6 November 2008 We are currently in Wauchula, FL at our first Thousand Trails campground that is located on the banks of the Peace River. It has all the necessary amenities and a pleasant staff. It also claims that you can forage in the river bottom and find various fossils including fossilized shark teeth and whale bones. The main drawback to this interesting pastime seems to be attacks by either alligators or poisonous snakes or for the really unlucky- both.
The port of Tarpon Springs has been a center of the sponge industry since the early 1900’s, when the immigrant Greek fisherman brought their sponge harvesting skills to the USA. It has continued to the current day. We decided to make the long drive to visit this port and enjoy the special Greek atmosphere and food. We had come here several times in the past with my parents while they spent the winter nearby in Dade City. We enjoyed a traditional Greek lunch and spent the obligatory time in the gift shops and enjoyed the nautical views of a traditional fishing village that has grown to include the recreational boating industry and of course tourists. Before we left, we had to stop at a bakery for coffee and some great desert.
On the way home, we traveled over the skyway bridge across Tampa Bay. At the first rest area going south on this bridge is a memorial to the lost of the Coast Guard Cutter Blackthorn and 23 of her crew. She was involved in a collision with the tank ship Capricorn in January of 1980 just a few miles south of the memorial. This remains the greatest single lost of life for the Coast Guard in one incident during peace time.
Tomorrow we plan to visit, of all things, a south Florida castle.