Tuesday February 9 & Wednesday February 10, 2016 Most Recent Posts:
Highlands Hammock State Park Surrounded by Scamp Camp & Hikes in the Hammock
Sebring, Florida Happy Birthday Carrie & Moving to Highlands
One of the things I really love about this park is that such fantastic trails are only a walk or a bike ride away. You don’t have to leave the park in your car to find great things to do. Today is another day to hike in the beautiful Highlands Hammock Forests. We again take our bikes out on the park road to the loop. We bike around to do the other side of the Fern Trail that we didn’t finish yesterday. .
We walk around and back to the boardwalk. We walk back to my favorite spot and spend some more time there.
Back to the dead end spot where it is wonderful to just sit and be, watch and listen.
There are many warblers flitting about. We hear their soft sounds but they are too quick for photographs. The red bellied woodpecker is easier to spot when we hear him call and he stays still long enough.
There’s a small group of these guys whom we recognize by their calls too. What a clown. Can you figure out who he is?
How about now?
It’s a group of cedar waxwings. I have no idea what in the world they are looking for in the swamp. Must be some berries we can’t see.
On our way back out the boardwalk we find busy bees on the flowers and a great blue heron standing in the water. This is definitely the way to spend the winter.
From there we bike on to the Ancient Hammock Trail. The sign says this is a virgin hammock. I had thought it was all logged for the cypress trees but apparently they left the giant oaks.
The giant trees aren’t the only thing to see. There are all different types of mosses and fungi on the trees. This one appears to have little red buds.
Clearly the ferns are everywhere, not just on the Fern Trail.
This trail definitely does have the greatest number of mighty trees.
I can’t imagine how they managed to cut through this tree to clear the trail. Look at the size of it.
That finishes up our hiking for today so it’s back on the bikes to enjoy the wonderful ride back on the park loop road.
Coming into the campground, we again remark about how many little scamps there are everywhere. Tomorrow is Open House and their doors will be open.
Today is Scamp Camp Open House. It starts at 9:30 and people just leave their doors open if they are are available for viewing. But of course they have to close their doors if they want to go see anyone else’s trailer.
Several commenters on my Monday post about being Surrounded by Scamp Camp wanted to see the inside of the campers. Today is the day.
We are able to go inside as many as we want. The problem is that these little 13’ to 21’ campers are so small it is difficult to take meaningful pictures inside. But I do my best.
This first one is not a scamp, it is a Lil Snoozy and is the only one of its type here. It’s also the only one we see with the door in the back.
The bathroom is just out of the picture on the left. You can see the Blue and White towels hanging on its door
Lil Snoozy has no actual stove but comes with a nice two burner hot plate. Your pans have to be fairly small to use both burners at the same time. But it seems the folks with these little things tend to use gas grilles outside.
These owners were having pancakes when we came up. They didn’t mind and told us to go on in and take a look. The big bowl is the batter and you can see the griddle just in front of it. The little bed alcove is sweet but I think I’d use a sleeping bag rather than have to make it with only one side open.
Nearly all the Scamps and Casitas have a half refrigerator like this one in this Lil Snoozy. I know of a few solos who full time in Casitas and have only a half refrigerator. It seems to work fine for them but for two people I’m not sure how you could be out even a week.
Another non scamp is the Escape which is made in British Columbia, Canada. This is the largest trailer we saw at the Camp. It is 21’ long and is a 5th wheel type.
It has a full size refrigerator which is nice. The dinnette breaks down into a queen size bed.
The “master bedroom” is up the steps in the overhang.
I believe the Scamp is an older company than Ecsape so perhaps Escape got the 5th wheel idea from the 19' foot Scamp.
This was the only one we looked at that was all decked out to show. Most folks just opened their doors, mess and all. We talked with the owner here and he said yellow was his favorite color. Two twin beds in the dinnette area.
The master bed is again in the overhang but this one has a seat with storage underneath that you step up on to get in bed.
We learned that Casitas are made by one of the brothers of the Scamp Founders family so it’s not surprising that they are so much alike. Several people told us privately that they thought the Casitas were a step up from the Scamps and the Escape a step up from that. Because the two 17’ trailers are so alike, I’ll just show the Casita.
Casita makes 3 models. Nearly all the ones we saw were the Spirit Delux with two table possibilities. This one has a permanent bed with a regular queen mattress in place of the rear dinette. The kitchen is in the left front of this picture. The stove has its cover closed but it is next to the coffee maker. The two person dinnette is in the right front of this picture.
Here it is with the two pillow configurations. There is storage under the seats.
Another picture of the kitchen. There is a half refrigerator on the floor under the paper towels and the microwave is behind those doors. The sink is to the right of that and the stove burners further to the right. None of the trailers we see has an oven. All but the little 13’ models have bathrooms. What they call a wet bath. One room with toilet, sink and shower all inside.
Another Casita we saw has had a lot of really beautiful mods done to it by its woodworking owner. There were so many people inside looking at it that I had a hard time getting more than a picture or two.
Unlike the Casita above, they have not had the large dining area replaced by a permanent bed. They have left the dining area in the back and take it down for use as a bed at night. She showed us that she had made those roll bolsters by putting their sleeping pads inside. They just roll those out at night and she says the bed is wonderful and takes no time at all to set up and take down. I don’t know that I’d want to do that every night but I must admit that it does give a lighter and roomier look to the inside.
As for the smaller dining table, he customized that by removing the table that came originally and putting in another box with storage drawers. On top go two more cushions that when we came it, it looked like a sofa. She showed us that if they choose to eat inside, he created this clever pop up table. He really is very skilled.
The last one I’m going to show is a smaller vintage trailer. This is called the Love Bug from the 60’s. It is 12’ and hard to get pictures inside
No bathroom here and a very small kitchen area but she’s certainly made it cute and cozy with all the patchwork.
The dinnette is just to the right of the entry door and I recognize the floor plan as the one used by the new Retro Trailers we have seen the past two years at the Tampa RV Show. I do like that floor plan which none of the others that we see today has. The Love Bug has a lot of windows including one at the head and one at the foot which I also have not seen anywhere else. Perhaps that’s due to not having a bathroom.
At lunchtime we head back to Winnona. The afternoon is spent running errands including getting things for our contribution to the Potluck dinner the park holds in the Rec Hall every Wednesday night.
The Friends of Highlands Hammock do so many things to support the park including orangizing this event and another dinner which they prepare on Thursday nights as well as a coffee and biscuits get together on Thursday morning. They also staff the Nature Center on week-ends and are the leaders of the Monday morning hikes on each of the trails. Highlands Hammock has a lot of activities in comparison with other state parks we have visited.
Both of us forget to bring our cameras to the potluck and, as usual, I dodn’t bring my phone so this rather discolored picture is from David’s flip phone which he refers to as his Dumb Phone.
There was a good turnout and lots of food. Perhaps you can see the line running down the side of the room by the windows. The food is on tables at the top of the room. All you had to bring was your dish, your silverware, plate and drinks.