Monday – April 7, 2014
Salt Springs Campground
Ocala National Forest
Salt Springs, Florida
We are enjoying wonderful spring weather here in Salt Springs, Florida. So far, every day has been sunny with the temperature in the mid-eighties and relatively mild humidity. Quite a few of the snowbirds have departed the campground, heading back home up north. The campground has numerous empty campsites during the weekdays and now mostly fills up on the weekends with residents of Florida.
The park ranger told me that June, July and August are the busiest time of the year at this campground. She stated they get some fairly rowdy campers during this period and they look forward to the slower pace and quiet times when the snowbirds return for the winter months, starting in October.
The Salt Springs Run Marina & Landing is located adjacent to the Salt Springs Campground, and at the head of Salt Springs and flows down Salt Springs Run and discharges into Lake George and the St. Johns River. This marina offers Boat, Canoe & Kayak rentals. Rental rates are:
|Half Day||Full Day|
|Skiffs (plus gas)||$35.50||$50.00|
|Pontoons (plus gas)||$90.00||$140.00|
We really enjoy the RV lifestyle during the six to eight months that we now spend traveling each year. It provides us with the opportunity to spend a great deal of our time outside and to experience the thrill of visiting new and interesting places, as well as meeting new friends along the way.
We are camped next to a delightful, retired couple (Dan and Donna) from Galesburg, Illinois. They left home in October 2013, and spent two and one-half months in the Arizona desert in their "Toy Hauler" fifth-wheel trailer. They transported a 4 x 4, all terrain vehicle, in the back of their trailer and used it to explore several abandoned mines and other points of interest in the desert. They were generous in sharing their experience in spending their first winter in Arizona. This is timely information, since we will be spending our first winter in Arizona starting in October 2014.
Dan and Donna related their experience traveling to a CampingWorld SuperCenter in Jacksonville, Florida in February 2014, and purchasing a new Landmark model, 40 foot, fifth-wheel trailer manufactured by Heartland. They had to return home to Galesburg, Illinois in early March to take care of a medical problem and rather than tow their new trailer home, they put it in storage near Salt Springs, Florida. Upon their return to Salt Springs, they discovered there was damage to the front of their trailer. They subsequently learned, another RV was being taken out of storage when it struck their trailer. Fortunately, the person who caused the damaged left their insurance information. The insurance company confirmed they would cover the cost to repair their trailer. Dan and Donna plan to depart Salt Springs to head home on Wednesday, April 9, 2013.
A group of seven Casita trailer campers arrived here today. Two women from the group came over to introduce themselves. The group is comprised of Florida residents that meet once a month at various locations throughout Florida, mostly state parks. They extended an invitation to join them at their campfire tonight. We declined the invitation due to rain moving into the area,
A wonderful side benefit of our RV travels, are the health benefits we have derived from this lifestyle. Two years ago my primary care physician recommended I read the books "Blood Sugar Solution" by Mark Hyman, MD and "Wheat Belly" by William Davis, MD. I finally got around to reading these books and since Sharon and I needed to drop some weight, we decided to try out some of the principles laid out in these books.
In October 2013, we started out with a plan to walk 10,000 steps (4+ miles) per day and change our diet to one of low carbohydrate and high protein. Our diet plan also included keeping our sugar intake to less than 100 calories per day and the elimination of whole-wheat products and processed foods from our diet.
We continue our daily ritual of an invigorating five-mile morning walk, followed by a heart-healthy breakfast. A few of our favorite breakfast options are:
Plain Greek yogurt mixed with ground flaxseed, shredded coconut, chopped walnuts and blueberries.
Protein shake with 1% milk, vanilla protein powder, ground flaxseed, shredded coconut, walnuts and frozen strawberries.
One-egg omelet with a filling of green and red bell pepper, chopped onion, chopped celery, chopped garlic and a pork sausage patty on the side.
Ground flaxseed cereal with 1% milk, shredded coconut, chopped walnuts and blueberries.
Lunch and dinner always contain fresh vegetables and a protein. For snacks in between meals, we generally treat ourselves to one of the Atkins Endulge protein bars.
The dividends of this routine have paid off quite nicely. Sharon and I each have dropped over 35 pounds during the past six months, resulting in my blood pressure medication dosage being cut in half. When we first started our exercise and diet program we thought it might be difficult to maintain, but much to our surprise, we have been very successful in adapting to this new lifestyle. Our program allows us to dine out on occasion, and still stay within the weight limits we have established for ourselves. Life is great!
Tomorrow another adventure begins