RV Park Road
Evening camp fire
We had reservations at an RV park near the Ocala National Forrest Florida. The trip to Ocala was long and expensive as far as fuel was concerned. Oil prices have increased and immediately the Gasoline Stations increased their prices. We got ‘Taken’ when we stopped at a fuel station just off the interstate, it was very busy so we thought that the price must reflect local conditions and filled up at $3.45 a gallon. Ha! Just down the road a few miles it was twenty cents cheaper. It didn’t help to know many others were ripped off by that sucker. On the other hand we were treated very nice at a Flying J, the hostess heard that Samantha’s steak and eggs hadn’t come out right and took five bucks off the bill. Flying J is a must stop for us now and RVs can often over night in their parking lot and get LP tanks filled and dump waste tanks also.
Finally after some convoluted directions we arrive at Whispering Pines RV Park. This is a small place family run and reminds me of the old time RV parks in the old movies like Pajama Game (the original one with Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable, Gee I would like to watch that movie again). We took a walk around the park and met more people in that walk of about half an hour than we did in three days at Top Sail State Park or at the five days a tthe Escapees Park in Livingston, maybe we have been traveling in the wrong circles this isn’t a Tony place just down to earth regular folks and not one million dollar rig, some nice rigs and some older ones and a few real old ones.
Today 111308, we went shopping at Wally World once again and after we finished shopping we went to the National Forest visitor center and picked up a map and some brochures. Thinking it would be a good idea to drive around the Forrest and check out the camping sites and other attractions we headed out. First highway 40 goes right through the forest and you have no feeling your any place special and your not. Later I took highway 19, that bisects highway 40 and followed it until we got to Salt Springs.
Thinking that Salt Springs was a nice place to check out we pulled in and went to the office. We were informed that we would have to pay a day use fee and only I with the Senior Pass would get a reduction in the fee. That was the first of many unpleasant surprises, next was that we couldn’t take pets into the site nor could we take alcoholic beverages in and our coolers were subject to search.
Well no one offered to search our coolers or RV so we proceeded to the Salt Springs. Sheesh what a let down, in the office where we paid the fee the photo of the Spring looked huge and beautiful, in real life it was small and the walking area around it was in sad shape. The other thing that bothered me were all the negative signs every where, can’t have pets, can’t smoke, can’t use scuba equipment, must us the approved Bear proof trash receptacles, no alcoholic beverages, no parking on side of the road, no fishing, so forth and so on. I did not feel like I was wanted there. After taking a few pictures we got back into our RV full of contraband (pets and booze) and visited the camping area. The camping area didn’t seem special, no view of the lake or spring or anything else. Then on the way out I was supposed to place my permit in a box before passing through the electrically operated gates that close promptly at 5pm. I couldn’t wait to get out of there, I felt like I was escaping some weird dream. What has happened to my Forrest Service? When did they become big brother?
Then as I visited other sites in the same area I was asked to pay the daily fee again WHAT THE HELL is going on? I found a boating ramp and swimming beach area the beach was closed looked nice no one around, went to the boat ramp no one around there either and there it was a big sign asking for a daily fee again only this time I had to monitor myself, the Hell I Will, I took a few pictures walked the dogs and chatted with another couple about RVing and left, just in time I might add as a Forrest Service vehicle passed us on the road out to the highway. I didn’t get a warm fuzzy feeling about the Forrest Service or our Government today, not at all.
On the way back to camp we stopped in a strip mall and went to a dollar store for a few items, while standing in line I heard a conversation about how good the local restaurant was and when we left the store I suggested we have some dinner at the local restaurant. We had the spaghetti and meat balls with salad, garlic toast and beverage very reasonable if not memorable.
When we got back to camp we tried to set up our lights on the sun shade and found we had no electricity to the outside electrical plug nor to the refrigerator. After some head scratching and trying different things I had the brite idea to check the GFI plug and sure enough after resetting the GFI plug we had power to the both plugs. We got the lights up and took the dogs for a walk. Before we left for the dog walk we were invited to a St. Patrick’s day dinner at the park by three of the ladies from surrounding RVs. We felt so welcome, not like some other places we had been, however we will be leaving in the morning. The dog walk was going good until a dog came charging out of an RV and attacked our little dog! Scary moment, but with lots of shouts and barks from our big dog the attacker was driven off and captured by its owner who apologized profusely. No harm was done thank goodness and we parted amicably.
When we got back to the RV we indulged in snacks and a little TV and some WiFi the end of another day. Tomorrow we plan to travel I 75 north to Georgia.