Thursday, January 31, 2008

Slight Change of Plans and the Unknown

Well when we went to bed last night the weatherman on the TV said there was a cold front moving into the northern portion of the state. No problem, we’ll have some wet stuff, it will move on down the road and that’ll be it, NOT! The front is supposed to stall for 4 or 5 days right over the part of the state we’re a goin’. There’s high winds and tornado watches in ‘Bama & the southern part of the peanut state. Now I don’t know about ya’ll but dry campin’ in the confines of a truck camper, for 4 or 5 days, in pourin’ rain is not our idea of fun. I even mentioned cancellin’, when in the back of my little brain I‘m thinkin’ “You spent all day packin’ and now your not goin”. But at my mention, Linda shot any idea of cancellin’ out the window, (she is usually thinking on the same wavelength as me, Thank Goodness!).

OK so we’re now goin’, but goin’ where? Well we decided that we’ll give the panhandle a shot, and if we have to we’ll go farther north to get away from the storms. My original idea was to go leisurely north on the small black roads to Osceola Natl. Forest to dry camp.

I didn’t mention that this was Linda’s “Birthday Trip” so she decided we should travel down some trails we’ve never seen. We headed over to the center part of the state and then went NW. We covered a lot of new ground and saw some new scenery. One stop was one of the strangest state parks I’ve visited. Yulee Sugar Mill State Park sits on six acres with the road goin’ through the middle of it. There’s no admission, no entrance station, no Visitors Center. Just the Mill ruins on one side and a picnic pavilion across the road. We saw a sign along the road, the mill site and drove by lookin’ for the rest of the park. Guess we drove right on by and had to turn around and come back.

Here’s the Old Mill.

The Mill operated on a steam boiler (right) that operated a piston (center), which turned a flywheel and gear that turned the roller mill (left). Cut sugar cane was fed by belt to the roller mill and the juice was pressed out, collected in settling vats, then sent to heated kettle to reach the “strike point” (sugar). From there it was cooled, hardened, sliced and placed in wooden barrels to cure. During the “cure” molasses would drain out of the sugar and was collected. The mill began operations in 1849 and supplied the confederacy with sugar, syrup and molasses. So much for the history lesson.

Tonite we are camped at “Village Pines” RV Park in Inglis, FL. Sweet little RV park, heavily wooded, full hookups, clean bathhouse and a Passport America participant. Our rate is not quite free but at $8 a day for a full hookup site it’s hard to beat for a nights rest when traveling down the road. We do like to boondock, but use the Passport America system lots when traveling, nothing like a real shower after doing ‘Navy showers’ for a while.

Maybe we’ll se ya down the road as we’re Dancin’ on the Wind!

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