Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Alexander Springs - 02/21/12

We spent an absolutely wonderful first night at Alexander Springs Campground in the Ocala National Forest. It was so quiet and peaceful. The temperature dipped into the low 50’s, which made for great sleeping weather.

We awoke to a beautiful sunny day, with temperatures in the low 70’s and very low humidity. Our plan for today was to find cellular service for our Smartphone so we can access the Internet on our laptop computer. The friendly Park Service Ranger directed us to Umatilla, Florida, a small town located 10 miles from the campground. We found a small shopping mall area there that provided excellent cellular service in their parking lot. With that task accomplished, we can now plan to extend our stay at the Alexander Springs Campground.

The Ocala National Forest is located in North Central Florida between the towns of Palatka, Ormond Beach, Ocala, and Altoona. It spans four counties and 383,000 acres. It is the southernmost and oldest National Forest east of the Mississippi River in the continental United States, and protects the world's largest contiguous sand pine scrub forest.

There are fourteen developed campgrounds in the Ocala National Forest, only Salt Springs offers full hook-up service. However, several campgrounds have dump stations and shower facilities. The remaining campgrounds offer fewer amenities. The Alexander Springs Campground provides nicely maintained restrooms with flush toilets, warm water showers, drinking water and a dump station.

For dinner, I prepared a one-meal dish in our electric skillet, consisting of sauté chicken breast chunks, quartered small potatoes, string beans and a can of cream of mushroom soup. I added a bit of garlic pepper seasoning to kick it up a notch. It turned out to be a very tasty meal. Sharon showed her approval with a two thumbs up approval rating. Whenever Sharon gives me that signal I know I have completed another successful meal preparation. I enjoy experimenting with one-meal dishes, primarily for ease of preparation and less clean up required.

We so enjoy this area of the Ocala National Forest that we have extended our stay at the Alexander Springs Campground through March 1, 2012.

Tomorrow, another new adventure begins!

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