Cave Dwellings

W.P. Franklin Lock Campground, Alva FL

W.P. Franklin Lock Campground, Alva FL
Jan. 2, 2015

Cave Dwellings

Monday, January 19, 2015


Oh…THERE you are! Still in internetless land here…but I will try to post a photo…It is absolutely wild and wonderful here!!

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Leaving here Thursday and  driving into Everglades National Park…Flamingo campground…probably no cell phone or internet there too…but LOOK OUT when we get back from there at the end of January..You will be inundated with photos!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Middle of nowhere

Just to say we rarely have a signal here…We are in Big Cypress National Park, Midway Campground for a week.. will publish if and when I can…


Friday, January 9, 2015

Cooled down…but we are surely not complaining

The last couple days has been cooler than usual.  By that I mean that it’s upper 40’s at night and upper 60’s lower 70’s during the day…Dennis and I are keeping our yaps zipped up tight…after seeing that terrible weather in Northern Illinois!

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It’s been pretty beautiful here, and I think we have only had rain once since we left Illinois…(not counting the 3” snowfall in Southern IL our first night on the road!!!)

This campground sits on the last lock before the Gulf of Mexico…and it is virtually on an island.  You cross a land bridge to get here from mainland.  Den and I walk this way out to the road and back…twice…every day.


Above photo shows that land bridge..On the right is the fresh water, on the left side is the salt water…The salt water part is interesting because it ebbs and flows with the tides of the Gulf..If you look closely on the left side, you can see the rocks exposed along the shore…the tide was out.  Not so on the right side. We also found out that if you want to fish here on both sides, you  have to get 2 separate fishing licenses…one for fresh water and one for salt water…Obviously the government is involved here..tehee.

On our walk we always seem to see some kind of wildlife…


OK, that is NOT the kind of “wildlife” I meant..Note that I AM in a sweatshirt, jeans and cap…usually I’m  frightening stylin’ in my shorts!

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Above…(I just know The Birdlady of Blogland is watching )..Redtail Hawk! (?)  right is …I KNOW THIS ONE!!..Bald Eagle..I don’t think he appreciated that little bird sharing his tree.

OK, here is one I don’t know…





Hmmmm….My given nickname in Judy’s classroom just went from “grasshopper” to “toady”…OK, this bird looks familiar..I am sure I have seen it before…hmmm…I’m gonna take a guess and say Green Heron…As you can see, my reputation as a “bird watcher” is highly exaggerated…I am only a bird “lurker”…I love to watch with binoculars, and don’t care WHO I’m watching…That could get me arrested in Sandwich, IL.




This morning when I woke up and pulled up the shades, I saw a beautiful orange sun rising out our back window…Since we aren’t in the last campsite, AND I didn’t want to scare the neighbors, I took this photo out our window. 


Until next time…(I’ll just bet you cannot WAIT!) ….

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Life is rough…yeah, right.

  I gotta say, life is tough down here in South Florida..what with 80 degree sunny days, and beautiful views…Dennis just might have to drag me outta here kicking and screaming…hanging on to the Palm Trees with my bare hands. As they say, one picture is worth 1000 words, and this will be most of my blog…photos…

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Left, a Limpkin….(got me a bird book)…and on the right..Little Blue Heron… (yep, gonna Ace this test!)

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Left, Great Blue Heron (didn’t even use my book here)…and right, is the Tri-Colored Heron..SCORE!!! (If I so much as get ONE wrong, rest assured the Birdlady of Blogland will be letting me know!)

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Above is a Red Bellied Woodpecker..and right…right….right..duh…OK, OK..I COULDN’T FIND THIS ONE!!

It seems everyday we spot an alligator cruising the river…and we also see lots of jet skiers…Let’s see, put alligators and jet skiers together on the river and what to you get?…As far as I’m concerned..and I AM concerned, somebody (or someTHING) could be lunch!!  MacGyver tells me to relax, settle down.  He says that the peeps down here are use to sharing the water with critters…I think where he is wrong here is when he uses the word “share”.. I don’t play well with reptiles and serpents, and I certainly do NOT share..although I do have a one of Steve Erwin’s “Crocodile Hunter”caps.  Makes me feel brave when I wear it , but in reality I am a big wet mess when I see one.  Obviously I need to quit worrying..yeah, right.

A few more pictures I want to share…

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Above left is the road we walk that leads to our campground..When we walk to the end we get to this sign above…This Riverwind Cove is a horse farm of sorts…and they have some beautiful ones..


These, I am sure, are draft horses like the Budweiser horses…and either they were playing “hide and seek” or I was just too scary to look at.  In actuality, I was waaaay over on the road when I took this photo…I would love to have gotten close, but they were protected by an “electric fence”…Sure glad they let me know before I propped my arms up ON it to get this photo..YIKES!

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We sit outside most all day, everyday..armed with binoculars, camera phone, and good camera…There is always something to see here…


…Sometimes it’s just MacGyver offering help to our neighbor changing his brakes…That MacGyver just HAS to offer!


…And sometimes the view is just too doggone gorgeous for words…So I will leave you at this point..speechless!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Florida was a GREAT choice this year!!

  I have told MacGyver a gazillion times that I am sooooo glad we came back to Florida this year.  Compared to Texas weather, this has been down right balmy!  I just cannot tell you all  how happy we are to have made it to our 2nd month on the road in Florida without any “mishaps” calling us back to Illinois…Last time we tried Florida, 2 years ago, we made it 5 weeks and had to head home…Geez, I had better quit thinking like that or I will jinx THIS  trip!!

We are happily set up in W.P. Franklin Locks campground, just North of Alva, FL…The sites are not quite as spacious as Ortoona, but closer to the water with lovely homes across the Caloosahatchee River…Pretty nice spot, site #28.

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Pretty nice boat ship? across the river, and some fancy homes peeking from behind the palms too!! I could do this! I could live here!…or so I thought. 

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Left photo I took yesterday in front of our Hiker……………………..Right photo I took this morning in about the same spot…SAY WHAAAAAT?  When I first saw her yesterday I did mention to Dennis..”Don’t they have alligators here in this river?”. Answer is a big YES!!!!! THEY DO!!!!! Holy crap, what was she thinking…or what WASN’T she thinking…SHEESH doesn’t even describe my reaction to this one!!

Here are a few more shots taken here yesterday and this AM…

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There are only 30 campsites here in two loops..We are on the loop where people can also pull up and park their houseboats (RV’s with oars), which is the pic on the right.  The other loop seems to have more spacious spots than this one, but we aren’t complaining.  There is abundant wildlife here (and reptiles!!), lots of water fowl …and our neighbor says he saw a Manatee right at our shoreline yesterday morning and got lots of great photos. In the words of Maxwell Smart, “Missed it by THAT much!” (only you old duffers will remember the TV show Get Smart)…And speaking of neighbors, this is what our nice neighbors are camping in here.


What we have here is an Outback Loft, made by Keystone..When we pulled up I first thought it was a home made job..having never seen anything like this before.  Not sure I would like that “tower” bunk in a bad storm…”Auntie Em…get me down!!” They are really nice people living in it, and the gentleman who owns it said there were only 16 made …very interesting.

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Get ready, this is just our second day and I will be boring you posting LOTS of bird photos…and hopefully a Manatee or too,,if I’m blessed by the water mammal Gods. Tomorrow is “date night” and we are driving to a Moose Lodge on the edge of Ft. Myers Shores, not far from here.  I know we should have sea food, but I am hankering for a good pizza..and that is what we will bring home for dinner after a few adult beverages.

You might remember me saying that our daughter and her family, The Heisers, went to Walt Disneyworld for Christmas…Had to share these two photos…two of the MANY they took!

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Obviously they had a wonderful trip…Terrie cannot say enough about it, and the kids were absolutely ecstatic!..Well, Goofy was a big influence..

When we took our 2 mile walk this morning, we came across this car parked in the camping area and thought “Dang! Where did they get that decal???”


I need to get some T-shirts…but until then, I’m stealing it…


Wednesday, December 31, 2014


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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Some things can come back and “bite ya in the butt”..

We all know how sometimes we have certain things “bite us in the butt”, so to speak..Well, I think I literally save MacGyvers’ arse from just that…Look what I found when I opened his collapsible camping chair…


Me thinks that is a baby Scorpion..and he is right in the middle of Den’s chair seat…(notice the burn whole from our campfires behind him..yes, our campfires can get dangerous too!)

Not too much going on here at Ortona campground…Here are a few more photos of our space and the camping areas…

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Left is the loop at the end of our road where you can turn around and go back the other way…I gotta say that this place is kept impeccable, the sites are as clean as you can get…That gravel is great to keep from tracking grub into the camper.  We are leaving here Thursday and heading just down the road to W.P. Franklin campground located in Alva, FL…about 30 miles from here.

These two army corps campgrounds are really hard to get into during Jan and Feb…December isn’t quite as bad, but still a challenge. Like most corp campgrounds, you can only book 6 months ahead, so you have to be at your computer sitting at full attention exactly 6 months out from the first day you want..and jump on the website at exactly 9AM…AND …you gotta be “fast fingered” to book anything, as sometimes they are full up in an hour…I did find out that it doesn’t hurt to check from time to time, as they do get cancellations as the time goes on…

The very first time we were here at Ortona was August of 2005, on our way to the Keys after our daughter got married on Longboat Key, near Sarasota…


We were down in the first loop then…It was August…hotter than Hades…and we were the ONLY ones here at the park..Note our camper door was closed..One of the few times we have ever used A/C when camping…We vowed to  make it here someday in the Winter time…and we have succeeded twice ..I highly recommend it here!

After we do our 2 weeks at W.P.,(that sounds like we are doing time in prison!),  we are moving farther South to Big Cypress National Park, Midway Campground for a week.  This will be a great base camp to visit our friends Tom and Sammee King in Everglade City and explore the everglades…Tom and Dennis graduated from Sandwich High School together, class of 1960, so they are both older than dirt..Tom and Sam have a great boat and they go every year to Everglade City and rent a park model for January and February..You may remember my post of Jan. 2013 when they took us out on their boat’’


Yes, I was having some real fun…and cannot wait to visit with them again this year…Hmmm..maybe I should get a bail bondsman card..??

This last Friday, we got together with blogger Canadian friends, Rick and Elaine Cochrane. They have been spending their Winters here just up the road at an RV park called The Glades.  We visited them at their park and met lots of really nice people there too!  Thanks you two, for inviting us to your “happy HAPPY HOUR!”. I had so much fun I left my Xmas mug there…duh.

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Last night we washed behind our ears and cleaned up..(slightly)…We went into Labelle Moose Lodge for an adult beverage…I made Dennis take my picture to prove that I CAN clean up fairly decent, without even one article borrowed from my evening “ensembles”…

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And I was sporting my Oswego IL Fire Dept. "Red Friday T-Shirt"  our son Kelly got us to show support for our troops…The reason for the red color is evident in their slogan, “They bleed red, so we wear red”.  I suggest you click on the link and get one if possible…Our troops need to know we all love and support them protecting this great country!!!!

Ok, today was a beautiful 80 something degree day here. I have to pinch myself to make sure I didn’t just dream we are Florida..I do that a lot at my age..dream stuff and think it really happened..I just recently realized that I really wasn’t married to Johnny Depp many years ago..what a disappointment THAT was!!

forgetful Maxine