Friday, February 13, 2015

Reddick, FL - 73

My first reservation for 2015 was for Fort DeSoto Park in St. Petersburg.  I had several days after I left North Georgia and decided to stop in Reddick (between Gainesville and Ocala) at Ocala North RV which I have used as an overnight stop before.  This trip I wanted to visit Paynes Prairie State Preserve.

Paynes Prairie has several different trails and I hiked 2 of them.  The first trail I walked was the Cone’s Dike Trail.  It was very foggy so I wasn’t sure what I would see.   The preserve has a herd of Bison, along with birds and alligators. 

The first picture below is close to the start of the trail where there are several small ponds beside the trail. 


About 1.5 miles down the trail I thought about turning around, but decided to go just a little bit further and I am glad I did.  I saw the Bison.  They were a distance away, but since I was hiking that was fine by me.  In the second picture you can see 4 or 5 Bison.  I think there were 13 or 14 in the herd. 



After seeing the Bison I turned around and headed back.  By the time I got back to the swampy area a small gator had come out to warm up.  Reddick_paynes_prairie_cdt_lil_gator

And I saw this Tri-Color Heron nearby. Reddick_paynes_prairie_cdt_tri_color-heron

This is another shot of the trail.  Reddick_paynes_prairie_cdt_trail2

I went back to the visitor center to ask about the Bison.  They were excited that I had seen them as nobody had seen them that day yet.  I learned that Bison used to exist in Florida but were all killed off a long time ago.  These were reintroduced and have been doing well in this preserve.

From here, I headed to the northern part of the preserve.  I had read several good things about the LaChua Trail and wanted to hike it. 

I found the warning below interesting.  “This is NOT a zoo or theme park”!!  Of course I have seen people do crazy things around wildlife, so I guess some people need the warning.  Reddick_paynes_prairie_LaChua_trail_sign

Part of the trail was on a board walk and the rest was just a sandy trail.  I had read that some times the Alligators are laying on the trail and you just have to wait for them to move.  Reddick_paynes_prairie_lc_trail2

A gator not far from the trail and if you look closely across the water you can see 20 – 20 gators.  You can see that better in the 2nd picture below.Reddick_paynes_prairie_lct_gators


From here I headed down to Fort DeSoto, I ‘ll blog about that later.

In my last blog I mentioned that I would tell you guys some news and explain those numbers that appear in some of my blogs.  A couple of friends emailed me asking about it and I decided that I would let the world know (ok, maybe just the few folks who read this blog!)

Those who have met me know that I am very over weight.  I have lost weight and put it back on many times in my life.  Well, I have been on Weight Watchers since early April and have lost quite a bit of weight.  The number in the title is how much I have lost at the time I was at the location in the title  So for this blog, it says 73!  Yep I have lost 73 pounds!  (Actually a little more since I was in Reddick in early January).  I haven’t been doing very well for the last couple of weeks, but I will get my act together in a day or 2.  I still have a good bit to lose, but for a change I feel like I can do it this time.  I’m taking it slow and not letting the bad days (or in this case weeks) get to me!

I am still learning this new PC.  I can’t figure out why the cursor disappears or freezes or at least I can’t use it with the mouse pad.  It has done it again.  I think I must be hitting a key or sequence of keys that must freeze it.  I have learned that a reboot fixes it, but also since this is a touchscreen laptop I can do most things without moving the cursor with the mousepad.   

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Georgia – Nov and Dec 2014 - 65

Yes, I am still alive and traveling in my RV.  I have just been very lazy about keeping the blog updated.  

I actually started writing this blog about a week ago, but I had a problem.  I had been having PC issues for a while and finally broke down and got a new laptop in early January. My old PC was about 7 years old – that’s an antique in the laptop world!!  All I had done with the new laptop was play with it.  So when I started to work on the blog I quickly realized that I needed to download some software.  And of course I was at a location where my aircard worked, but was very slow.   On top of that, the photo software that I used  came with MicroSoft Office and I had decided not to buy Office (I am going with OpenOffice instead for my word processor needs).  So I had to find and learn something else.  I ended up installing Windows Photo Gallery, which is part of the same suite as Windows Live Writer.  But it is not as convenient as my old software.  I will try to figure it out or find more software.  If anyone has any suggestions, I am basically looking for software to crop, rotate and/or resize photos.  Every once in a while I play with the color but not often enough for that to be a major  consideration in my choosing what I will use.  I can do all of the above with my new Windows Photo Gallery, but it took many more steps that I used to do!

On top of all of that I am having to learn Windows 8!  And today, my cursor disappeared so I had to figure that out!!

Anyway, I need to catch up on the end of 2014.  That will not be hard as most of what I did was the same thing as 2013, 2012…. 

At thanksgiving, my sister and her family came down from Wisconsin for a few days and we had a small family get together at my mom’s place.  My oldest nephew, Jim, and his family joined us for a BBQ lunch one day.

One day we visited Goats on the Roof, you can see why it is called that --



A rather large goat was watching everyone from above the Ice Cream and Fudge sign and it is a bit hard to see, but 2 goats are on the bridge.


Above Parker is sending up some food to a few goats, while Avery watches. 

For the month of November, I visited family, friends and doctors.

In December, I went to Jekyll Island for a couple of weeks.  While the campground is not one of my favorites I like the location and enjoyed walking the trail across from the campground and biking around the island.

Driftwood Beach is my favorite place on the island, below are several pictures from the 1.5 weeks I was there.


Below is the ramp that leads to the beach at St Andrews picnic area.  It was an extremely high tide on the day I took this photo.  This was about the 1/2 point for my bike ride around the island. ga_eoy_jekyll_picnic_area

Just across from the campground is the road that leads to Clam Creek picnic area and the start of the trail that I walked most days. ga_eoy_jekyll_road

The trail below is part of the trail I walked.  I rode my bike one day on this trail, but it was a bit rough so I stuck to the main bike trail when riding.  ga_eoy_jekyll_birds_on_pathWhile most of the main trail is paved, there are a few board walks. The biking and walking paths are the reason that I like Jekyll so much!!  Plus you can bird watch while doing both.  ga_eoy_jekyll_bike_trail

Then I went back to the North Georgia mountains for the last couple of weeks of the year. 

From Georgia I headed down to Florida for the rest of the Winter.  I will slowly catch up with this blog over the next couple of weeks (if I can figure out the photo editor software!) and in my next entry I am going to reveal some good news and an explanation of the numbers that have appeared at the end of some of the titles during the last several months!!