January 27, 2004

St Augustine, FL – Anastasia

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 7:55 pm by diandy2004

Our next stop was back towards the coast:  St Augustine, FL.  We stayed at Anastasia State Park campground, where Andy perfected his fire-building techniques (using Duraflames, of course).  The temperatures have been surprisingly cool, so we’ve been happy that we invested in some winter clothes prior to leaving on our trip.

St Augustine is a beautiful, historic town that’s well worth your time to stroll through.  There’s also an old fort – Castillo de San Marcos – which is a National Monument that’s right in downtown.  Fort Matanzas is nearby if you wanted to see another fort and National Monument.

Historic St Augustine

Historic St Augustine

We enjoyed our visit to the lighthouse, which included a climb to the top:

St Augustine Lighthouse

St Augustine Lighthouse

View of Town from Lighthouse

View of Town from Lighthouse

View of Inlet from Lighthouse

View of Inlet from Lighthouse

The beaches are packed sand you can drive on.  Unlike our sand in South Florida.

Andy and Ele on the Beach

Andy and Ele on the Beach

We had several family members from Orlando and friends from Jacksonville come visit us during our short stay here.

Here are some of our friends from Jacksonville who came down to visit us at the campground.

Chris and Colin

Chris and Colin

Elizabeth

Elizabeth

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January 24, 2004

Ocala National Forest – Salt Springs

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 7:53 pm by diandy2004

From Blue Springs, we continued north to Ocala National Forest.  We stayed in a private campground near Salt Springs.  There are several areas in and around Ocala National Forest where you can camp.

We took our mountain bikes out on Alexander Springs Trail in the morning, then kayaked Juniper Wayside in the afternoon.  Gotta love these multi-sport days – and with all of our toys being inside Ele, we didn’t even need to go home!  We also found a great use for the tailgate – that’s where we ate lunch.  Perfect.

The Alexander Springs Trail was about 12-miles of sandy, scenic trail through a pine forest.  Not technical, which was good for me to practice more.

Our Lunch Spot!

Our Lunch Spot!

Juniper Wayside was a narrow creek with a strong current.

Kayaking Juniper Wayside

Kayaking Juniper Wayside

Kayaking in Ocala Nat'l Forest

Kayaking in Ocala Nat'l Forest

Our last day allowed us to sneak in a 7-mile hike through the pine forest and past numerous small lakes before heading out of town.  We did a spur trail from Salt Springs to the Florida Scenic Trail.

Hiking in Ocala National Forest

Hiking in Ocala National Forest

January 22, 2004

Orange City, FL – Blue Springs & Manatees

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 7:51 pm by diandy2004

After leaving Jonathon Dickinson, we experienced one of our “Firsts” in RVing – we began towing the Honda Element behind us. We’re excited to experience many more “Firsts” on this trip. Moving north up the eastern coast of FL 185 miles, we stopped at Blue Springs State Park for manatees.
We saw over 32 manatees hanging out in the Springs. And what a beautiful setting with the big oak trees and steam rising above the water.
Mist over Blue Springs

Mist over Blue Springs

Andy on a Misty Morning

Andy on a Misty Morning

A Mother and her Baby

A Mother and her Baby

A Manatee

A Manatee

January 18, 2004

Florida – The Beginning of our Trek

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 10:15 pm by diandy2004

January 18th – The Big Day: Today was the day we started our big Trek!

Packing Up the RV

Packing Up the RV

We made sure that our parakeet, Nikki, was safe and secure in his new home:

Nikki's New Home

Nikki's New Home

And all of our toys were loaded in Ele – our mobile Toy Box.  We carried our 2 road bikes, 2 mountain bikes, and 2 kayaks with us on our trip.

Our Toybox

Our Toybox

Our first stop was Jonathon Dickinson State Park.  Yes, we know it’s only an hour and a half from home, but Savanna’s Preserve was full and it was raining.  We wanted to stay close to home the first few nights to get used to the new RV and make sure we didn’t forget anything.  Were’nt we surprised to learn that our windshield leaked in the rain?!

Our First Campsite of the Trek

Our First Campsite of the Trek

We found some great singletrack off-road biking trails in Jonathon Dickinson, too!  I’m so inexperienced that I crashed several times – several bruises and scrapes and a splinter from getting too close to a tree – but I still had fun.  The paved roads in the park are also good for biking, too.

We had a great sunset to enjoy as well:

Our First Sunset

Our First Sunset

I’m sure we’ll be in for a lot of new “firsts” – we’re so excited for this adventure!