Monday, February 2, 2009

Headin' South

Today we ventured on down the coast further & made a stopover for lunch n' some siteseein'. Cedar Key is one of those places ya' always hear about but ya' never seem to be able to steer off your intended route to get there. Well today we ventured off that route and went to discover Cedar Key. As we first entered the island Linda saw a sign for shrimp at the local fish house. Of course I had to turn around so she could see about spendin' some $$$. As we got inside this 'Fish House' it was clear to see it was not your ordinary place. Looked more like a 'Mad Scientists' lab with all the different tanks bubblin' colored fluids. Well it seems we were just in time for a tour, as the gent inside told us, this was a clam farm. The tour was unbelievably informative as we learned about the beds the calms are kept in to sin.pawn eggs which are then collected and cultivated, fed and grown to seed beds out in the Gulf of Mexico. It seems commercial 'clammers' lease acreage from the state to raise their clams. All the tall cylindrical tanks with different colored fluids were algae that were grown to feed the clams. This was quite the operation, they raise the clams from seed to sell to the clammers, then buy the mature clams back from the clammers to sell & ship all over the country, so they make income at all stages. Another one of those interestin' stops you never would find if you don't get off that ;Big, Blue Road'.

After the clam farm we ventured further on to the island to see what other treasures it held. By the way we didn't buy any shrimp cause they were frozen and only sold in five pound boxes. Them Truck camper freezers don't hold too many five pound boxes. The island was rather small so it didn't take long to venture about. It is geared to the 'Touristas' that want to stay on the island. Having lived on the coast most of my life it didn't excite me.


The Cedar Key Pier

When we drove onto the 'Pier', which is actually a small island itself, we were lookin' for a parkin' spot. Well i spotted the gent from the clam farm. He turned out to be the Harbor Master, and was employed by Cedar Key to oversee the boat ramps and the boat slips. I asked about parking, cause I'd seen 'No RV Parking' around, he told us to just park it as after 11 AM the parking at the boat ramps was open for anyone. We also quizzed him on eatin locally, since we didn't have lunch yet. We followed his recommendations and chose a restaurant, of which the name escapes me, for a grouper sandwich special. The sandwich was good, but not exceptional, the prices were high and the atmosphere was not equal to the prices. We wrote it up to another of life's experiences and left Cedar Key.


That's us parked down there in the middle of this shot

After Cedar Key it was southbound again as we were going to stay in a PA park in Bushnell for the night. Well if you remember in the last post we encountered our first park almost full? Well the park in Bushnell was full, so we opted to stay overnight at 'Wally World'. The folks in the park offered us a spot to dry camp for $12.50, but that's what we would have paid for a full hookup at the Passport rate.

Well until the next adventure.

Hope to see ya' down the road as were,

Dancin' on the Wind

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Visit to the State Capitol

Leavin’ Conecuh Natl’ Forest we headed west to Dothan , AL for a Flying J stop. It wasn’t out of our way cause we were headin’ to Valdosta, GA to see friends. After fuelin’ up I called our friends business and discovered they were in Vero Beach, FL tending to a condo they own. Well that visit will have to wait for another day. The diesel was $2.08 in Dothan, so it was worth the stop anyway cause when we crossed into FL it jumped to $2.59, sheesh’ tell me again why I live here where the fuel prices have gotten to be some of the highest in the country. Even California’s fuel is much cheaper than us, what gives with that?

Headin' east through the Florida panhandle we decide to stop and see our State Capitol. We've visited others state capitols this trip so we figgerd’ we should really take the time to see ours. After following all the signs directin' us toward the Capitol we drove by it three times. seems it sits back off the road a little and with all the traffic buzzin' around downtown Tallahassee we just missed it. When Florida was in it's infancy there were two capitols, one in Pensacola and one in St. Augustine, both important port cities of the era. It was decided that one capitol was needed and Tallahassee was chosen as the mid point between the two existing capitols. It's funny but across from the capitol building was a dirt road leading to mainland Florida, back in the day, today it's US HWY 27. The original building still stands today and was renovated to return it to it's original configuration after nearly falling under the wreckin’ ball when the new capitol building was built. A concerted effort by the public saved it from the dust pile, after all it has history. Did you know ‘Andy Jackson’ was ‘Governor here before he became President?


The ‘Old’ Capitol building


The ‘New’ Capitol building


The "’New’ Capitol building has a beautiful fountain out front

Oh by the way we stopped in at Falling Waters State Park on our way to Tallahassee, intendin’ to lite fer’ the night but the campground was small, the lady at the gate seemed rude and the site she assigned us was so downhill we never could have gotten level. We got a refund and decided to write that park off our list. We have stayed in lots of state parks here and across this great USA but sometimes you run into people at park that, be they employees or volunteers that act like, you are interrupting their day or, they are doing you are big favor by renting you an overpriced spot to park your rig. Not to often but occasionally it does happen. We opted for a ‘Wally World’ stop instead.

Well after our visit in Tallahassee we started down the west coast o’ the ‘Sunshine State’, you wouldn’t know it by the temps here, still close to freezin’ each night. By now were pretty used to not hookin’ up the water hose overnight. I can just see me tryin’ to roll up a hose that’s frozen stiff, I been havin’ enough trouble rollin’ up that 30 Amp cord in these temperatures. We kept rollin’ down the road till we hit Old Town, Florida. We stopped at Old Town Campground N’ Retreat, nice small Passport America park, $10 a night. This is the first park we have encountered that was all but full, we had to take a spot with just W&E, which was fine with us, we’d just dump on the way out tomorrow.

Well that's all fer this day. Until the writin’ gets goin’ again.

Hope to see ya down the road, as were

Dancin’ on the Wind.