Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Orlando Area - Visiting with more family

So we got out of Pine Bluff on Sunday after all.  On our way out of Arkansas, I just couldn't help but take a picture of the cotton which was ready to be picked.
I also took a picture of these water features along the way out of Arkansas, and just into Louisiana.  An "Ox Bow Lake" is a U-shaped body of water formed when a wide meander from the main stem of a river is cut off to create a lake.  There are many of them along the Arkansas River, and the RV Park I stayed at in Pine Bluff was along a Ox Bow Lake.  The largest Ox Bow Lake is Lake Chicot, in Lake Village, shown below.
In Louisiana there is the town of Lake Providence, which is also a Ox Bow Lake, but from the highway what you see is the Mississippi River, shown below.
Finally, there is a little town which I have driven through many times along Highway 65 in Louisiana which I just have to mention.  The first time I drove through this town my Children's Librarian, Miss Ann, was with me on our way to New Orleans for an American Library Association Conference in 1993.  She said, "Dave, we just have to stop at this little gas station up ahead...."  Thinking that she needed to use the facilities, I said, "Ok".  But as I got closer.....well, look at this picture below...
Yes, there is a Transylvania Louisiana...and yes, that is a "BAT" up on the water tower.  It is an unincorporated community, and there was a gas station in operation there back in 1993....not sure it is open any more.  But that is the type of humor Miss Ann had...she loved to surprise you....to do the unexpected.  I sure do miss her....

We stayed at the Mississippi Visitor's Center parking lot Sunday night, and then drove to just past Tallahassee Florida Monday, where we stayed at a Rest Area.  The Mississippi Visitor's Center was much quieter, although there were trains that passed nearby now and then, but no trucks....until the dumpster was emptied at 5:00 am.  When we were leaving Monday morning, I saw the sign that said, "No overnight camping...."  Opps! No harm, no ticket, and we were not the only motor home there all night, and they do have a night guard. The Florida Rest Area was ok, a few trucks but they did not run their engines for the most part.  The only problem with the Rest Area was that the lot was too small for the number of trucks and RV parking spaces....many trucks stuck out the end and over the front, making it hard for others to pass by.  Our RV just fit into our slot, right on the line both front and back.  I think this helped keep it quiet through the night in that experienced truck drivers knew not to pull into this particular rest area for a quick facilities stop, as we commonly found at other rest areas.

Tuesday we arrived at the Wakiva Falls KOA just north of Orlando.  Marcia's brother Dean and his wife Carol, along with two granddaughters of theirs, Brantley and Mason, met us for dinner in nearby Sanford where we ate at Hollerbach's Willow Tree Cafe, a good German Restaurant in downtown Sanford.  After a nearly 3 hour visit, we headed back to the KOA.  We hope to have a late dinner Wednesday night with them and the girl's father, Jamie Iracleanos, who has been involved as a producer of the "My Big Redneck ..." TV shows.  Just click this Google Link if you want to see what I am talking about...  Anyway, he flies in around 7 pm, so it all depends upon how the flight goes.

This KOA is new to the KOA family, but it is an older RV park.  The sites are grass....here in rainy Florida, having a grass RV park would seem to be a challenge...but I have seen many of them here in Florida.  It is a HUGE park, the guy who checked me in said it was one of the largest KOA's with over 800 sites.  Below you can see a Google Satellite image of the park.
The good thing is that this is just at the start of the "Snow Birds" descent on Florida.  Snow Birds are people from the cold north who come to Florida (or Texas, or Southern California, etc.) in the Winter months to get away from the snow and cold of places like Chicago, Ontario and other places in Canada, New York, etc.  So the park is very empty, giving those who are here a lot of room.  Below is the sites right in front of us.

 Above is front left, and below is front right.

 Above is to our right, and below is to our left and behind us.

Below is our spot.  I guess the good news is that the Dogs cannot complain about not having grass!  
We leave this park on Thursday.  Still undecided if we head right to Palm Harbor, or spend one more night somewhere and pull into Palm Harbor Friday morning.  It is hard to believe that our first 6 months of travel are nearly done....but there is much of Florida to explore this winter!

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