John and Sandy's RV Adventure Journal

December 2008 Journal

Well this year is coming to an end.  Even though we have had a challenging year, every year is a good year.  Tomorrow starts another day and another year.  Hopefully it will be a happy and healthy New Year for everyone.
We are relaxing around the campground today.  It’s going to be the normal temperature of around 72 degrees.  Tonight is the campgrounds New Years Eve party.  It starts around 830pm.  One of the campers in the park will be our DJ.  Everyone brings an appetizer.
Our neighbors Keith and Janice started a fire and had a few other campers over, we took some wine and joined the party.  We all headed over to the clubhouse at 830pm for the New Years Eve party.  There was lots of snacks, Ed was the DJ again and there were probably around 50 people.  We had a good time, did some dancing and had a champagne toast at midnight.

We tried our luck again at fishing.  John used the net and caught some shiners for bait.  Then we went over to the Inglis Dam.  We did have a big bass hit our bait but we couldn’t land it.  That’s ok.  Then we headed to the grocery store to pick up some items for our New Years Eve party tomorrow night.

This morning we were sitting outside having coffee when the Great Egret and Great Blue Heron got excited because they thought they saw the bait truck pull in.  Soon they realized it was only the Ice Cream truck.

Another beautiful day.  Should make it to around 84 degrees.  We headed out to the Ale House on Kings Bay to meet Suzy and Angie to do some canoeing.  Suzy is one of the campers from Grass Lake in Antioch IL.  Suzy and Huddy are down in Tampa for the winter.  We rented a canoe and Suzy and Angie have their own kayaks.
Even though we had our suits on we weren’t planning on swimming.  Just getting sun.  However, when John got in the canoe, over it went.  That’s ok, he was refreshed.  We got going and saw a manatee close up right at the Manatee Sanctuary.  Then we canoed over to Three Sisters.  This is where the headspring is and the manatees come to hang out because the water temperature is a constant 72 degrees.  Since it was Sunday it was crowded with other kayakers, divers, people snorkeling and boaters.  After canoeing the four of us had lunch at the Ale House.  After lunch, John and I stopped at Crackers to watch some football.

Another nice day.  We did a few projects around the cow and just hung out.

    This morning we took a short walk around the campground.  It was going to be a hot day and we wanted to go on a hike, so we headed over to Inglis Dam Park around 11am.  We had hiked this area the other day.
Well, today we had some wildlife encounters.  We saw kingfisher birds along the river, an armadillo, a tortoise just walked right past us on his way to somewhere.  Then we had a scary encounter.  It was good to have, but I hope never to again.  John was about 2 feet in front of me and he made a sound I haven’t heard before.  One like he was startled from something.  In a matter of a few seconds, I saw why.
About 2 feet in front of him right on our path was a 3 foot venomous cottonmouth snake.  He was not happy to see us.  He coiled up and hissed with his open mouth at John when he saw us.  We kept our distance, took a couple pictures and then started to move away.  The snake was holding his ground, still coiled and ready to strike.  When we started to move away, he decided to also.  I’m just glad he went in a different direction.

Cottonmouths are the most found snake in this area.  It is very venomous and if you get bitten, you need to get to a hospital immediately for anti-venom.  The bite can be fatal.  Needless to say, on the hike back to the truck, I was looking all over just in case.  Not that I don’t look all the time, but we were almost right on him before we saw him.    Now I needed to relax.  So we went to the pool.

Our third Christmas on the road.  We got up and got the coffee ready.  Santa came last night so we have presents to open.  We live in a cow and don’t need a lot, but Santa knows.  After a relaxing morning, we headed over to the clubhouse at 1145am for the Campground Christmas Potluck.  Ed cooked 68 pounds of ham.  We had about 80 people come.  Everyone brings a dish.  After dinner we hung around the campground.

  Christmas Eve day.  We had a nice 2.5 mile hike down Riverwoods.  We brought carrots in case we saw the horses.  The reggae horses were out.  They enjoyed all the carrots.  We’ll have to start bringing carrots on each walk.  The fruit trees down here are loaded.  We stopped to pick a Clementine and grapefruit.  We enjoyed these on our walk.
It’s a hot day, around 84 degrees so we decided to take our books and head over to the pool.  It was crowded today.  It was us and two other people.  The water temperature is 83.  After the pool, we started our Christmas Eve dinner with cocktails on the patio.  Then we fired up the grill for our Frog legs, Oysters and Shrimp.  After dinner, we went over to the community fire.  There were quite a few people and then Santa stopped by on his golf cart.  We headed back to the cow, because we knew Santa was on his way.

Today was a full day.  John went out and took a 3 mile hike while I wrapped a few presents.  I went to meet him and we both hiked another 3 miles over by Inglis dam.  When we got back we had dinner and then went over to the clubhouse.  Tonight is poker night.  There were about 20 people there. 

Today was a cool windy lazy day.  I did have a TCI appointment.  Tonight we are going to watch the Bears and Packers game.

This morning we took it easy.  We decided to join the Texas Holdem tournament at 1pm.  There is a 5.00 entry fee.  We started with 21 people.  I ended up at the last table and finished 2nd place. 

20         This morning we tried our luck at catching some wild shiners with the net.  So far we haven’t been to lucky.  We’ll we got 12 of them.  A dozen wild shiners sell for 18.00 per dozen.  We took our bait and headed over to the park by the dam.  We had some hits but didn’t get any landed.  Hey, at least we had some action.
We were back early and headed down to Crackers Bar at Kings Bay.  Tonight is the Christmas boat parade.  On Saturday’s Crackers also has an outdoor band.  So we had some drinks, watched the boat parade and listened to the band.  

Today we reconnected and worked on desktop computer.  Then went to the pool.

This morning we did some grocery and Christmas shopping.  We had to pick up desktop computer.  It is such a nice day, we didn’t set the computer back up.  We went to the pool instead.

Well, this morning we had an ant invasion.  All the campgrounds in this area have ant and no seeums problems.  This campground isn’t too bad.  We have been putting out ant powder and checking all our hoses and tires.  But for some reason, last night they were after the inside garbage.  We killed them all and put out more powder.  Now we’re ready to talk a walk.  I did 2.5 miles and John did 8 miles.

Another beautiful day.  We went golfing at The Plantation Lagoons Course.  The Plantation has an 18 hole and 9 hole course.  The lagoons course is the 9 holes.  Since we haven’t golfed in a while we decided to do the 9 holes

The next week is supposed to be above average temperatures around 80 each day.  Normal is 72 which still is great.  Today the winds are going to be light.  So we rented a canoe at our campground and went out on Lake Rousseau.  We brought our fishing poles and did a little casting but didn’t catch anything.  We were out for about 3 hours.  When we got back it was still nice so we went to the pool.

Sunday is football day.  So we are relaxing and watching football.

 We went to breakfast at the campground then headed up to Crystal River.  Today they have Heritage Days on Main street.  Crystal River has this the 2nd Saturday of every month.  There are arts and crafts, food vendors and music.  However, today there was no music.  Instead for Christmas, there was Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus.  Also since it is winter, they have a sledding hill for the kids.
We stopped at the Irish bar for a beer and then went to look for the Manatees.  We took Kings Bay Drive to the little bridge heading to the 3 sisters spring.  We saw about 8 manatees there.  Nowadays, the Manatees are everywhere.  We continued on Kings Bay Drive and stopped at the Crystal River Wildlife Refuge.  Next to the wildlife refuge is a small motel, the Ale House Restaurant and a canoe/kayak rental.  We checked on canoe rentals for next week.  We found out there is also the Manatee Sanctuary right there.  Motorized boats are not allowed in this area.
So when we go canoeing, we will rent from this company and canoe to 3 sisters which is about a 20 minute canoe trip and then to the Manatee Sanctuary.  We stopped for a few groceries and then headed back to the cow and made dinner.

   12   Today we’re just taking it easy at the campground and doing some reading.  When we were grilling out, the full moon was rising over the lake. 

Today we have some strong storms coming through.  We decided to go up to the small mall and do a little Christmas shopping.  We really don’t need much. 

Another beautiful day.  We headed over to the canal and tried our fishing technique again.  We did the best so far.  We were catching Whiting.  It was nice to throw our lines in and almost immediately get a hit.  We brought in enough for a nice fish dinner.  When we got back we were sitting at our site and I saw a big bird.  It was a Pileated Woodpecker.  Nearly as large as a crow, the Pileated Woodpecker is the largest woodpecker in North America.  It was almost 2 feet long.  It’s wingspan is also about 2 feet.

Today is a beautiful winter day.  It’s sunny and 82 degrees.  We decided we needed a pool day, so we took our books and went to soak up some sun.

Our desktop computer is not working.  After troubleshooting, I know it’s the motherboard, cpu or hard drive.  We found a computer repair shop in Dunnellon.  PC n Parts.  After talking with them, we took the computer in.  The motherboard needs replacing.  So they will order the parts and finish up the repair.  We did a bit of shopping and then headed back to the cow.

We never finished our Christmas decorations.  Not that we have that many.  So this morning we’re doing that and then watching football.

We never finished our Christmas decorations.  Not that we have that many.  So this morning we’re doing that and then watch football.

Today is an exploration day.  We are heading up to Cedar Key which is about 45 miles.  On the way we stopped at Cedar Key Scrub Park and did a 3.5 mile hike.  Then we went to the town of Cedar Key.  It’s a very nice pretty area.  Nothing at all on the way until you get there.  There are many places to go out on a fishing boat.  Lots of restaurants and bars along the shore.  There are a few fishing piers.  We stopped at Coconuts and had a couple cocktails and sat outside on the deck overlooking the gulf. 

Today is a warm and sunny day with light winds.  We headed over to KP Hole in Dunnellon to canoe the Rainbow River.  We put in about 1 ½ miles downriver from the headspring.  So we were able to canoe against the current on the way up and drift with the current on the return.  The water on the river is 72 degrees year round.  The rainbow river is very very clear and clean.  We saw lots of birds and fish.  We stopped at the headspring and had sandwiches we brought with us.  It took us about 3 hours round trip.
When we got back we relaxed outside and enjoyed the late afternoon.

   3   Today is cool and I have some domestic stuff to do.  Plus our big boy computer is acting up and I need to troubleshoot it.  Well I worked on the computer for quite a while.  One of the campers here, Ed is also good with computers.  I think it’s a hard drive problem.  So we have to get a new hard drive and install it.  John was ready for a walk, so he headed out and took a 7 mile walk.

It’s a cool day only 60 degrees.  We went for a 5 mile walk around the area.  We had cattle and horses come up to us.  Next time we walk we have to make sure to bring carrots and apples.

Today we did some grocery, Christmas and misc shopping.