Whitetail Ridge COE (March 31-April 1, 2017)

Friday - It was another nice couple hour drive here with perfect weather after a very rainy night. We drove a few miles from the campground to Charlie Joseph's hamburger, hotdog, and chili place for lunch. The food was good as was the service. We fished mid afternoon and again in the evening, but managed only one bream.
Saturday - We took a couple of nice walks and John fished a few shorelines and managed a few team, a small bass, and a much nicer bass. He used a chartreuse squiggly-tail nymph under an indicator for the first two, but resorted to a plastic worm on a Duck Commander for the larger bass.

View Pictures: Click Here

Cottonhill COE (March 29-30, 2017)

Wednesday - It was about 190 miles driving, to get here, with one delay to wait for a freight train that was stopped on the crossing. We went into Ft. Gaines and had dinner at KJs Grilling Company. It used to be The Hungry Wolf a few years ago. We both had hamburger steak with baked potato and fried okra. It was really good and we left stuffed. The lake here, Walter F. George, or Lake Eufala if you are an Alabaman, is in much better shape with weeds than last year. We took our Duck Commander poles armed with plastic Zoom finesse worms and fished along shore. We each caught a few small bass and John caught one big enough to warrant filleting, while Joan caught one definitely worthy. Great! We will add them to one John caught a few days ago that we froze. They have an awesome fish cleaning station here, which we used.
Thursday - We each grabbed a breakfast bar and went down to the lake to fish. John took a fly rod armed with a Clouser while Joan stuck to her trusty Duck Commander. Joan caught a bass that was in between the two that we kept last evening, while John could only muster a little one. It was a beautiful morning and at least we got to feel the tug. We sat outside on our nicely shaded site (34) and got to watch a gator slowly cruising the lake and an osprey on its nest.

View Pictures: Click Here

Suwanee River SP (March 26-28, 2017)

Sunday - It was a good 90 mile trip here with no surprises. The sites are small, and lacking barrier between them. The trees here are not quite as dense as Paynes Prairie SP, but still too thick to get satellite, unless John sets up the dish across the road. The cable would likely be damaged if we did.
Monday - We ate a breakfast bar and hiked the Suwanee River Trail and a part of the Balanced Rock Trail. We discovered that the "Balanced Rock" in no longer balanced and fell into the river. John took his Tenkara rod with a foam hopper and fished in some likely spots, but only one very small bream cooperated. It was a very nice hike with perfect temp and nice breeze. It has been getting quite warm in the afternoon. The gnats have been rather pesky.
Tuesday - We took an early morning hike on the Sink Run Trail. This was a beautiful hike with large cedars and rocky overlooks of the gully made by the water runoff. The highlight was the most beautifully built wooden bridge we have seen. We would love the builders to do our deck in Blairsville. We were greeted by a pair of barred owls doing their "who-cooks-for-you" call. In the evening we enjoyed a fire with Jim and Pearl from Dunnellon. While we were chatting, a hummingbird flew very close to us, nearly brushing us.

Payne's Prairie SP (March 22-25, 2017)

Wednesday - It was less than an hour to get here, but there was a lot of truck traffic on I-75. We got into site six, which is much smaller than the one we just left. The tree cover is heavy, which gives us ample shade, but made it impossible for John to get satellite signal. We can watch tv on our phones and watch dvds.
Thursday - We drove to High Springs to meet our friends, the Mast family, for dinner at Alice's Restaurant. They reunion at Trackrock and have made us feel part of their family. It was great visiting and getting caught up.
Friday - Today we drove to the north park entrance to hike the La Chua trail. There is a sink here where the lake drains into the underground aquifer. There are also many wild animals such as alligators, bison, and horses that can be seen from the trail. This is not a zoo, but a wild encounter and care must be taken. We did not see any bison today, but saw many alligators and horses. It as quite windy, which made it more comfortable to hike.
Saturday - We drove over to the visitor's center and viewing area that is only a couple miles from the campground. We climbed to observation tower, but sadly no animals were in sight.

View Pictures: Click Here

Rainbow Springs SP (Mar 8-21, 2017)

Wednesday - Short trip here from Crystal River. We got set up and waited for our friends Sam and Paula to arrive. After they got here and got set up, we headed to The Front Porch for dinner. It was great to get caught up with things in Georgia.
Thursday - Today the four of us biked the Withlacoochee Bay Trail four miles out to the Gulf. It was a beautiful ride and we were treated to dolphins and pelicans feeding on bait fish. We all had dinner at our place.
Friday - Today, the four joined our Friday kayaking group on the Rainbow River, a beautiful stretch of crystal clear water. We saw otter, cormorants, turtles, ibis, wood ducks, and fish. John caught many small bream while the group went up to the head spring, then joined the group down river to the take out at Blue Run. We ended the outing with lunch at The Blue Otter.
Saturday - The Fab Four needed a slightly less strenuous day, so we went exploring. Sam did the honors of driving. We chucked out Yankeetown, Crystal River Preserve State Park, Fort Island Trail Park and Beach, and Gulf Coast RV Park where J&J stayed in November for possible use next year by S&P. We had a very nice lunch at Crackers, although we couldn't sit outside due to it being too crouded. John thinks the grouper sandwich here is nearly as good as the Blue Gator and much better than Charlie's. It was a gorgeous day.
Sunday - The two of us are battling allergies or upper respiratory junk, so we chose to stay home from church this AM. The weather is iffy as well so we stayed close and took a couple walks around here. On our evening walk down to the river we were treated to a bald eagle catching a fish. It flew quite close to us.
Monday - The temperature has dropped here considerably, and the wind picked up, but the four decided to bike anyway. We parked at Blue Run in Dunnellon and biked both ways to the end on the trail there. We also hiked around the lake on the nature trail, then went back to the Front Porch Restaurant for dinner and to celebrate Joan's Birthday.
Saturday - We have been laying low, fighting of upper resperatory crud, we figure set off by oak pollen, which is very high now.
Monday - We took it easy again today and met Sam and Paula at Swampy's for dinner.
Tuesday - We are still feeling the effects of oak allergies, but are managing to function. We made a Wally run, then took the bikes to NCL to leave them there. We said good byes to friends and blew leaves off the patio for the last time. In the evening we met Sam and Paula at the Front Porch for dinner.

View Pictures: Click Here

Nature Coast Landing RV Resort (Feb 8-Mar 7, 2017)

Wednesday - The sellers of site 34 have allowed us to set up on the site in advance of our closing to purchase the site on Saturday. We got mostly set and went to Mama Sally's nearby for dinner. Excellent! On the way back, we stopped at Gulf Coast RV Resort to check on Bill and Karin, who we met in November when we stayed there. We had a good 3 1/2 hour trip here using back roads.
Thursday - We met a bunch of people. Everyone is so friendly. We wanted to get some things we need so we went to Home Depot to stock up. John got the electric to the shed fixed.
Friday - We enjoyed a fire at our neighbors along with many others. We are really enjoying it here.
Saturday - Our closing was this morning and we are now officially owners here. John painted the under side of the picnic table and will do the top tomorrow. In the evening we went to a cookout potluck, which was great.
Monday - Our friends Jim and Suzanne, who are staying at Manatee Springs SP came over for a visit. They came with us when we checked out sites for sale here and told us we should buy this site. We talked for awhile, then went to Charlie's for lunch. After we are, we took them around to check out places to launch, such as Crystal River Preserve SP.
Tuesday - The highlight of  the day was a prime rib dinner dance. We are making friends and really enjoying it here.
Wednesday - Today was a welcome and information meeting. Storms went thru, so no outdoor activities.
Thursday - There is a bike path along the shipping canal that goes out to the coast from here at the park and also goes east towards the Withlacoochee River.  We decided to do the latter, which is two miles each way. It was a beautiful ride with a couple places we would be able to fish from shore. It also passes a lake wth a decent place to launch, which we can wheel the kayaks to from the parking area.
Monday - The tides were not favorable, so we launched at the ramp by the dam on Lake Rousseau. First cast John had a nice bass that gave him a great fight. A little later Joan had a smaller one, that she released. That was it for the day.
Wednesday - We met our friends Joe and Debbie at Charlie's for a nice lunch. After we checked out a couple kayak dealers, then came back to our RV site to show them.
Friday - Our group went kayaking on Silver River in Ocala. We put in at the state park and paddled downstream to Rays Landing where we had shuttled vehicles. After, we had a great lunch at MoJos.
Monday - John gave a talk on fly fishing at the fishing talk meeting, which was well received, while Joan went with friends to a Red Head Express concert at our neighbor's church. She really enjoyed it.
Wednesday, March 1 - We got an early start and put the kayaks in at the boat launch on the canal just up the road and headed inland to a small inlet where we have seen action. We fished it hard, but only managed one very small snook. We consoled ourselves with breakfast at Mama Sally's, which has treated us well. After, we drove our to the end of the Withlacoochee Bay Trail and enjoyed the cool breeze and scenery. We were treated to see many dolphin and bald eagles. There is a place to launch the kayaks there and will give it a try.

View Pictures: Click Here

Lake Manatee SP (Jan 25-Feb 7)

Wednesday - We had another quick trip here and got settled in around noon. Skip and Shirley joined us.
Thursday - The four of us drove to Nature Coast Landing RV Resort to take a second look at site 36, which we really liked, but didn't walk all around it, because it looked like someone was on it. We really, really liked it and had the owners come over to make an offer to buy, which was accepted. We will move our MH onto it Feb 8. We sre very excited. You can check out the park on their website: http://www.naturecoastlandingsrvresort.com/
Friday - We enjoyed another thrift store shopping spree.
Saturday - Skip and Shirley left a day early because rain was forecast to come in tonight. We drove over to our ponds in Lakewood Ranch to fish, but it was very slow. John had a nice one on that got away.
Sunday - Great service again.
Monday - We walked here a few times. It was very windy, but a little warmer than yesterday and full sunshine.
Tuesday - We joined a group of fellow campers and workers at our host's Deb and Dan's site for brats and other tasties. We had a great time and lots of laughs around a warm campfire.
Wednesday - Friends, Tony and Linds met us at Linger Lodge for a nice lunch our on their room overlooking the river. After, we went back to the lakes in Lakewood Ranch where we have fished before. At one point we both had a bass on at the same time, and also caught a few others.
Friday - We returned to the Lakewood Ranch lakes and walked quite a ways to try out a lake on Hidden River Road. We got nearly all the way around before Joan caught a decent bass, with John following a little later. Joan was using the usual finesse worm and John was casting a foam hopper on the 6 wt.
Saturday - We met some nice folks at the coffee including a couple from Weeki Wachee who were here for the first time.
Sunday - We will really miss this church with the awesome music, preaching, and fellowship. We enjoyed Super Bowl 51, if not the outcome. We wanted Atlanta to get one.
Monday - Stayed close to camp and said so long to Guy and Nancy and Dave and Pat. Got some things done around camp including John's haircut.