Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mt. Dora Area

Trimble Park, in Tangerine Florida is just outside of Mt Dora where the “mounts” are just slightly rolling hills.   But – the shops downtown do have tee shirts that proudly proclaim, “ I Climbed Mt Dora”!   Trimble Park is yet another one of OUR favorite Orange County Parks and is run way better than all the rest!  We considered ourselves lucky to get a spot there this year.  Of the 15 sites in the park, 8 are lakefront sites, 4 back up to the small run that divides the group camping and picnic area from the campground itself.  3 sites are not on any water at all.  Last time here we managed to secure the PRIMO sight but this year we parked on site #3 on the run.  Next to us was a great couple from New York.   Down the way were Maine, W Virginia, Michigan and Connecticut – besides the local Floridians.  Of the 8 occupied campsites – there were 3 Portabotes!  Our bikes were never unfolded but we got our exercise in by walking the park’s perimeter.

The park is a peninsula lined with Cypress Trees, each surrounded by its myriad of up and coming roots called “knees”, shaggy Palms and leaf-dropping Live Oaks.  Azaleas and Redbuds are starting their blooms.  The shallow waters are full of aquatic growth and hungry wading birds!   All day long we listened to cardinals, and all sorts of chirping or warbling birds that were flitting too fast for us to get a focus on.  There were Egrets and Herons and we think we even heard a complaining gator in the weeds of the run!
Mt Dora is a delightful little town on the other side of the lake.  The calm basin of water is home to a marina that dresses to the hilt at Christmas time and a lovely peninsula with a big “Welcome to the Port of Mt Dora” sign complete with a Mark Twain saying, a collection of large metal benches to rest on or watch wonderful sunsets from, a stately red and white striped lighthouse and a string of public docks.

 At the docks were moored a half dozen small craft that looked like 2 surfboards lashed together with seats on top and an oversized Evinrude outboard engine secured on the aft.  Their crew was there also – booking tours of the small adjoining lakes and the Mt Dora Canal. (Go back and see the pictures from our December time in this area!)  H looked at them droolingly for a bit and may have been tempted to see about booking a tour but that thought passed quickly!   While H was studying the boats, I was enthralled by a large white Egret who didn’t like me in his space.   I pushed his patience too far by trying to get closer and closer to those mile high black skinny legs and long lacey tail feathers!   With a big squawk, off he flew!
Saturday is flea market day!  In December, it was raining and cold so the outdoor vendors were closed so we made a return trip to give them a chance at our dollars.  And we needed more tomatoes!    I still have not found Staci’s plate that is on my search list but I did find another addition to my “village”!  On Sunday as we were out on a Home Depot and Joann mission, we passed several Model T Fords that were chugging along the roadway!  As we passed the open field next to the flea market, we noticed a plethora of other vintage Fords!   We were driving a Ford so felt compelled to pull in and inspect them!  The years ranged from 1909 thru the 20’s!  There were racecars, 2 seaters, 4 seaters, rods and even trucks!   Yellow, purple, orange, dark green, bright blue and bright green vehicles were interspersed with the shiny black, gray and taupe ones!  Some were pretty rough and some were loaded down with gold or brass adornments!  According to the license plates they hailed from as far away as California and Maine with several other states in between.   But enough - this Ford is ready to move a bit more north.