Saturday, April 19, 2008

04-08 Lake City to Tallahassee Florida

Campground: NeverDunn’s Rv Park. A Recreation U.S.A member, $15 per night. Full hookup. Lake City Fla. A small campground on a country farm type setting. Dirt road ok. My rating: Basic.

Campground: Beaver Lake Campground. Passport America, $19.00 per night (winter rate). Full hookup. 20 miles west of Tallahassee. Large grassy sites, near hwy but not noisy.

Dade City to Lake City Fla.
Lake City to Tallahassee Fla.
  • Tallahassee Museum (History and Science Museum)
    Tallahassee Capital
    The Museum of Florida History, R.A. Gray Building
    The Florida Archives/photography
    The Florida Library
    The downtown Farmers Market

I’ve traveled 126 miles to this north Fla. city of Lake City/Ft White to visit with friends John and Margie. The traffic on hwy 75 wasn’t too bad and I traveled a comfortable 65 mph. Averaging 13 mpg. John recently was able to refinance his home at a fixed rate. So it can be done. Diligence and constantly calling a couple of mortgage brokers was the trick. John is a famous Florida artist who continues to do well even in these recession times. Talk about talent. He recently finished building a two bedroom addition to his home along with creating some awesome painting of the real Florida. Check them out at:

On Wednesday I went over to John and Margie’s and we had a BBQ lunch. Can you imagine. On a Wednesday. Right there in the middle of the week and John’s friends were able to stop work and join in. When you live in the country, and Ft White is real country, folks not only have fun at the work they have to do, but they have no problem putting it aside for a couple hours to have a BBQ with friends. How cool.

Today I’m having another new tire put on the camper, to match the previous one I had put on about a month ago. I could have waited, but I plan on replacing all the tires anyway by the end of the year. This breaks up the cost over 6 months and gives me two matching tires on the back of the camper.

Heading on down the road, I’m traveling along I-10 heading towards Tallahassee. It’s good to be out on the open road again. Traffic is light on the highway and the new Chevy diesel truck is handling well. It has so much more power than the previous gas engine Chevy. I-10 is bordered by miles of forest and green grass medians. Even with construction along the route through Tallahassee, it was an easy drive. Maybe it’s knowing I have the best truck and power to handle towing my camper.

I-10 has really high fences on either side, though you can hardly see them between the heavy treed vegetation, to keep the deer and other wild animals off the highway. Also not seen from the highway are the small towns in north Florida surrounded by the dozens of prisons with their own fences. It always surprises me to see so many prisons in one area.

I arrived around noon, after traveling about another 135 miles to Beaver Lake Campground. Haven’t seen any lake, but it’s a nice grassy campsite and easy access to the highway. After setting up, I was able to wash the truck and front cap of the camper. I even put on some shiny stuff on the tires. A clean camper is a happy camper.

Saturday and I’m heading into Tallahassee for a bit of culture and refinement. That’s what one does when one retires. The first place I hit was the Tallahassee Museum because they had the largest official brown signs leading into the city. So I figured it was a huge museum and probably Florida’s best, being right here in the Capital.

Come to find out, it’s run by a not-for-profit organization and nothing to do with being an official museum of Florida. But, it is a compilation of historic buildings on a large plot of land, more like a park, along with two lakes and walking trails. I did get a sense of what it was like to live in the early development of Tallahassee as it grew from being a plantation based town to the state capital of Florida. Otherwise, I could have probably saved my $9 entry fee. It was geared more for the younger crowd, as in children.

So I headed into the heart of downtown, found a parking garage, expecting to pay a hefty fee for parking and was pleasantly surprised upon leaving that I owed $1 for the couple of hours I had parked there. Ps, most of their parking garages appear to be underground. Hmmm.

As I walked onto the main street, I could see the white tents at the end of the street, where they have a weekly farmers market, art and crafts show and some music. How cool. After getting a steaming cup of coffee, I wandered through the arts and crafts area, listened to an electronic keyboard player (pretty good too) and stopped by a stand and picked up a free Tallahassee Newspaper. Had a really nice conversation with the guy as we discussed movies and how his parents travel in their Rv too.

After lunch, I headed over to the Old State Capital with it’s candy striped red and white awnings for a quick tour. Florida’s early history is mired in the history of black suffrage and I found the stories well documented both in the old State Capital building as well as the Tallahassee Museum I’d visited earlier.

Heading out the back door, past the newer Tower Capital Building and Supreme Court building I headed onto the History Museum. Now this is the official Florida History Museum in the R.A. Gray building which also houses the official Historical records and Florida’s Library.
I went to check on the historical photo’s to see what they have. My friend John Sterpee has begun to paint some historical structures and I thought this might be a good source for him. Check out the historical photo’s at: I’m including a photo I found of an “Auto Trailer” on the Overseas Highway of 1940. How cool is that!

Libraries have such a wealth of information and now so many of them are online as well.

Now for the Florida History Museum. Can you believe, it’s in the basement. (cost: Free)Though I have to admit, it’s one huge set of rooms with fantastic high quality displays capturing the history of Florida from the early ice ages, through the various Native Indian life on up to the pirates and treasure hunters. Oh, and yes, some of the percentage of treasures the state claims on any salvage are on display. The gold and silver really put a sparkle in my eye….. And the time travel continues through the hey day of tourism on up to the present day. Well worth the time to explore.

Whew, I’m pooped. Lots of walking up and down those rolling hills around the capital. There’s so much more to see in the area. They have a half dozen State Parks surrounding the city and a number of really great auto tours as well. They even have some Indian mounds, which I didn’t have the energy to go see or climb up and down. Maybe next time.

On the Road again and loving it.

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TV de Plasma said...
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