Monday, April 30, 2018

Chicago, IL - 04/30/18

April 30, 2018 – Monday
Chicago, Illinois

Once again we are grateful that good health has allowed us to travel south to warmer weather for the winter period December 2017 to April 2018.

On this winter sojourn we visited the following states (in the order they were visited): Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia and Alabama.

It is good to be home again and to remain in one place for a few months.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:
Departed: Jacksonville, IL
Departure Time: 7:30 am
Arrived: Chicago, IL
Arrival Time: 12:30 pm
Miles traveled
: 259

Expenses – 12/04/17 to 04/30/18

Total Expenses $6,844.00
Towed Miles 4,783
Total Miles 6,805
Fuel (Gallons) 570
Fuel Cost $1,376.00
Average Price per Gallon $2.414
Average MPG 11.9
Camping $1,433.00
Groceries $2,450.00
Dining Out $1,585.00


 

 

Monday, April 23, 2018

Jacksonville, IL - 04/23/18

April 23, 2018 – Monday
Jacksonville, Illinois

We travel to Jacksonville, Illinois to visit with Sharon's brother and sisters for a few days.


Jacksonville, Illinois was founded in 1825. Jacksonville is located 35 miles west of Springfield, Illinois (the state capital). The population was 19,446 at the 2010 census.

The attorney Abraham Lincoln (16th President of the United States) ocassionally had legal business in Jacksonville, frequently acting either as co-counsel or opposing counsel with David A. Smith, a Jacksonville resident.

David A. Smith is the great-great grandfather of my wife Sharon. A few years ago Sharon, along with her siblings, neices and nephews, were honored in a ceremony held in front of the David A. Smith home to celebrate the publication of a book by Illinois College on a biography on David A. Smith.

The David A. Smith home was built in 1854 and is still used today by Illinois College as a meeting space for the women's literary societies at the college. It is also a destination for tourists and research scholars interested in studying the period of the 1850s and 1860s.

There is a lot of history to enjoy in Jacksonville, Illinois.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:
Departed: Metropolis, IL
Departure Time: 10:20 am
Arrived: Jacksonville, IL
Arrival Time: 4:15 pm
Miles traveled: 249

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Metropolis, IL - Ft. Massac SP - 04/22/18

April 22, 2018 – Sunday
Fort Massac State Park
Metropolis, Illinois

We arrived at Fort Massac State Park during a steady, rainy downpour that continued thoughout our visit here. In addition, the temperature was in the 50s, making our stay here even more miserable. Fortunately, our campside had electric hookups, so our electric heater kept our trailer cozy warm.


On warm sunny days and cool autumn days, you cannot beat the scenic splendor of southern Illinois at Fort Massac State Park. Overlooking the mighty Ohio River from the southern tip of Illinois, this majestic location has been preserved and maintained since 1908, when it became Illinois' first state park.

The 1,500-acre park is perfect for picnics, camping, hiking, fishing, boating, and seasonal hunting programs. The park also has a 18-hole disc golf course.

Within Fort Massac State Park, there is a replica of a 1802 American Fort, a museum and visitor center.


October's big Fort Massac Encampment and several other living history event weekends scheduled throughout the year bring the past to life for American history buffs.


We will spend one night at Fort Massac State Park.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:
Departed: Florence, AL
Departure Time: 8:15 am
Arrived: Metropolis, IL
Arrival Time: 1:30 pm
Miles traveled: 226

Campground: Fort Massac
Type: State Park
Campsites: 50
GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: 37.14670 N
Longitude: 88.71025 W

Camping Daily Fee: $20.00 (no discount for seniors)
Campsite #: 45
Campsite Hookups: Electric, Water
Campground Amenities:
Flush Toilets, Hot Showers, Trash Dumpster, Sewer Dump

Verizon Cellular Service: 4G-3 Bars
Verizon Internet Service: 4G-3 Bars (JetPack)
Dish TV Satellite Service: None (trees blocking southern sky)

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Florence, AL - McFarland CP - 04/19/18

April 19, 2018 – Thursday
McFarland County Park
Florence, Alabama

We consult our Allstays Camp and RV app to find a place to camp for the night. McFarland County Park in Florence, Alabama looked interesting, so we decide to check it out. Good choice! The campsites in the campground are too close to one another for our preference, but the scenery here, along the Tennessee River, more than makes up for this shortcoming.


The Tennessee River laps upon the shores of this serene park, comprised of a campground, playgrounds, fishing piers, a driving range, boat ramps, picnic shelters with fireplaces, paved, lighted jogging trails surrounding the marina, soccer and basefield fields, a floating restaurant and bar.

We enjoyed our daily walks through the park and enjoyed watching the barge traffic traversing the Tennessee River.

We will spend three nights at McFarland Park.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:
Departed: Montgomery, AL
Departure Time: 9:50 am
Arrived: Florence, AL
Arrival Time: 2:45 pm
Miles traveled: 215

Campground: McFarland
Type: County Park
Campsites: 60
GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: 34.78561 N
Longitude: 87.68498 W

Camping Daily Fee: $20.00 (no discount for out-of-state seniors)
Campsite #: 319
Campsite Hookups: Electric, Water ,Sewer
Campground Amenities:
Flush Toilets, Hot Showers, Trash Dumpster
Verizon Cellular Service: 4G-3 Bars
Verizon Internet Service: 4G-3 Bars (JetPack)
Dish TV Satellite Service: Excellent Service
 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Montgomery, AL - Gunter Hill Campground - 04/17/18

April 17, 2018 – Tuesday
Gunter Hill Campground
Montgomery, Alabama

Gunter Hill Campground offers a peaceful scene of trees and nature on the backwaters of the Alabama River. The campground is situated on Catoma Creek in a forest of hickory and pine. The region offers a mild climate for year-round camping.


We will spend two nights at Gunter Hill.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:
Departed: Chattahoochee, GA
Departure Time: 8:55 am
Arrived: Montgomery, AL
Arrival Time: 1:30 pm
Miles traveled: 174

Campground: Gunter Hill
Type: Army Corps of Engineers (COE)
Campsites: 146
GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: 32.36299 N
Longitude: 86.45470 W

Camping Daily Fee: $13.00 ($26.00 without Senior Pass)
Campsite #: 64
Campsite Hookups: Electric (146), Water (146), Sewer (57)
Campground Amenities:
Flush Toilets, Hot Showers, Water Spigots, Trash Dumpster, Sewer Dump

Verizon Cellular Service: 4G-3 Bars
Verizon Internet Service: 4G-3 Bars (JetPack)
Dish TV Satellite Service: Excellent Service
 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Chattahoochee, FL - Eastbank Campground - 04/11/18

April 11, 2018 – Wednesday
Eastbank Campground
Chattahoochee, Florida

Eastbank campground is located on Lake Seminole on the Georgia-Florida state line. This a popular area for fishing, camping, boating, hiking and birding. Lake Seminole has a surface area of 37,500 acres with 376 miles of shoreline.


We will spend six nights at Eastbank Campground.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:
Departed: Lake City, FL
Departure Time: 10:55 am
Arrived: Chattahoochee, Georgia
Arrival Time: 2:20 pm
Miles traveled: 164

Campground: Eastbank
Type: Army Corps of Engineers (COE)
Campsites: 65
GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: 30.71806 N
Longitude: 84.85111 W

Camping Daily Fee: $12.00 ($24.00 without Senior Pass)
Campsite #: 28 (1 night), 39 (5 nights)
Campsite Hookups: Electric, Water
Campground Amenities:
Flush Toilets, Hot Showers, Water Spigots, Trash Dumpster, Sewer Dump

Verizon Cellular Service: 4G-3 Bars
Verizon Internet Service: 4G-3 Bars (JetPack)
Dish TV Satellite Service: Excellent Service

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Lake City, FL - Oceola NF - 04/10/18

April 10, 2018 – Tuesday
Oceola National Forest
Lake City, Florida

Continuing on our journey north through Florida we visit the Oceola National Forest, located 20 miles east of Lake City. Florida. Ocean Pond Campground resides within the Oceola National Forest. There are three sections within this campground: Campsites with electric and water hookups; Campsites with water hookups; Campsites with no hookups. Campsites with electric and water are by reservation only. All other campsites are first-come-first-serve. All campsites are nicely shaded and some may prevent obtaining a strong satellite signal.

There is a small lake at Ocean Pond, with a boat launch. This is a popular area for fishing, canoeing and kayaking. We were fortunate to secure a campsite with electric and water hookups. We will spend one night at Ocean Pond.

We will spend one night at Ocean Pond.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:
Departed: Zolfo Springs, FL
Departure Time: 10:55 am
Arrived: Lake City, FL
Arrival Time: 1:30 pm
Miles traveled: 91

Campground: Ocean Pond
Type: National Forest
Campsites: 67
GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: 30.23949 N
Longitude: 82.43179 W

Camping Daily Fee: $12.00 ($24.00 without Senior Pass)
Campsite: 5
Campsite Hookups: Electric, Water
Campground Amenities:
Flush Toilets, Hot Showers, Water Spigots, Trash Dumpster, Sewer Dump

Verizon Cellular Service: 4G-3 Bars
Verizon Internet Service: 4G-3 Bars (JetPack)
Dish TV Satellite Service: Excellent Service

Monday, April 9, 2018

Fort McCoy, FL - Salt Springs RA - 04/09/18

April 9, 2018 – Monday
Salt Springs Recreation Area
Fort McCoy, Florida

Continuing on our journey north through Florida we make a return visit to the Salts Springs Recreation Area in Fort McCoy. This is a beautiful campground located 35 miles east of Ocala, FL. It is the largest campground in the Ocala National Forest. featuring full hookups for RV's. Campsites are nicely shaded and well away from the usually busy day use area.


Campsites are available by reservation only. Early in the week you can sometimes find a campsite for one or two nights without a reservation. We are fortunate to secure a campsite that has not been reserved. We will spend one night here.

The Salt Springs Recreation Area is home to the salt water springs, with crystal clear water that is 72° year round. The springs are full of Bass, Turtles and Blue Crabs. Although alligators inhibit the area, the swimming area is safe and free of these predators during the day. Lake Kerr is the body of water that connects to the springs providing excellent fishing. Boat rentals are available through the Lake Kerr Marina.


The main roads through Salt Springs are State Road 19 as well as County Road 314 and County Road 316, both of which terminate at SR-19.

We will spend one night at Salt Springs.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:
Departed: Zolfo Springs, FL
Departure Time: 10:00 am
Arrived: Fort McCoy, FL
Arrival Time: 1:30 pm
Miles traveled: 157

Campground: Salt Springs Recreation Area
Type: National Forest
Campsites: 160
GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: N 29.35822
Longitude: W 081.73215

Camping Daily Fee: $19.50 with Senior Pass
Campsite: 44
Campsite Hookups: Electric, Water, Sewer
Campground Amenities:
Flush Toilets, Hot Showers, Water Spigots, Trash Dumpster, Sewer Dump

Verizon Cellular Service: 4G-2 Bars
Verizon Internet Service: 4G-2 Bars (JetPack)
Dish TV Satellite Service: Excellent Service
 

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Zolfo Springs, FL - Pioneer Park - 04/07/18

April 7, 2018 – Saturday
Pioneer Park
Zolfo Springs, Florida

We spent the entire month of March and first week of April visiting with my sister and her husband at their home in Naples, Florida. During this period of time, I asisted my sister with transporting her invalid husband to several dentist and doctor appointments she had scheduled for him during our visit.

Now that warmer weather is creeping northward, we begin our journey to return home to Illinois. We make a return visit to Pioneer Park, in Zolfo Springs, Florida. All campsites at this park are first-come-first-serve and we had no problem securing a suitable campsite from the many campsites available. We will spend two nights here.


Pioneer Park is located in Hardee County at the northwest corner U.S. Highway 17 and S.R. 64. The park is bounded on the north by the Peace River (popular with canoe and kayak enthusiats) and to the south by S.R. 64. On the west side of the park is a manmade 8.5 acre lake and a wildlife refuge. Fishing is allowed on the lake and the river and visitors can tour the wildlife refuge center for a $2.00 fee. The road winding through the park is a popul Museum.

We have camped at Pioneer Park during our past winter visits to Florida and always enjoy our camping experience here. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of buzzards that gather here each winter and roost in the trees adjacent to the Peace River. Every morning between 9:00 am and 10:00 am they depart, soaring in a circular fashion, as they catch the warming thermals under their long, extended wings. The thermals carry them ever higher into the sky and out of sight as they disperse to unknown regions throughout central Florida. Then, at around 4:00 pm they return in scattered flocks, slowly winding their way in a circular fashion to ever lower altitudes. After circling for extended periods of time, they locate a branch on their favorite tree to roost for the night. As the branches on the trees fill up, late comers attempt to dislodge some of the earlier arrivals. Eventually, all of the buzzards have returned and found a suitable roosting site. It is quite an entertaining spectacle to witness these daily events.


We will spend three nights at Pioneer Park.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:
Departed: Naples, FL
Departure Time: 3:15 pm
Arrived: Zolfo Springs, FL
Arrival Time: 5:20 pm
Miles traveled: 92

Campground: Pioneer Park
Type: Hardy County Park
Campsites: 90
GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: 27.73900 N
Longitude: 088.46600 W

Camping Daily Fee: $21.80 (no senior discounts)
Campsite: 18
Campsite Hookups: Electric, Water
Campground Amenities:
Flush Toilets, Hot showers, Water Spigots, Trash Dumpster, Sewer Dump

Verizon Cellular Service: 4G-3 Bars
Verizon Internet Service: 4G-3 Bars (JetPack)
Dish TV Satellite Service: Excellent