Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ride with JC and Bev

Although we aren't doing much before Christmas, we do manage to fit in a ride or two.  Sunday (9th) we met some new biker friends, JC and Bev, introduced to us by Brock and Leola.  JC and Bev were staying at Wildwood, about 30 miles from here and were looking for someone to ride with.  Brock and Leola were preparing for a trip, but we were available, so away we went.  We started from our house.  If the view looks different its because it is.  We moved two sites south and around the corner two sites so now the back of our rig faces our old site at a right angle.
JC and Leola ready to ride.

Their Honda Goldwing  note the passenger cupholder and the cooler!

Our first stop was the Sleepy Hollow restaurant we where went with Brock and Leola.  What a difference a weekend makes!  The lot was filled with bikes!

The weather was pleasant so the restaurant was empty.

All the action was outside by the Withlacoochie River side.  The back of the building houses restrooms, an outdoor bar and cooking facilities.

Weekends are really packed here because they offer a full steak dinner on Saturday afternoons for $5 and a full bbq fib dinner on Sunday for the same price.

Pink and proud of it
Airboat rides were available

Scads of picnic tables and a row of vendors around the back.

The stage played host to a pretty decent band.

Bev without her do rag and JC actually looking my way.

The band doing their rendition of Whole Lotta Love.

Yes the lead player is using a drill on his guitar.  They really rocked on this song.

After stuffing face and enjoying the band and the atmosphere for an hour or so, we rode back into Floral City and stopped at the local biker apparel shop.

Downtown Floral City

Something you don't see often--a group of crotch-rocket riders

To strech our ride, we rode to the Gulf  town of Ozello, turned around, stopped for a restroom break.  This place was across the water.  I don't know if it is a private residence or a tourist spot, but I thought being three stories made it kinda unique.

Our last stop was in Homosassa at Neon Leon's.  He was the bass player for Leonard Skynard, and was known as the Mad Hatter.  We don't know if he owned this place or if it was a tribute to him.  We do know this is a biker hangout known for its crabcakes.  Being good bikers, we stopped for an afternoon snack.

We have heard that this place is usually packed, but like Sleepy Hollow's inside, this place was empty. 
Unlike Sleepy Hollow, the outside was empty too.  We enjoyed our crabcakes and drinks and more conversation.

Time to head home.  At Homosassa's main street we parted company with our new friends.  They turned North for their campground in Wildwood while we headed south for Sumpter Oaks. 

The weather cooperated to make a nice ride, a fun visit with new friends, and an all around good time.
Next up--Good times at Sumpter Oaks.
Louise and Duane

Friday, December 07, 2012

December doin's

Since we're getting stuff ready to send to kids and grandkids for Christmas, our touring is kinda limited until all the packages are sent.  We have managed to take a couple of day trips in this beautiful Florida weather.  One was Sat. Dec. 1.  We attended a toy run sponsored by the AMA and Leesburg Gator H-D.  Our friend Dick and we joined 500 other bikers at the Leesburg WalMart to register, deposit our toys, and join the 50 mile bike ride from there, around Wildwood, and back to Gator H-D for hamburger/hot dog lunch, live band, raffles, door prizes, and looking at all the other bikes.  The event raised $20,000 and lots of toys which were donated to the Salvation Army for distribution to Lake County children.
Yesterday we joined friends Leola and Brock for a ride in the country. Dick couldn't go with us because he found a screw in his tire and his new one hasn't come in yet.   We rode to Homossasa Springs, Inverness, and Floral City. 

Brock and Leola's Honda Gold Wing with luxurious plush seats.

The day was beautiful with a mix of clouds and sky, very pleasant for riding.  Lots of Christmas decorations.

We eventually found our way to Sleepy Hollow, a little biker bar/restaurant outside Floral City. This place is known for great food at cheap prices.

Screened in porch.  The restaurant is inside the door to the left.  I thought I took pix, but we can't find them.  The bar runs down the left side.  There are three 4-person tables, 3 high tables, 2 6-people tables and at the end is a pool table.  The pizza was great.  We split an 18" supreme for $5.00 each.

After a liesurly lunch we wound our way through some very pretty country back to Bushnell.  Three hours later, we hauled ourselves to the Activity Center for a dine-in dinner.  Our decorations are festive, doncha think?

Not as big a turnout, but still delicious food and good company.

Warm enough for shorts.  I love this contrast. 

Salads and dessert--orange cake that was absolutely delicious!

After supper people table hopped and chatted for an hour or so.  Duane finally went to play pool, his latest distraction.  The pool room is at the end of these tables.  I worked on the jigsaw puzzle for a while.  It is on the table at the end of this row. 
We have since found another couple who ride, so maybe we can get seven people to go on the next ride.  We are aiming for Sleepy Hollow on a Saturday.  They serve a New York Strip steak, baked potato, and salad for $5.  Yum!!
Happy Trails,
Louise and Duane  

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Typical Escapee Thanksgiving!

Since we are in Florida for the winter, all of our holidays will be celebrated with our Escapee Family.  Yesterday was the first--Turkey Day.  We had a great turnout of most of the park.  For these dinners people sign up by tables.  Each table  has a host who holds a meeting of the table members.  The park contributes meat and sometimes gravy.  Each person contributes $2-$3 toward the purchase price of the meat.  The table members decide on table decorations, what dishes each will bring, and whether they will supply their own dishes or buy them as part of the table decorations.  They also provide a platter for the meat and a dish for the gravy, if any.
Our host provided the table decorations, including dishes.  Ours was the best looking!

 Each table had a side table for their  carry-in dishes.

Our table counter-clockwise--managers (our current bosses) Wallace and Wanda Lewis (Green tee and next to Duane, Natalie, an Escapee who camped at our park just to join us for dinner, my place, Sharon and Fran, the other work campers, then Bea, Wanda's cousin and her husband Bennit, and Wallace's sister Elaine. 
After dinner most people table hop and visit.  This is my new friend and jigsaw puzzle buddy Karen.  We also play Rummy Kube.

and gabbing.  Duane found a fellow wood carver.
Wanda and Wallace, who have the dubious pleasure of telling us what to do.
People usually prepare way too much food for these dinners so the next day is Leftover Day.  At 6pm or so everyone brings in their leftovers to a potluck dinner.  Most of the leftovers get eaten.

Wally and Lanie  I told them to act as if they liked each other!

As ever, more gabbing and visiting.

Our Friday potluck table included Karen and Ed, and the Monats.  This room is the big common room where everyone comes to play games and watch tv.  Our jigsaw puzzle is in the lefthand far corner.  The door at the end of our table leads to a small tv room while the one on the left is the Pool (table) Room.  On the right out of the pic are the library and the craft room.  We come here to the little tv room to see our shows on CBS since we  have lousy aerial reception in this park.

I saw Wallace taking my pic so I had to put up the bunny ears, even though Karen was facing me!

This night most people went home within an hour of the end of dinner. Some stayed around for a couple of hours playing games, watching tv or chatting.  That's how holiday dinners are done the Escapee way. 

That's all that's happening now.

Louise and Duane

Friday, November 09, 2012


Last Sunday I told Duane we needed to take a ride somewhere.  He bundled me on the bike for a surprise destination.  I was very pleasantly surprised to end up here.

This is one of Florida's many springs tourist spots, but this one was very entertaining. There are two ways to enter the park.  The east entrance is right at the park itself.  The west entrance has a nice visitors' center where we caught a slow boat up the creek to the main park.  There is also tram service along this route, but the boat ride is by far the best way to enter the park.  Along the way we enjoyed viewing the native wildlife and learning about the park we were about to visit.  Seems it was originally a privately owned exotic animal park.  The creek flows around an island (on the left here) where the monkeys lived.  When the boats floated under any low-hanging branch, the monkeys would jump down, swipe anything shiny and scramble back up and out of reach.  At the end of the day, the keepers had to go out to the island and retrieve the loot and try to get it back to its owners.   When the state took over, all the exotic animals were quartered elsewhere and  the flora and fauna populations returned to only native species.


Lots of turtles out sunning.

Blue heron

The Park reintroduced wood ducks by installing nesting boxes.

Homosassa Spring's main draw are the manatees.  During the winter, manatees swim up the rivers that come from springs and empty into the ocean.  Homosassa is one of those springs.  Manatees need warm water and seek the 72df water when the ocean temps reach below that.  The Park has four manatees in their care which have some kind of injury.  While they are recuperating, they are penned in the park. When the ocean water temp gets too cold, the park manatees are kept in an enclosed pool while the open gate allows other manatees to access the warm spring waters.

We were too late to view them in the underwater viewing room, but we saw them swimming .  They look like mini submarines.

The viewing station is built on two tiers inside the bowl of the spring.  This spring is much smaller than Wicki Watchee.  This one is only 35 feet deep and slightly bigger around than the upper floor of the viewing station.

Down the stairs you can see  in a 360d view. This is one of a large school of snook that were visiting from the ocean, 9 miles from the spring down the Homosassa River.  The name means river where the little pepper grows.

View from above.

Inside the alligator enclosure.  Duh!

The enclosures were encircled by walkways set about 5 feet above them.  The only exotic not sent somewhere else is Lu, the Nile hippo.  No one wanted to feed a 6000 lb hippo, so Lu was officially made a Florida citizen and still lives in his home of almost 50 yrs.

Lu getting his afternoon snack of bananas and watermelon.

The river flows through several different enclosures.  Here the river otters--fun to watch.

This island was filled with different kinds of water birds including swans, pellicans, ibis's etc.  These pink flamingos are for Sherry Wysong and her fellow flamingo lovers.


Along the outside of the walkway were fenced in enclosures.  These are roseate spoonbills.

Pelican nesting site in the river.

Yes, bald eagles are native to Florida.

We spent the day walking around the the park, took a break for a very reasonable lunch at their cafe, listening to the talks about the residents.  We opted to take the boat back and were rewarded with this view of the inhabited osprey nest.  We were on the wrong side of the boat on the way in but could see it really well on the way back.

Just down the road from the park is the town of Homosassas and the H-D store.  We don't buy anything at these stores, just take a pic and browse.  They are mostly the same, but have different designs for their store's tees.

After our day of touring we headed back home and arrived in time for the ice cream social.  Duane timed it that way!  Next week we hope to fit in another day tour.  Stay tuned!

Louise and Duane