We’re in the forest again - the Ocala National Forest and Salt Springs Campground. Our site is just one over from where we were parked in December. More rules have changed since December – now your wheels have to be on the blacktop, NO jacks in the dirt, no flagpoles and NOTHING but lanterns hanging on the lantern hook. We were informed that our trailer would have to be moved up and the back jacks had to be on the pavement.
Next-door is Bob in his pickup truck camper from Illinois. Across the road are Bruce and Joanne from Minnesota. They brought their Harley. Next to them was Betty, a retired airline stewardess from New Jersey. Her miniature longhaired Dachshund’s name is Nathan! (Get it? Nathan – hotdog) On the other side of us was a couple in a bright yellow modified van/minibus, decorated with big flower decals. They and their laidback dog and free roaming cat kept to themselves. There is wifi in the front gatehouse and when attendance is taken you will find most all the northern states represented and the discussion is all about weather up north! It was cool when we arrived so we quickly set up our get together with D&S on the day before another storm was to come raging thru. It was great to see them one more time before we would head farther north once more
Warm weather has since prevailed and the wet suits FINALLY came out of the box in the back of the truck. The seaweed and grasses are now all gone so the springs are clear and full of good-sized large mouth bass and schools of shiny mullets. The manatees were still grazing out in the bay and the bay was full of anchored boats and slow moving kayaks. Those aboard were focused on the large gentle animals that swam slowly amongst them. With all the rain that Florida has had this past winter, the water level in the spring is now high, making the narrow peninsula at the mouth of the head spring an island and the steps that lead down into the cool clear water are now under water and slippery with algae. The 3 springs are still deep blue and the water gushing up and away cause shiny echoes on the tops of the huge underground boulders. One afternoon a 4-foot alligator was spotted and soon became the object of fascination and observation. That cute little guy was just trying to mind his own business, yet he kept all those grown ups out of the water anyway! As did the large blue crab that attempted to stay out of sight as he crawled as close to the base of the retaining wall as he could.