OK, kids…If you are willing to jump into the GMC with us one more Winter, we have finalized our plans..Here is our itinerary, so you can make plans to join us (on our blog) this Winter.
We will be leaving the
armpit of the nation Illinois sometime after Thanksgiving…Our first night will likely be spent at Rend lake. This is just a perfect drive to get us into warmer climate than Northern IL…We always stay at Gun Creek for the night…(Last year we got 3+ inches of snow overnight…)
It can get a little muddy there too, but they have nice long campsites and it’s Army Corps so there is half price camping for us elders!
Our next week or so is up for grabs, but we always seem to gravitate toward Grenada, MS Army Corps park..really nice sites!
Our first reservation is for Ft. Pickens on the Gulf Islands National Seashore…It has great old fort onsite, and isn’t far from Pensacola Naval Air Museum..We arrive Dec 6th and leave Dec 16th.
Dec 16th we drive to Salt Springs Recreation Area 35 miles East of Ocala, FL…We will be here just 3 nights..enough to relax and do the drive to South Florida…
There is an awesome natural springs here…Last year we were too early for the Manatees here…maybe this year we will see some, but no matter what, this is a great place!
Leaving Salt Springs on Dec. 19th, we drive to LaBelle FL, East of Ft. Myers for our 2 week stay at Ortona South, another Army Corps park..(yes, we are cheapskates!) We love this place and actually were able to reserve our same spot we had last year!! We just LOVE this place..and we will be spending Christmas and New Years here.
We will beleaving Jan 2nd for Big Cypress National Park, Midway Campground (yes, we stayed there last year too!)We love Midway, even though our cell phone service is non-existent..You have to drive 6 miles to get a signal, but our internet was better…not perfect, a little sketchy, but better!
While at Midway CG, we can drive the road that takes you deep into the Cypress swamp..Lots of beautiful birds there, and also alligators! We are leaving Midway CG Jan 12th and going farther South to Flamingo, in Everglade National Park..another fav with us. Here it is sketchy internet and great cell phone service..
Leaving Flamingo Jan 20th and driving back toward LaBelle to stay at a brand new to us RV park called Palm and Pines RV Park. We will be here 2 weeks, full hook up for $120 per week, cash or check only. This place is on the edge of Felda, FL and has a bird sanctuary there too. It gets great reviews..There is no pool or fancy stuff, but we don’t care about that…It’s all about the wildlife for me. Hey, ya gotta “step outta the box” once in a while!
Leaving Felda, Feb 3rd and driving about 10 miles back to Ortona South, but in a different campsite..The ones on the water are almost impossible to get end of Jan, so we took the one and only one left..We shall see how it is, but it really doesn’t matter, we love this park.
Leaving Ortona South AGAIN after 2 weeks, we get back on the road Feb 17th and drive back to Salt Springs Recreation Area near Ocala, FL. This time we will be staying 5 nights, resting up to try another “new to us” RV park. Feb. 22nd, we will drive almost laterally across Florida to stay at Angler’s RV Park, just off Cedar Key on the West Coast. Last year we stayed at Manatee Spring State Park and drove the 60 miles to Cedar Key..I fell in love with it, albeit more “touristy” than I like..there was lots of history in the old town…Here is a few shots I stole online of Angler’s RV Park…another “we shall see”.
Leaving Angler’s on March 1st, we go farther North to the panhandle again. They have rules for 10 days a season to stay at Ft. Pickens, so we opted to try another Pensacola park, Big Lagoon State Park. This is very close to Perdido Key, and looks pretty nice..I hear there is great seafood in this area too..WOOT!WOOT!
Right about now, this looks like Heaven to me!! We will be here 1 week and leave here to our final “reserved spot” on our itinerary, Meaher State Park, LA. This is on Mobile Bay in Mobile Alabama and about one hour from Big Lagoon. Last year we stayed at Blakely Lake State Historical Park, and though it was FULL of Civil War history, the park itself left much to be desired. We noticed Meaher SP and decided to try it this year..I do love me some Mobile Bay Alabama!!
And so ends the mostly reserved portion of our 4 month Winter trip. We don’t need to reserve the Mississippi corp parks on our way down or our way back. There is always room…But going into Florida requires more planning, unless you want to have stomach cramps, chewed finger nails …or like to be parked in the “overflow” for a week. I know, I know, we could make a 2 month reservation at one of the gazillion RV Resorts in South Florida, paying upwards from $600 a month..and maybe when we get a tad older, that will be more practical and with lots less driving. As for right now, it just isn’t our thing….but who knows what the future will bring..My feeling is , if we have to get a smaller camper to scoot around the nation in, I have no problem with it…As they say, “plans are made in jello”.
This ends my long, drawn out “itinerary with boring photos”. I’m sure some of you have nodded off, and I totally get it…But I, ME, MOI, DONNA, needed this…I have to have something to look forward to …that’s just how I roll.
“And I will never again underestimate the power of anticipation. There is no better boost in the present than an invitation into the future.”
~ Caroline Kepnes