Saturday, September 19, 2015


It was fun watching all the pleasure boats going through the locks

We are camped at a beautiful C.O.E. campground alongside the Cabosahatchee River, also known as the C-43  Canal which connects Lake Okechobee with the Gulf of Mexico. We had a difficult time reserving a space here but we snagged two nights playing Campground BINGO! All was well until we realized we had reserved a shared space. This was a first for us. Our neighbor was sitting outside so we introduced ourselves and my first impression was there was something a bit strange about this guy, especially since he kept spitting and talking to himself. I gave him the benefit of the doubt that he was talking on an earbud phone. Then whoever was on the other end was getting an earful of the F word. No - he WAS talking to himself and very angrily. Whoa....this was not good. Then around 2pm we get a knock on our door and it was HIM asking if we'd like anything from the store...."beer, steaks etc..."  He was heading into town and would be glad to bring something back for us. We didn't even know this guy??? Then we realized there was a woman with him as they drove away. Fortunately, she was doing the driving. He apparently was drunk or high on something. We lucked out because they never returned and we wondered if they were hoping we'd give them some money to pick up the beer and steaks he suggested. A sad situation. We enjoyed the rest of our stay at Ortona and hope to stay longer next time.

In our last blog we were camped at Padre Island National Park. We always enjoy our time there. We did the morning birding trip given by two volunteers and learned so much about the park. The nice thing about going with someone who lives there is they know where the birds hangout - especially the Peregrine and the elusive Snipe.

The sad part about Padre Island National Park is all the trash that washes up onto the beach. Every time we are here we enjoy driving out onto the beach to look for shells etc... I always have a bag handy to pick up trash. This is what I gathered in a one hour walk one morning, and I had to leave a lot behind too large for the bag. The predominant southeast wind drives the currents to this location in the Northwest corner. We were told most of these objects come from fishing/shrimping industries or offshore natural gas platforms and also Mexico. It's a constant job to keep the beaches clean.

We have a route along the coast to and from Florida that stays away from the Interstate. There are three ferry crossings. Only the one from Freeport to Galveston charges $2.00, the other two are free. Except the squeezing through the pay gate and scraped our wheel cover along the curb. It's a more scenic route along the Gulf, passing houses on stilts, lots of shorebirds, sometimes porpoises leading our way at the ferry crossings, brama bulls in the fields. Then there are also areas of gas drilling which isn't so beautiful. 

This picture was taken from our motorhome window of the ferry we're waiting to board.


All dwellings are built on stilts.

The Bluewater Hwy from Surfside to Galveston is another beautiful part on this route. This 10 ft tall statue created as a memorial to the Great Storm of 1900 that killed over 6,000 people in Galveston.

Another beautiful road along the coast is Hwy 82. It begins at the Texas/Louisiana border all the way to Abbeville. I love traveling through the historic towns of Abbeville, New Iberia and Morgan City. We arrived in the area two days after Mardi Gras and there were gold, purple and green decorations everywhere. We stayed away from New Orleans this trip. We were there two years ago and have wonderful memories. (I would have liked a beignet though). This time we camped on the north side of Lake Pontchartrain at Fontainebleau State Park and the Saloneks from Minnesota just happen to be there the same time. We met them in 2010 on Padre Island. We enjoyed our visit. 

Bob and Marlys Salonek
It was getting close to OSCAR time so we timed it to be at Davis Bayou National Park in Ocean Springs where we knew we'd get ABC. We had our own Oscar party.

We knew it was time to replace our nearly 10 year old tires on the motorhome. While in Ocean Springs, Dick found a deal at a reputable tire dealer and bit the bullet. I feel safer now but for several days after, everytime I stepped out of the RV I would smell horse manure. I got to thinking it must be something about us and finally realized it was the new tires. I sure hope that doesn't last long.

We finally made it to Florida and stayed at Ft. Pickens National Seashore. The Barkers, friends from home, just happened to be renting a condo just outside the park gate. The weather turned cold and rainy so they took us to the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola. After three days it was time to move on and the morning we left the park they were waving from their 13th floor Condo balcony. 

Colleen and Rob Barker disembarking Nixon's Marine One Presidential Helicopter 

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