"It is in the wild places, where the edge of the earth meets the corners of the sky, the human spirit is fed." Art Wolf

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Our Last Days in Florida

Alas is me.  My winter escape is officially over for this season and the pups and I are currently trekking our way north. I am hoping that the temperatures predicted for Tuesday make the driveway accessible.

Before leaving McIntosh Campground for the GTG at Hardee Lake County Park, Liz took on serious storage area cleaning. By the time she was done she had a "Free to Good Home" sign attached small pile and a full sized comforter that she personally hand delivered to one of the other residents.

It is spring here....

Claudia (Wings) drove down to McIntosh last Monday just in time to wave good bye to me as I hooked up the car to drive down to get my new solar panels.  The dogs and I, needing to hang out all day Tuesday while the work was being completed, drove back to McIntosh and Liz and Claudia and I drove off to the Ranger Station at the National Forest so that Claudia could get her Access Pass otherwise sometimes referred to as the "Old Fart's" Pass.  I think the old people are looking younger and younger.....

Back at the park, Claudia's Howdy stand look out in her rig.  (She is cute isn't see?)

Tri-Am got the solar job done in one day. The pups and I just parked in the camping area of their lot and headed off to Hardee Lakes in the morning.  

The drive was tiring but the view from the campground made it worth it. 

Diana and Carolyn's personal loop.

We walk around and keep saying wow, this is very nice.  Carolyn, Diana, Liz (with Remi), Donna, Carol (and Maggie) and Sarah (with Nicky)

There are four lakes in the park.  At least two of them with roads or hiking paths that completely surround them.

Looking back towards the lake front campsites from our walks.

Dave and Vicki held a Dutch Oven Workshop that first evening. Liz won the Dutch Oven which she broke in by cooking Indian Pudding for the Dutch Oven Gathering on Saturday (sigh, the day I had to leave. Did I mention that?)

The campground has a lot of open land as well as the woods and trails.  I didn't take any pictures but all over the grounds structures are being put in for a Mud Run scheduled for later in the month.  This is a picture looking at the back of the rigs lined up on the lake front campsites.

Not to be confused with Howdy, this is Donna's Maggie.

The rangers/staff never caught us, that is all I am admitting.

"Quit with the pictures lady." says Thistle politely, "Are we here to walk or what?"

Friday morning's met up for the morning hike.  Since we are all lined up facing the lake with Carolyn and Diana at the far end, they started at 8:30 and gathered up any interested dogs and walkers.

The walk was not all about the seeing birds, either..... Liz noticed the open mouth.  We later saw another similar skeleton but the second one looked like it may have been smashed or run over. This one looked perfect, well except for the dead part.

Wood Stork out hunting for breakfast.

And we walk on.

A flock of white Pelicans hanging out with their coot friends......

And we keep walking...

As if the miles we walked in the morning wasn't enough, some of us climbed in modern vehicles and drove over to visit the Pioneer Village.   We had time to eat a quick lunch and look around before the rains drove us in search of the dry and warmth of our rigs back at our campground.

This kayak has seen better days.... and Liz wouldn't be able to lift it to the car rack.

Maker and seller of Lye Soaps.....

Large displays of antique tractors and machines

Can you hear the "put, put, put" of all the engines?  They were all turning away ready to hook up to something useful.

And here is a man confident in his manhood.  It appeared to be either his wife or daughter starting up the small tractor for him and his little dog.

So now it is time for the pups and I to make our journey back north in time for me to report for work for a month or two or three....and rebuilt the travel funds.  Funds dipped a bit to cover that airfare to Ireland in late August/early September. :-)

Bye, Bye, Florida......'till we meet again.