Tuesday, February 28, 2017

January 10, 2017 - Brooksville, FL to Dunnellon, FL

After arising and getting dressed Erwin made a pot of coffee.  We had about two hours left to get things ready before we check out of the campground.   

The weather forecast called for a sunny day and in high 60’s.  

The next campground we will be staying at for 2 nights is about an hour drive north of here.  It was around 10 am when we left Camper’s Holiday. GPS chose the country roads instead of highways or main roadways. Most of the way the road was narrow and Erwin had to keep the Lil’ Home (LH) inside the lane. Very stressful!  Because of that it took an hour and 45 minutes to get to Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunnellon, FL.  

The entranceway to the state park was little narrow for our LH, but Erwin managed to make it through.  We were assigned to site #2 in Loop B (reserved through ReserveAmerica.com).  Erwin had no trouble backing in the LH and the campers nearby were duly impressed.
We were warmly greeted by Harry and Bobbi, our next door neighbors.  They are from Michigan, but spend winter months touring Florida. We spent time talking about where we are from, where we went camping, places we have been to, etc.  They have been writing their travel blog for almost 10 years.

We went out for a bike ride around the campground and to the river’s edge.  No manatees there because there is a dam down stream.  The ranger told us 3 places where we might see manatees.  The closest one is at Ellie Schiller Springs at Homosass State Park.  The other two are Crystal River (Kings Bay) and Three Sisters Springs.  If the weather is good tomorrow we might go to one of them.
During the summer months, you would see hundreds of people
floating downstream on tubes and a shuttle bus will bring you back
 to the beginning and you can ride again lazily downstream!
Water is crystal clear and cold
Resurrection Fern on Tree
(Called Resurrection Fern because during dry weather,
it dries up and looks dead till the next rain comes!)
Erwin had trouble with his bicycle's braking, so we went to Blue Run Bicycle shop to get new cable and fittings. It is a good thing there is a bicycle shop in town; otherwise, Erwin would have to wait til we get to another town.  
We wanted to shop for groceries at Winn Dixie, but were surprised it was closed. Across the street is Walmart, so we shopped there.  We do not buy meats from them, just canned goods, dairy products and produce.  

After getting back from errands Erwin proceeded to work on his bicycle.  It did not take long before he was done, and he went biking to see if it works. It did!
What a relief…
I spent part of the afternoon figuring out places to visit for this spring.  We wants to visit Arizona for at least 3 weeks, since we have lots of good friends living in Phoenix and Prescott.  We hope to be able to get one week at a timeshare unit in Sedona, AZ.  

Monday, February 27, 2017

January 9, 2017 - Dade City & Brooksville, FL

I was up very early to turn the furnace off, was planning on going back to sleep, but decided to re-work on the plan for today's outing.  Erwin was still in Dreamland!

After breakfast we went to the office to give my signed form for the site. The office was closed yesterday when we checked in.
I had made plans for us to visit some places in and near the town.  I had 9 places to visit, but it did not mean that we would have to see each one of them. It all depended on time and our mood throughout the day.

First stop was to check out Fort Taylor Cemetery, not too far from Camper’s Holiday. The drive to the cemetery was short and narrow, trees were draped with Spanish moss.  The cemetery is a small plot, one of several African-American cemeteries in Hernando County.  
There was one headstone that had logos of Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Hurricanes and Hernando High Leopards etched in each corner.  Jerome Brown III played an All-American football defensive tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles during 1987-1991.  He was 27 years old when he died in an automobile accident.  He lost control of his Corvette at high speed and crashed into a utility pole. Brown’s jersey number (#99) was retired by the Eagles.  
The cemetery was unkept, weeds growing at knee’s height.  Some markers were from 2007-2009, but looked so aged and worn out. 
We went to Dade City, FL, about 17 miles away to check out one roadside attraction: Muffler Man - Paul Bunyan.  It is next to the mechanic shop.
Next stop was to visit Hancock Groves at 31107 Blanton Road in Dade City. It sells different kinds of oranges, as well as grapefruits.  There were samples to taste.  Erwin got a 1/4 bag of navels, tangerines and Hamil for $9.95.  It has a gift shop selling jellies, jams, honey spread, as well as some souvenirs.  
Old fashioned juicer
Boyette’s Grove Citrus and Attraction is at 4355 Spring Lake Highway near Brooksville, FL. It began in 1960’s as a fruit stand.  It sells oranges, grapefruits, tangerines during the citrus season (November-May).  It also has a big gift shop, a zoo, and dinosaur cave.  There is an ice cream shop.    To visit the zoo the admission fee is $5.95. We chose not to visit the zoo.
If you have been following our blog for a long time you will know that I am a cemetery afficianado. We visited the Historic Brooksville Cemetery.  Back in 1887 it was known as Chocochattee Cemetery.  It started out with 5 acres, but grew to 51.5 acres.  It includes both Confederate and Union veterans from the Civil War.  
Coney’s Island (1112 Jefferson St, Brooksville, FL) is a vintage diner that sells foot-long hot dogs, burgers, wings, etc.  It was started in 1960 by Darrell and Gertrude Todd.  Although we packed lunch to go Erwin wanted to try its hot dog ($2.95).  I had a couple bites, said it was good.  Inside the diner has vintage stuff.  
Not too far from Coney Island we spotted a nifty looking Krispy Kreme bus that was being worked on at a service shop.  
We checked out Saxon Manor and May-Stringer House.  Both were closed today.
There are few murals scattered through the town of Brooksville.  The Civil War raid mural is 87 feet long. It was painted by Tony Caparello.  It is on the side building of Patricia’s Boutique.  The police car and the fire department murals are on Broad St. 

We drove past the 1885 Russell Street Train depot, but it was closed, so we did not stop to look around.

We made a quick stop, on our way back to Camper’s Holiday, to visit Harold’s Auto Center.  It is not far from Weeki Wachee Springs attraction.  The auto center used to be a Sinclair gas station.
It was already past 3 :30 pm when we were done with sightseeing.  We arrived back home tired, but content.

We went out for a leisurely walk around the property, checking out residential homes.  There were 2 “for sale” properties.  

After a restful nap we prepared deer liver (from the mule deer Erwin shot last fall) with caramelized onions and mushrooms along with baked potatoes.