be able to use my “hotspot” (it’s like turning your phone into a WiFi) for Amazon Prime & Netflix (thanks Marc & Shari).

The only plan for the day was to take a jaunt over to the neighborhood Camping World in Sumerfield, FL, and then give the area the once over.

Driving down the road to Camping World, which took about 35 minutes, and afterwards while just cruising around, I commented to myself how much more traffic there was, and how it just felt somehow, different?

I like seeing the citrus fruit.

Another thing that caught my eye were all the “communities” springing up behind the tree lined roads.

Deed Restricted means there is a homeowners association and rules/regulations.

Marion Oaks is huge, and not too many miles away are the ‘Villages,’ which makes these guys look like hermits. Also saw a ‘Del Webb’ community with the most impressive entrance.

The picture doesn’t do the entrance justice.

Along with these communities, noticed a number of developments built around golf courses, “Communities” seems like the way to live around these parts. It looks like the future for this area, and it looks like it’s going to happen fast. There are a lot of farms and fields, and the area remains rural, but there are signs of exurbia at pretty much at every corner. one doesn’t have to look far to see ‘for sale’ signs and ‘now renting.’

This was taken from Cracker Barrel parking lot.

Yes, I’m noticing changes. There’s no doubt about it, we’ve left “the south” behind and are now, both feet in Florida. The traffic’s heavier (as pointed out) and the pace seems to have quickened. The smaller towns still have their historical downtown’s, but now they seem more theme park than areas of commerce. These changes are reaffirming my preference of rural over urban, and cementing exurbia, as the worst of all. I appreciate and yes, even use the fast food joints and stores along its strips, but it is so devoid of anything lasting.

Back to the trailer for an evening of binge watching Shit’s Creek on Netflix. It’s a quirky but enjoyable comedy.

Official Update:

I get a call from Sears Citi card saying there is suspected fraud usage on my card. It seems someone tried to charge over $1000.00 from a department store in Madrid, Spain. Long story short, the problem got taken care but it got me to being concerned about the other cards, what if they’ve been compromised, man I’d be in a bind if that happens (fingers crossed).