Sunday, December 22, 2013

Silver Springs

 Happy Winter!   Today, December 21st is the first day of winter!  The official temperature was 84 degrees.   Sorry. 

We arrived at Wilderness RV Resort on Wednesday.   Every day there are more huge rigs pulling in but there are still a lot of empty concrete pads out there.   On the 2 sites behind us are sisters and husbands from Michigan!     The next row over is a 35 ft Rockwood from Pennsylvania!  Great folk all!  In total there are 5 Rockwood’s in the park!  Last year we were in site 15 on the backside of this row but site 7 is right on the main road, across from the little lane that leads to the river and to the section where all the big fancy class A motorhomes buy the space and do all their own improvements. Some have big elaborate decks and screen rooms!  On the outside row all the rigs pull in so their mammoth front windows face the river and woods instead of the street and all the golf carts going by!    Oh, yeh, there was a Christmas parade that zipped thru the park – 9 decorated golf carts and a big yellow motorcycle!   Pretty exciting!

Dick and Sharon live on the south west side of Ocala and the town of Silver Springs is on the east side.  Wilderness is further east on Rt 40, just past the Ocklawaha River.  D&S were out running errands on Thurs and we met them at Bob Evans for an early supper.  Of course, since we were going to town - it gave us a chance to go do some shopping also!  Especially since H broke the mirror on the truck.

The “adventure” day came on Friday when we struggled to get the boat down the hill and put together at the edge of the slimy green pond area where all the park’s kayaks are kept.  H had to row out thru the lime green ooze to the river where I was able to climb aboard next to where the pontoon boats were moored.  Once away from the shore the jungle cruise began!   Up the Ocklawaha River we ventured under the high bridge on Rt 40 to the beautiful Silver River.  Herons were everywhere – big blue and gray ones, little blue ones, green ones and elegant long legged white ones; egrets with their curved bills always slicing thru the water; kingfishers zigzagging across the river from one tall tree to another and the always present cormorants and anhingas with their long snaky necks and outspread drying wings.  Millions of orange-bellied turtles sunning themselves, all stacked like dominos on any available log.   We saw TEN black alligators dozing in the sun, just on the 6-mile ride up to the headsprings. On the way back down H spotted a tiny one, only about 2 ft long swimming in front of us.  Not a monkey was to be seen on this trip but we did manage to scare 2 wild hogs and followed them across the river and watched them disappear thru the lily pads to the palmetto jungle.   At the clear, deep blue headspring there used to be a dozen glass bottom and jungle tour boats, all twirling around over the deep springs and down the river in search of alligators.  Now there is only one lonely boat to take visitors out over the gorgeous water canyons.  The concession that used to operate the boats and park no longer manage it and the “state” has taken over so it is now part of the Silver Springs State Park.
Hogs in the River
Saturday is flea market day in Florida!   The Market of Marion even has a cafĂ© for breakfast!  Our mission was to find a new side mirror for the truck and a replacement plate for Staci’s Pfalzgraff dinnerware set.  Did not find either but we found mirrors for our little bikes since our good ones got left behind at home and bright red tomatoes to go with our bacon sandwiches -even tho they do not compare to our home grown ones from Michigan!

Christmas is coming and we must get to Ross Prairie before Santa!  We will see you there!