Saturday, November 5, 2011

2011-34 Crystal River Florida


Sopchoppy, Fl

Inglis, Fl

Crystal River

Kings Bay

Campground:  Ochlockonee River State Park.  $18+ tax.  Elect/water.  Pine and Oak forest.  Sites are around a sandy loop road with a couple tight turns.  About a dozen over-air TV channels available. And special note:  if they recommend you go look at the sites with your rig and then come back to the office to sign in, there’s no place to turn around up at the office.  You big rigs know what I’m saying.  Might want to suggest that you drop your rig off at a site and then go pay for it….
Campground:  Aurora Acres MH and RV park (originally Northwoods) .  $13 Full hookups (Passport rate).  RV park separate from MH section.  Ask about cable tv, as it’s only available on some Rv sites.

Crystal River

For the observant traveler there are things the average traveler might not see.  Having been aware that the Monarch butterfly migrates along two major routes, one being along the Eastern U.S. south to Florida and then along the Gulf of Mexico until they land in central Mexico., I’ve been able to observe that migration.  I first became aware of it while camping on Santa Rosa Island off of Pensacola.  The Monarch butterflies were flitting around in their crazy hectic pattern.  And I had to questioned their resolve to get to Mexico.  Then again as I began my drive along hwy 98 along the Gulf of Mexico route, I not only saw them all along the route, but they had a major impact on me as well.  Well, ok, my truck.  With a splat and a flip, some ended their journey much too soon.  Sorry.

Back in Pensacola, my trucks engine light came on and I was able to get the truck serviced at a Chevy dealer 1st thing Monday morning.  Seems there was a recall on the EGR valve again and computer settings.  I wonder how one is supposed to hear about these recalls.  I never received any mail regarding it.  After owning the vehicle for over 4 years, the service man told me it was still under warranty.  So what cost $390 you ask.  Just a basic oil and filter change, replace the fuel filter, air filter and transmission filter.  Boy do they sock it to you on pricing of oil and all those filters.  Geez Louise.  Well, the truck must be maintained, so I guess I can’t complain too much.

Update:  A week later the engine light came on again.  Not unexpected.  The EGR valve cleaning didn’t do the trick and it was replaced along with a half dozen gaskets, all under warranty.  Free, yippee!

A note to travelers.  I usually get my oil/filter changed at Wal-Mart’s and save a considerable amount of money  (between $50-$75) doing so.  But they don’t change fuel filters etc, so occasionally I need to take it elsewhere for maintenance.

While awaiting for the maintenance crew to replace the EGR valve, I met an older women.  She was having basic service done on her Escalade (A real sharp pearl color).  Told me how they have lived around Florida most of their lives.  Were in a gated community with tons of regulations.  Finally moved to a community south of Crystal River.  Husband died.  They had lots of friends especially through his gulfing buddies.  After talking about health insurance which she pays $195 for Medicare part B which doesn't include prescriptions (I really don’t understand all that yet) and the state of the economy, she described her community.  A house next to her doesn’t cut their grass, making the whole neighborhood look a shambles.  Absentee homeowners and the homeowners assoc. has done nothing to rectify the situation.  Bottom line, she’s living here, no husband and as she held up her hand and formed a circle with her thumb and finger, said, “that’s how many friends I have”.  Zero.

A walk around the campground at Ochlockonee River SP and to my surprise, I saw a white squirrel.  The eyes were normal color, so not sure if it was an albino or not.  Besides, it had a black stripe down it’s back.   Just too cool.  This is the best shot I could get before it scurried away.

About another two hundred miles down the road and I’m in a small town along hwy 98/19 called Inglis.  1,600 people and about 98% white.  And most of them living in single wide trailers or campers.  It’s in-between everything else but close enough to get there from here.  A grocery store, gas stations, Napa Auto, and Dollar General.

Rainbow River

I met up with friends from the Great Outdoors who were kayaking the Rainbow River.  I had planned to join them, but chickened out when it dropped to 48 last night and became a breezy day on the river today.  But I did go into Dunnellon and explored a town wide yard sale and even had a pancake breakfast put on by the Lions club.  Then, hopped over to Rainbow Springs and joined the GO group for a walk around the park.

We’re headed out to the Stone Crab Jam in Crystal River this evening.

Margie and John

Nice event.  Best vendor food I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating.  Butterfly shrimp so fresh I think it was plucked right off the boats minutes before frying up.  Butterfly fries, have you ever had them.  So thin you can almost see through them.  And key lime cake, yummy.  A clam chowder cook off well worth doing the tasting for.  4 stages of blues/rock music.  Fun and energetic.  Oh and lots of beer and wine vendors.  And what interesting timing.  4pm to about 11pm.

Great Outdoors

Extra photos on Picasa

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