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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A MEMORABLE PLACE

We left Kissimmee Prairie and drove north to camp a couple days at Alexander Springs State Park in the Ocala National Forest and then on to Silver Springs. When we were 27 years old we sold everything, bought an RV and worked our way around the US. We had only planned to do this for a year but it turned into almost eight years. We were just a couple of gypsies at heart. We left Michigan during a break in the famous blizzard of 1978 and headed for the southern most point in Florida. While snorkeling in the Keys we met a couple who told us about a secluded campground they had stayed in on the banks of the Ocklawaha River just on the edge of the Ocala National Forest. It was a big green area on the Florida map and it looked good to us. We drove the long dirt road down to the campground wondering what we had gotten ourselves into. It ended up being the best campground we've ever stayed in. We were instantly adopted by the family who owned the property along the river. We loved our new home and spent many days exploring both the Ocklawaha and the Silver Rivers. When we left Michigan we had $1,000 and thought we were rich but the money went fast. We tried a couple of jobs we hated and then found work at the Ocala Breeders Sales Company (OBS) a thoroughbred horse auction. The sales manager had seven kids of his own but he and his wife made us feel part of their family and included us in everything. We returned to this campground and worked at OBS for many winters after that. Sad for us, the family that had the campground had to sell their beautiful property a few years back but fortunately there is now a state park along the Silver River. So that's where we were for the past week. We canoed the river, walked and biked the trails and visited all of our friends. We are now back in the Florida Panhandle and slowly heading west to Cajun country.    Click here for a few pics Dick took along the Silver River

Our camping spot on the river bank during 70's & 80's

One of our many boat trips up the Ocklawaha and Silver Rivers  (80's)
Established in 1908, the Ocala National Forest is located north of Orlando between the Ocklawaha and St. Johns Rivers, encompassing approximately 383,000 acres. Although it is centered on high, dry, central scrub ridges, the Ocala National Forest is rich in water resources with more than 600 lakes, rivers, and springs, including three first-magnitude springs. Each an oasis surrounded by subtropical growth. The springs are some of the finest and clearest in the United States.

2 comments:

  1. Nice story about "going back", funny pictures of a younger D &G. Lots of smiles for you guys...

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the blog.
      Remind me who you are. Can't put a name with TCSchmoe!

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