Snowy Range Pass

Snowy Range Pass

Monday, March 14, 2016

Four hundred years of world history and a quiet county park

Leaving Old Town, we headed north for our last campground of our trip, The county park just west of Tallahassee, where we will get our 40K chassis service before driving home.

Along the way is the San Marcos De Apalache NationalHistoric site.  This small site is located in the village of St Marks, Fl. The town itself has an interesting history beginning with its formation by an act of Congress to ensure a transportation hub before the railroads arrived.

This historic site has been a part of international and national history for over 400 years.  The first Spanish garrison arrived in 1680 as a defensive position on this small piece of land that overlooks the converging of two rivers and the Gulf of Mexico.  Remnants of the wooden stockade are still visible today.  In 1758, a hurricane landed and destroyed the fortifications  and drowned the entire garrison. In 1759, they attempted to built a stone stockade but soon abandoned it and the Native tribes took over the site as a trading post and meeting place.

As the struggle for control of North American continued between the European countries and the Colonists, the Spanish retook the site 1783.  General Andrew Jackson seized the site in 1819, effectively ending the Spanish role. In 1821 it became a US possession when most of FL was purchased from Spain.

Finally, it was occupied by the Confederate Army during the Civil War.  The Confederates successfully defended it from a Federal naval assault near the end of the war.

Today there is remnants of this four hundred year history to be seen on guided walking paths and in the small museum on site.  There is a short but very interesting film on the history.  Even if history is not on the top of your list, it is a beautiful location to see the two rivers merge at the Gulf.  Definitely worth a visit.

We made our way to  the Coes Landing county park off  route 20 on Lake Talquin. Some of the spots were a bit tight but right along the lake.  It was  close to the dealership for our service the next morning.  We found a level site along the water and enjoyed a quiet night.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Taking the slow way north

Our next stop was Lazydays for some service. We have never been to Lazydays before for RV shopping or work.  Our first experience was unexpectedly good.  We had made an appointment in advance with a list of what we wanted done.  Their coordination and follow thru was excellent and all the items on our list were completed in one day.  We also found the pricing to be reasonable.  If we need work again while in the area , we will go back.

After our two nights in the Lazydays Resort RV park, we started our trip back north.  Our next stop was Blueberry Hill Campground in Bushnell. We have been there a number of times over the years and it s a great stop along I75.  For fans of Wal-Mart it is next door and a short walk without having to cross a large road.  It has changed some since we first visited but remains a clean and well laid out park.  They have many more park models in the back, but still lots of room for transiting RV's.  While walking the park, we found some of the wildlife has adjusted well to human neighbors.  This time our stop here was to visit with friends who are spending some time in the area.  We had a good lunch together and will be seeing them again shortly at the FMCA Rally in Perry, GA.

Our next stop was the Homosassa Springs State Park.  It is a short drive from Bushnell and we have not been there in a number of years. We entered from the remote entrance and chose the boat ride over the tram to the main entrance.  It remains much like we remembered it.  Unfortunately, the weather had turned a bit chilly and many of the Manatees moved to warmer spots.  We enjoyed walking the loops and were  pleased to see the that LU, the Nile Hippo was still in residence.  When the State took over the private park, they determined that only native species would be allowed in the park.  Lu has been a resident since 1964.  After protests from the local community, the governor wisely declared Lu a honorary citizen of Florida.  It is a nice park to see all kinds of native species.

Leaving the park, we headed to Old Town FL for an off the beaten path campground called Suwannee River Hideaway CG.   It is rustic but easy access to the sites. It covers nearly 200 acres and the owner has built a 1500 ft boardwalk over the swamp to a landing on the Suwannee River.  There are also many miles of hiking trails.  Talking to the winter residents, they organize regular trips on the river for exploring and fishing.  It  made a nice overnight stop for us.

The end.