Snowy Range Pass

Snowy Range Pass

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Size does matter

One of the advantages we thought we would have by downsizing to our current motorhome was to fit into smaller campsites in State and Federal parks. So when we decided to head to Orlando for the Winnebago State Rally, we looked for places to stay along the way that we would not have considered with our previous motorhome.  Our first stop was the Suwannee River State Park just west of where interstate 10 meets interstate 75.  This is a small state park with a campground with less than 30 sites.  Most of these are very short and surrounded by trees and tight turns.  On the way south we reserved one of the few large spots and it was an easy in and out.  We decided to stop on the way back and just take a chance. We could get in and  the spot that was available proved to be very tight. Even with our short length we had only about 4 inches clearance from a large tree as we backed into our assigned spot.  There was no way we were going to get the bigger motorhome in there.

This park is situated where the Withlacoochee River joins the Suwannee River on its way to the Gulf of Mexico.  The park also contains Civil War earthworks built to defend against Union gun boats.  Also in the park is one of the oldest cemeteries in Florida.  There are numerous trails to hike or you can just sit and enjoy the river views.
This was also my first chance to practice with a new camera I purchased to take on our Alaska cruise/land tour in a few months.  I admit to getting a bit lazy and do not want to take all my camera gear on this trip and decided the Canon SX50HS would allow me to get the best pictures with the least amount of gear.  It has a 50 optical zoom and a 200 digital zoom.  It also has some new in camera special affects and features I am still learning.  So if some of these pictures look a bit different, it is part of the learning curve.

We will be visiting this park again with our Skinnie Winnie.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Visit to the Netherlands

Two weeks ago, Anneke left me to my own devices, as she flew to Amsterdam to spend a week in the Netherlands.  The occasion that prompted this trip was her father's 91st birthday.  He is now residing in an assisted living complex that is just a few minutes' walk from Anneke's sister's home.  This way she could visit her family , as well as her father.  

The Netherlands is not well known for its great weather at any time of the year and winter can often be very damp and cold.   Luckily there were a few  nice moments while she was visiting and everyone was able to get out and enjoy some of the scenic  countryside.  Her sister's home is in Rhenen and has a direct view of the Rhine River.  The Waal River is  nearby and it makes for a very nice drive along the dikes. They went to one of the local snack bars with great views and had some traditional Dutch food- French Fries with mayonnaise and" bitterballen". The Rhine and Waal Rivers are the busiest in northern Europe and has constant commercial traffic passing by.  

For much of his life, Anneke's dad enjoyed boating on the widespread waterways of the Netherlands and stills like to sit and watch the river traffic go by.

Anneke also had a visit from two of her friends that she has known for a long time-up to 53 years!  They had a lot of laughs.  Facebook keeps them now in close contact. 

She had a  great time with her family and I managed not to destroy the house in her absence with the help of Halley!