Monday, March 28, 2005

05-26 Ramblings, Lake Louisa State Park Florida

Lake Louisa St Park, Fl
Work camping

Week 26 of 52
Sept 25-30

Ramblings I’ve been doing the work camping job for two weeks now. It’s about 4 hours of work each day and isn’t bad. The rangers here are fantastic, so I feel right at home. Cleaning the bathrooms, making sure the campsites are clean and I started selling campfire wood. Though I can’t imagine anyone wanting to build a campfire, when the temps are still in the 90’s. I prefer the cool interior of my new “La Casa Grande’ del sol de Doug“ ….. cha cha cha….

On one of my days off, I drove to Ridge Manor and picked up my buddy Jimmy and we went into Dade City for lunch at Kokopelles. A great restraunt with tons of personality. I had a Cuban pressed sandwich with fried green tomatoes and Jimmy had the Tomato Surprise salad.

The new camper suites me well. The extra space is nice, particularly in the bedroom area. Previously my bedroom was very tight. Now with the sink/vanity area as a part of the bedroom, I have more room to move around and get ready in the morning. The bed linens and coco colored suede drapes are very high end and add to the sophisticated elegance.

I’m still deciding how best to organize the island kitchen, as I’ve lost my pantry area I had in the previous camper, but have gained more cupboards and work area.

I gave lots of stuff from the previous camper to Habitat for Humanity and have purchased just a few small items needed for this camper. Though, It has so many upgrades, that there isn’t much I have needed to purchase.

I went on a nice bike ride through the park yesterday evening, just before sunset. Actually there was no sunset with the dark clouds off in the distance. It’s a great park to bike ride in, with nice gentle rolling hills and virtually no traffic to worry about. So I rode the bike to Lake Louisa, one of the seven lakes in the park. Got down to the lake just as it began to sprinkle. You guessed it, I rode back in the rain. It was a good soaker and actually felt quite refreshing! The rain was warm and I felt like a kid again, playing in the rain. Had to take my glasses off since they were fogging up. My baseball cap, T-shirt and shorts were drenched.

This weekend is the start of their ranger talks and coffee with the ranger. I’ll be helping set up and making the coffee. Looking forward to the talks.

Still haven’t made it into Orlando. I dread the traffic. You’d think someone who is a full time camper would not have a problem with traffic, but it’s quite the opposite. I’ve learned to stay on the back roads and less traveled highways and when I get near a city, I avoid it if possible. I love the country and the west in particular has so much less traffic then back here in the east.

Ok, made it into Orlando on Saturday. Went bowling with a couple former co-workers. Fun, but was once again, happy to get back to my campground.

A couple days later, I was driving out of the park, and there on the road leading to the entrance, I saw a mother doe and her baby doe’et. The mother was nursing the baby doe, right there in the middle of the road. I stopped. Couldn’t believe what I was seeing, and just stayed there, not moving for a couple of minutes, watching the mother and her baby doe until they finally were ready to leap over the tall grasses and head into the woods. Nature in it’s most beautiful form, alive and in harmony with the surroundings.

Jimmy and I went into Clermont the other day (my day off) and toured the small town. We had lunch at a small sandwich and ice-cream shop, walked around the couple blocks of the downtown, close to one of the many lakes in the area and stopped by the only gift shop in town. Found a couple great buys on some “vintage” table clothes and had to buy two of them. What a great buy. In the few blocks we toured, we saw three print shops, three news paper bldgs, and three dance studio’s. Hmmm, interesting. Oh, we also saw two libraries within three blocks of each other. Odd little town. The rest were insurance, attorneys, engineer and an electric shop selling kitchen appliances. More of a small business town than a shopping/touristy type town.

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