Sunday, May 22, 2016

2016-12 St Cloud Florida


St Cloud Florida
A Short Visit

American White Ibis

Campground:  Shelter Cove.  An Rv condominium community.  Arrived to scope out an Rv lot for sale.

the Rv Lot I am interested in purchasing

Campground:  Moss Park, an Orange County park.  $17.25 per night, senior rate.  Electric 50 amp, and water.  Dump station available.  Wonderful large easy back-in campsites.  Pristine setting between two lakes, swimming beach and backs up to 1,500 acres of forest land, great for hiking.  Lots of wildlife.

Moss Park campsite
I’ve arrived in the St Cloud area where my sister Dorothy lives along with her daughter Kelly and family who live in Kissimmee Florida.  I’m here to check out a few Rv lots in the area that are for sale and might work as a location for me when visiting with Dorothy, family and friends in the Orlando area.  The Rv lots is actually only 15 minutes from my sisters house.  As a full time Rv-er, I continue to enjoy traveling the country and don’t particularly need a permanent spot to park my camper.  However, since it would be nice to be able to pop in while traveling my beloved state of Florida and know that I would always have a spot in the St Cloud area, I’ve decided to check it out.

The owner of the lot permitted me to stay on it for a few days, which I’ve already done and I was able to check out most of the park, it’s amenities and talk to a few of the residences.  They have two Laundromats, a heated swimming pool, club house in the shape of a river boat and a mix of park model homes and Rv’s.

the rv lot I am looking at

another view of the Rv lot I'm considering 
one of the fancier double lots

love the painted concrete

one of the roads inside Shelter Cove Condominium

a lake front lot at Shelter Cove

the only turn around I could find in the park

another view of a Shelter Cove lots

Talking to the next door neighbor, Dave, I was able to learn a bit about the workings of the condo association.  Finding out they have upgraded some of the water and sewer lines.  The roads are well maintained and black top sealed on a regular basis.  All of the lots are very well maintained and the landscaping is very Florida.  Lots of Palm trees and green grass.  Of course the most expensive homes are directly on the water.

A few years back, Dave told me they had a fair share of vandalism and crime in the park, but with a strong community crime watch program they were able to get rid of the “rotten apples”.  The park in my guest-a-met about 1/3 to ½ developed as it pretty much went in the tubes in the late 70’s?  Shortly after that the home owners were able to purchase the property and it became a condo association.  It was originally designed as a campground and the lots were relatively small.  Many of the lots remain vacant but could have the water/ electric and sewer connected as they are properly platted parcels.  Much more land is owned by the condo owners and has not been platted or developed at this time.  Some of those empty lots are for sale at very reasonable rates.

another lot for sale in Shelter Cove

Lake front at Shelter Cove

that's the laundry room in Shelter Cove, with water views

Dave, the Rv neighbor told one story that was just fascinating to me.  He’s a retired police officer and Fireman so of course knows all about crime goings on…. He tells how he started doing night patrols and would occasionally see a boat land at Shelter Cove in the middle of the night no running lights and painted black, then the passengers would carry a bundle off into the woods via an ATV.  He speculates that a drug plane would land on Nova Road which is pretty deserted between St Cloud and Coco Beach at night, drop of the bundle of drugs, fly off and the relay team would load it into a boat, go across the lake and land here at Shelter Cove before transporting their drugs through the woods into the night.

He got the sheriffs attention who had a police unit hide out in a boat one evening.  When the drug runners started to get close to the Shelter Cove dock, the police unit arrived with their super powered boat and chased the culprits across the lake, into a dead end canal.  As the police got closer to the drug runners, they would ease up so as not to actually catch them, even though the police boat was much more powerful and could have caught them.  The drug runners raced like hell to get away, not realizing it was a dead end canal with lots of downed trees and debris at the end.  As the police boat slowed, they could hear the crashing of a boat off in the distance and sudden silence.  The Sheriffs boat calmly turned around and left the scene.  Dave asked them why they didn’t go in and arrest them?  The sheriff said he wasn’t concerned about what happened to the drug runners.  His only concern was to stop the drug smuggling operation which they’d accomplished that evening.  Did an alligator get them, were they injured and perished in the canal or deep in the woods, nobody knows. But since then, no dark boats with running lights turned off has ever landed at Shelter Cove again.

The lot I am looking at purchasing is a corner lot approx. one block from the lake.  It has a new large concrete pad, two utility connections on either side of the concrete pad so that a person could park their camper in either direction, depending on their preference.  The lot has a nice shed for storing stuff while away for the summer and also has four large palm trees.  It abuts one of the few full size roads through the community as most of the side roads are very narrow one way streets.

RV Lot Purchase, Benefits:

Good investment with potential to increase in value
The lot has been newly developed and well maintained
The rv lot could be rented out when I am not using it
Low condo maintenance fees
Well maintained overall property, pool, clubhouse
Very reasonable purchase price
Better investment than my current stock portfolio

Visiting family and friends

Well, isn’t that what coming back to an area I lived in for over 35 years is all about.  Although this is a short trip to check out the Rv lot, I’m also having time to visit with Dorothy and family as well as a few close friends in the Orlando area.

After moving off of the Rv lot for sale, I moved to my favorite campground in the Orlando area, Moss Park.  For those of you who have followed my blog, you know that this is a favorite county park of mine just south of the Orlando area.  I wish I could make it a home base while in the Orlando/St Cloud area, but they have a limit of two weeks and for longer stays, it just wouldn’t work out for me.  Although I could be a camp host at Moss park which I did a few years ago, we all know how that turned out.  And it was not a pleasant experience.  Dorothy came out today and we had a nice lunch at a favorite restaurant in the area called Tequila Flats then went back to the park to take a few nature shots.  We were in luck with getting some great pictures of the sand hill cranes, a family of falcons, deer and the American White Ibis.  I showed her one of my favorite places to take pictures, and that was of the canal that connects Lake Hart and Lake Mary Jane.

young baby dear playing in the water

resurrection fern, it only comes out when rained on

my Moss Park Campsite

Sand Hill Crane

my favorite place to take pictures, along the canal

canal and bridge leading into Moss Park

favorite photo op location

canal to Lake Hart

Sandhill Crane and chick

baby Hawk

corkscrew limb of an oak tree

papa Hawk watching over the nest

American White Ibis

my good friends, Pat and Ruthie
The previous day I went into Orlando and Winter Park to meet up with dear friends Patrick and Ruthie Poo.  We have been friends for way to many years to count and once we got together it was a non stop gab session that went on for five hours straight before I finally said we needed to leave.  Even then we had trouble leaving as we all enjoy each others company so much.  From beading classes that Pat leads (he creates paintings using micro beads), to love affairs and injuries.  Ruthie took quite a fall recently and Patrick has two vertebrae that are practically fused together  causing him much leg pain and will probably require surgery in the near future.  Thank goodness for the internet, face book and e-mails to keep us all connected while I travel all over this country.

Example of Pat's micro beaded painting and the cute dog
of course he does custom work for the right price
And of course visits with my sister, Dorothy and her daughter Kelly and family is always a highlight.  Even on a short visit to the area, it’s always a pleasure to visit with these folks.  The kids continue to grow and display the nicest personalities.  The latest interest is in golfing and even Dorothy and the kids, Luke and Brooke are learning the art.  Kelly and Rusty have done some very nice upgrades to their home in Kissimmee Florida and as they say, they utilize every square inch of the house.  No wasted space here.

lunch with Dorothy and family

utilizing a former empty alcove

a quick shot of Kelly and Rusty's recent kitchen upgrades

Kelly, Luke, Brooke and sister Dorothy

So what is the status on the purchase of the Lot?  I still need to see the Shelter Cove Condo financial reports.  To be continued…..

Shelter Cove Condo and Moss Park: Pictures

Moss Park Wildlife: Pictures

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