Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

To Moffitt and Parkesdale’s

Monday and Tuesday                                                                 Most Recent Posts:
January 11 and 12, 2016                                                            It’s the Day After Crash, Tornadoes, and We Move On
Hillsborough River State Park                                                     He’s King for a Day! What does he do?
Thonotosassa, Florida




The main reason we are at Hillsborough River is that it is the closest state park to the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa.  It’s time for David’s annual visit with his Multiple Myeloma Specialist Dr. Kenneth Shain.  I bring the camera to get a picture of them together.  Dr. Shain has overseen David’s treatment since shortly after he was diagnosed over 4 years ago now.

I take a few others of the place we have been back to again and again. 



At all medical centers, you stand in line to check in, then you wait for them to call you, then you wait in the room for them to do whatever they are going to do and then you go on to the next portion of the treatment plan and do it all again.  David is a pro at stnading in line.  Do you recognize his profile first in line in his Hardly Davison Beach Bum Biker ball hat?






He brings his coffee with him.  But in Moffitt’s defense, none of the waits are long and the process really does move smoothly along.  Soon we are in the office waiting for Dr. Shain who comes in and says he is very pleased with the current treatment effects other than the periferal neuropothy which does seem to be increasing. 

But for now, he thinks we should stay the course although he has some ideas for oral treatments which could give us a bit more travel freedom for the future.  He still has an incurable cancer but for now it appears to still be under reasonable control.  All this is good news.   And with that good news I totally forget to take their picture together which is why I brought the camera in the first place.  Oh well………………that’s life!



In the afternoon we head over to Bill and Nancy’s to chat for a while on their “veranda”.



It was 39 degrees last night here.  We seem to have been moving the wrong direction this year in Florida.  In November nad December it was HOT in the Keys.  We moved North to Big Cypress Swamp and then Koreshan where the weather was close to perfect and then we moved further north for this visit and the Tampa RV show and it’s down right cold.

Nancy and I both think it’s time to move inside where we chat and laugh and tell stories until it’s time to call it a night.






Today with Bill driving and Nancy navigating.  we “leave at 10ish” (are you out there David and Sharon?) and arrive safely at Parkesdale’s Farm Market in Plant City. 

Those who spend any time in Florida know that Plant City is home of The Florida Strawberry Festival each February or March.  With a name like Plant, it makes sense right?  This is a BIG deal.  Check out the website and the Headline Entertainment. 

Strawberries are a BIG deal in Plant City and they are a BIG deal here at Parkesdale’s.   Check out the menu.


So that you don’t have to blow the picture up to 150% to read it, here are the offerings at Parkesdale.

~Our Famous Strawberry Shortcake with loads of toppings $3.75
~Our Famous Strawberry Shortcake with ice cream with load of toppings $4.25
~Our famous sundae/boat icecream-berries-toppings-no cake $3.75
~No Cake -  A Big bowl of sweetened berries and loads of toppings $4.00
~Our Famous Fresh Strawberry Milkshake $2.25
~No Berries – Just vanilla ice cream and toppings $2.25
~Cake – No Berries, ice cream toppings $2.25
~No Sugar Berries – a bowl of unsweetened berries with loads of toppings $4.00
~Cake – No Sugar Berries, Unsweetened berries, some sugar in the cake and toppings $3.75

Clearly in their 9 offerings they have STRAWBERRIES and LOADS of toppings!
Have it your way.




Some candid shots in the market show that these people are serious about their fruits and vegetables.




The Sherpas confer.



I’ve seen boiled peanuts in the south but am not surprised to see “deep fried” peanuts. Hope they deep fried them in peanut oil rather than lard.


Careful selections are made.  Looks like the basket is nearly full.


I’m not sure exactly what this is but it looks like a party in strawberry is about to begin.




Notice that I am not the one with the ice cream milkshake in my hand and it is not even his birthday today.



Back at the rig, we split up.   Bill, Nancy have been here for a couple of days before we arrive and they have done all the hikes here.  So David and they take their bikes and go for a ride around the park.  I want to get at least a little bit away from “civilization” and  take this opportunity to do some solo hiking.

First I take the river trail past the suspension bridge which is under what may be permanent  and on to the rapids. 

The Hillsborough River is a lovely lazy river which is great for kayaking.  With all the doctor visits and the RV Supershow this week, I’m not sure we’ll make it out on the water.




Soon I am walking along the palmetto lined path.   I have it all to myself.




There are lovely views along the river.



On my way to the the suspension bridge I come to a picnic area with a shelter.  On top of the shelter is a small sign that says Flood Level 1988.  I nearly drop my jaw to think of the river’s waters being that high.  There has been a lot of rain this year and the river seems high to me now for winter time.  But WOW that’s at least 10 or 12 feet of water above the banks which currently are at least 4’ above the water in some places.




Can’t go there.  But the sign makes me laugh.  It’s temporarily closed with a very permanent looking sign and no evidence of workers anywhere on this Tuesday afternoon







It is a lovely bridge but luckily not the only way to get across the river to the trails I want to hike after this one.



This old cypress is still alive and huge.  First I give it what hug I can then I take a picture of me in the doorway.  This thing is really large and really tall.  No way I can get a picture that shows that.






The river surface is like glass as I walk along up to the rapids.




I begin to hear ripples here but when I reach those, that’s not the rapids.




It’s a little riffle just in htis bend.  But it sounds so pretty.  I love to l isten to water moving.  Well unless it’s dripping down the inside of our windshield which despite all of David’s efforts and the advice we’ve been given, he still hasn’t been able to stop completely.





I come to the end of the road so these must be the rapids.  They are much smaller than I remember them from our last visit here but perhaps that’s because of all the rian.  The water was level lower that winter as it usually is.  Many of the rocks are now under water.  Still, I wouldn’t want to bring my kayak through here.











Look up too I remind myself.





Time to turn around and go back to the non suspension bridge I passed going over to the other side of the river.







I intended to walk all the trails which would be three, the trail to the rapids, the Baynard Trail and the Florida Trail.  but when I get on the opposite side of the stationary bridge, the Baynard Trail too is closed for “repairs”.  As with the suspension bridge, I don’t see or hear any work going on.  Guess that shortens my hike.


Although the river is up some at the rapids it clearly is not even near overflowing its banks since these cypress are in a low dry spot.  I am not on the Florida Trail the name of which I find confusing.   THE Florida Trail is a 1400 mile north to south long trail the start of which is in Big Cypress Swamp.   According to the map at the head of this Florida Trail it is a 3.4 mile loop.  I see THE Florida Trail symbol here so I can’t figure it out.  I’ll look on my way around to see if there is an “exit” to THE Florida Trail







There are quite a variety of trees in this hammock and beautiful blue skies.  A perfect day for a commune with the natural world.




I’m about 1/3 of the way around the trail when I come to a sign indicating Primitive Campsites.  These are the sorts of things one finds on THE Florida Trail although not usually so well marked.  I haven’t seen any signs indicating a connection to THE trail so I walk back down what turns out to be a fairly long spur trail with 4 campsites spaced far apart.  Two of them are occupied.   I zoom in rather than disrupt their solitude.   There is no sign of a connection to THE trail.



More trees to hug.  I love the energy these big trees give off.  There are an amazing number of really big trees along this trail.  I can’t hug them all or I’ll never get back in time for dinner.



This trail really does remind me of a jungle with a really fine path through it.






At this point I’m half way around the trail and back along the river on the opposite side from where I was when I walked up to the rapids.  The reflections are perfect in the still water. 







I assume these are the same shelf mushrooms and that the white one is younger and will weather like the ones below it but I don’t know that for sure.  Nature could just put two totally different types overlapping each other.



A little further along, I find these.







Some sections of the trail are open along the river and others are just windows. 









At the end of the trail, I go back across the bridge to the campground.  When I arrive it’s nearly 6:00 and the bikers have been back for hours.  Oh well, it’s easy to lose track of time on a quiet beautiful trail.


  1. You made the right call taking a hike on that lovely day. Great photos. We liked that state park. Not a bad drive to Tampa, and such a pretty river. Glad to hear that David got some good news!

  2. So glad to hear Dave is doing well. Hope he can get a different medication so you can travel further before that grand baby makes an appearance. So glad you enjoyed the market and RV show. Karen mentioned she saw you there.

  3. So lovely. I hope that I get to see that some day. Got to visit my niece.

  4. Beautiful photos, as always. I've heard a lot of backpackers talk about the Florida Trail, although I could never understand how Florida could have such a long trail with sok much solitude. I've never been off the beaten track in the state.

  5. I love The Florida Trail, been only on parts of it here and there, but it is the Florida I love, so much incredible variety, and yes, solitude. A Florida so many people never see and don't have a clue exists. Thanks for showing that Florida Sherry.

  6. Beautiful pictures and good report for David!

  7. So nice to hear David had a good check up!!!

    Love this trail and all the beautiful trees:)

  8. Looking forward to more extended travels now that David has some better options. I've sure that's made you both very happy.

    Loved your hike and pictures, such a beautiful trail you found. Too bad you ran out of time before all the trees got hugged. ;c)

  9. I'm glad to hear David got a good report and the possibility of further traveling. We have spent a lot of time at Hillsborough River SP back when we lived in Tampa and were working.

  10. Happy to hear the medical news was good, a fresh strawberry shake seems the perfect celebration! Always nice to have handsome sherpas along when gathering food :-) Such a beautiful trail to have all to yourself - love the old giants and the dainty mushrooms sharing the enchanted hammock. Looking up is a wonderful perspective isn't it? Glad you were home in time for dinner :-))))

  11. Never got to the strawberry festival when we were there, next time! We got to hike different pars of the Florida trail during our stay near Ocala, it's nice.

  12. Some good medical news!

    Hard to believe the river could have flooded that high!

  13. So glad to hear the good news about David's treatments! Keeping our fingers crossed that you'll be turned loose to travel freely. :-) Meanwhile, that was a gorgeous hike you took yourself on….I had to look twice at that bridge -- it looks a lot like the bridge at O'Leno, as you know!

  14. Great news for David! Looks like we need to head to Plant City soon! Love the berry menu😉

  15. Such good news for you and David. Enjoy your time at Disney, we kept it ready for you :-).

  16. David's good news is the BEST news!!! Be great if you can manage some farther travel down the road.

    Not much in the way of smallish rigs at the RV show...everything is getting BIGGER and BIGGER:o((

    Parksdale produce is so worth the trip!!!

  17. Glad to hear the good medical news as always! Sounds like a very nice day of strawberries and hiking for you. Beautiful trail, even if some of it was closed. Impressive trees!

  18. Great news is always welcome. Can't wait to hear about your upcoming adventures, I'm m really happy that you will have more options.

  19. Glad to hear some good news for David and I sure hope you can go further in the years to come and we can meet up!

  20. Glad David got some good news. Sorry our weather has not been better looks like we will be in for some cold next week as well.

  21. Glad to hear David's results. Hard to believe it's been 4 years since his diagnosis. Hope the Doc is able to find oral drugs to allow you some more travel freedom. 39 degrees sounds pretty good to me given it was 12 degrees this morning here. Big snowstorm coming here and it will likely delay our flight to Cancun - we actually like the snow and hate to miss the storm. But we love the weather in Cancun. Finally switched to Chrome as you suggested so I can once again comment on the blog. Always enjoy the blog.

  22. I sure missed a fine hike there, but I am so glad you took it to share pictures that remind me of what we did last trip here. My bike ride with Bill & Nancy was relatively short but we did see hawks in the pine flats which was a treat.

  23. Oh so wonderful to hear David's good news. 39 will be more than the highs in Kanab by Saturday. (Already missing the sunny southern desert and just got home last night.) I sure like that market's prices. How I love the energy of negative ions from moving water. This hike is delightful. Though I don't like the high water mark.

  24. Beautiful trail, glad to hear David's good news!


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