Monday, January 31, 2011

Port Charolette, Punta Gorda, Sarasota FL 1-2011

First let me welcome our new followers, friends Ed and Johanne, and Paul and Sandy. We returned to Mayakka River State Park with our bikes. We wanted to ride some of the trails. We spotted a few gators and about ten osprays. That's Linda getting ahead of me. She dosen't know I'm using her to scare the gators, no not gator bait. Caught this ospray building his nest. We rode in a couple of miles till the road which was packed sand got to soft to ride on.

We took a ride to Port Charolette and Punta Gorda. We stoped at the Chamber of Commerence for some information.  Guess what! they have a book on mural that are around town. So we had some fun hunting them down. Below are a few of them.
The next day  we went to Sarrasota to visit the Ringling Museum. What a super tour. We visited the mansion called Ca d Zan-"House of John".It is a Venetian Gothic design. What a super place. It was hard to decide what pictures to use when we took hundreds.
One building houses the Howard Tibbals miniature circus. Its a replica of the Ringling Bros. and Bailey Circus from 1919 to 1938. It is the world's largest miniature circus in the world. There are 8 main tents, 152 wagons, 1300 circus performers and workers, over 800 animals, and 59 train cars. The first 2 pictures are from above looking down at the 3800 square foot display. Mr Tibbals took 50 years to build the display.  To put the display together at the museum it took over a year.  The next picture is looking in at the 3 ring circus. The next picture shows the detail of the mess hall, down to the plates and cups, etc. The next two pictures shows the Midway.  We only got to spend about a half hour at the Ringlings Museum of Art. This is a huge building with 21 galleries. We were told you need about 4 hours to tour it all. Boy were they wrong. We spent about 6 and a half hours, and could only rush through the art museum

The fish gods blessed Bob with a eight pound bass. This was caught in the small lake(large pond) at Toby's RV Resort in Arcadia.              
This last picture is Linda's new ride. We bought a 2011 HHR. Linda is the primary driver. We are trying to save the truck for a few more years of towing. It's a 2007 and a half, and we got 65,000 miles on it already. We have been checking our milage with the truck and found that for every 1000 miles of towing we put on 4-5000 miles touring. We decided to get something less expensive to operate to tour around in.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lake Placid FL 1-2011

The reason we went to Lake Placid was to see the murals. There are 44 murals around the town. Plus many of the trash cans are painted in scenes. We purchased the mural book for $3. that tells were and all about the murals. We had fun walking around town looking for the murals. We saw many other people doing the same.  see  also
See when looking down the rows of flowers from both ends of the building how the rows seem to be straight in front of you.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Arcadia FL 1/17-1/31/11 part 1

    We moved about 25 miles to Toby's RV Resort in Arcadia. So far the weather has been great. We had a couple of days in the high 70's, low 80's. This is wonderful for January, but this is why we are here, for the great weather. We have spent winters in CA, AZ, TX and FL, and FL does seem to have the best weather. We want to explore more of the area hence our 25 mile move. This is a great park and we will do a review of it in the future.
       We went to Markka River State Park, see and  . We spent a day there but will return in a couple of days. There is a lot to do there. We did the boardwalk trail and saw a lot of wild life. Most was through a spotting scope set up by one of the volunteers at the end of the boardwalk. The wildlife was on the other side of the upper lake and to far to photograph.  We did do a tram tour and had a super guide that was very informative about the park. The tour lasted about one hour. We did see alligators, turtles, many different type birds including several Osprey.  The park is about 45 square miles and the biggest of FA State Parks. We did another hike to the dam and saw about 12 alligators sunning themselves. We then did the "Canopy Walkway and Tower. A walkway through the treetops, or above the treetops. Very very neat. You climb a small tower and walk across a suspension walkway, 25 feet above the ground,  to a taller tower. then you climb to the top, 70 feet in the air. Well about the treetops.
The suspension walkway.
A big gator.
Sunbathing gators, I wonder if they use location.
Osprey  in nest.
Looking down at the walkway.
The suspension walkway.A big gator in a small water hole.
Above the treetops.
A good looking couple.
The stairway down.
A low branchTurtle appetizer for a gator.
We came upon the Peace River Citrus processing plant. The odor of fresh squeezed orange juice wolfed across the road. We pulled in to see if we could get a tour, but guard at the gate said no tours. So we turned around in their lot and got a few photo,s. I wonder how many oranges are in one of those trailers. Note they lift up the whole trailer to dump it. I'm sure this would be a great tour. The guard told us every part of the fruit is used. She said the rind and other parts are use for livestock feed. Orange beef anyone?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thousand Trails Peace River Preserve-Wauchula FL 1/4-1/17/2011

Very friendly staff. $0. price reflects club price. We had 30amp electric and water. About half the sites are FHU. We had a back in site on grass.with a few trees. Water pressure was low at times, electric was low, our autoformer kept lighting up, meaning it was boosting electric. Many improvements are on the way, and they are working on some now. No picnic table. They are getting 200 new tables. About half the roads are paved, rest are packed sand.  Our site was down near the river and a little roomier them the sites near the road that were full hook up. There is a laundry w/6 washers and dryers. Could use more for a park this size, it was always very busy. There is wifi in the clubhouse. Our Verizon cell phone and air card worked well. Major TV networks over the air + about 15 other channels. There is a small fenced in dog run and many roads and trails in park to walk them.  Very quite at night. Night lighting is low and very nice.  There is a very  tiny book exchange. Many roads in park for bike riding. The Peace river is in back of park. There is a steep kayak/canoe lunch. Slow low flowing river. Fossil digging is popular. You can rent fossil digging tools and float for digging in the river, or bring your own.   Many activities. There is a heated pool and spa. It is schedule to get a make over. A few good restaurant's in town and groceries about 3 miles. Super Walmart about 5 miles.   

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Wauchula FL Part 2

     A few emails about our pictures at the top of our blog - it was taken at Salmon Glacier. It was a 20 mile white knuckle drive up the side of a mountain, but well worth it. It is a glacier you are above and looking down at. It backs up about 3 miles in two directions. It is about 15 miles (in a straight line) from Hyder AK just on the Canadian side of the border in British Columbia. Hyder AK is just across the border from Stewart BC.
      On Wednesday we drove about 60 miles to the great Tampa RV show. It is billed as the biggest RV show in the US. If you go, you better wear your walking shoes. It is big, with many RV's on display. I would say 1000's, but that would be excruciating. There are two large buildings with all types of RV supplies for sale. We had a good time walking around and seeing 1000's of rver's looking at all the new RV's and supplies. The economy looks good at the show, but don't know what the dealers will say about sales. But it sure looks like there is a lot of interest.
      We went to the town of Myakka City FL to see the training of the Lipizzan Stallions. see  It was a cold day of about 50 degrees, so there was a small group of about 100-125spectators. There were two buses and about 25-30 cars in the parking lot. We went with our friends Tom and Paula. We had seats right up aside of the fence separating us from the horses. It was a super show. Myakka City is in the middle of nowhere. It is about 30 miles from Wauchula and 20 miles from Arcadia.
               While here Blazer found a twin. See picture's can you pick out Blazer. The other dog is Banjo, he is from Canada. They played together at the rv park and at the county park about 1/2 mile from here.  Two other dogs, both Australian Healers also came to visit Blazer, not us. He became popular with the other two owners. They wanted to know how we trained him to bring the ball back and put at your feet, or on your shoe. Well we gave demonstrations and told them he is just a "natural" at retrieving. We are felling hurt, more people came to visit Blazer then us. So we had to polish him up and he got a bath today. He's still walking like a hero. He is, that is, he is our hero.
Saturday night we went to bed and heard a lot of noise and saw a lot of bright lights. We looked out the window to see five fire trucks on the next road in the rv park. We went out to see a brand new motor home on fire. The fire started in the refrigerator. Almost every one of the many people standing around said they had  a recall on their refrigerator, including us. This is a very serious problem. Lucky no one was hurt. The owner was up and got help right away. The motor home across from us and behind the burning one pulled forward up against our truck. This is what we first heard. He unhook his electric and hose and pulled forward with his awning and slides still our. Very scary. A couple of people got their hose and may have helped slow the fire down till the fire department got there.  
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