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

Henry David Thoreau

A Sandhill send off

Sunday February 16 and Monday February 17, 2014
Oscar Scherer State Park
Osprey, Florida



It was a brisk 36 degrees in Fort Ogden Florida on this Sunday morning.




Now remember this is very near Punta Gorda and 100 miles SOUTH of Tampa.  So I’m thinking that the adage “you must be south of Tampa to avoid cold temperatures in the winter”, isn’t holding up against this year’s winter.  

It was 50 degrees inside thankfully because I hate using our furnace.  It’s just too noisy and way too inefficient when we are boondocking.   We normally rely on small electric heaters but that won’t work without electricity obviously. 

So on our list of things to get worked out is a propane heater plumbed into the coach.  Does anyone have any experience with Kozy World heaters?


Today is moving day so we get up and started on our departure lists. Even after nearly 3 1/2 years of full timing, we still always use departure lists.   





Pretty soon I hear the unmistakable cries of Sand Hill cranes.  They go on and on.  I think it must be a small group flying over.  I go outside.  I look in the direction I thought I heard them.  No cranes.   I see Kent and Donna being taken for a walk by Annie and Molly.   Ah….the cranes don’t care for Annie and Molly and put up a ruckus when they come near.   Donna tells me the cranes have actually been there every morning on their walks.  This corner of the pasture is apparently a favorite morning breakfast spot for them.   I’m up before the sun but I’m not out at that time since I don’t have a dog to insist that I go out.  Might be a helpful assist to my increasing lack of exercise.




But today I see them as though they are giving us a good bye send off.  Probably good riddance too as now they can have their field back.   Not sure what they are eating out here but the are losing their heads over it.





I take these pictures, bid the cranes good bye and go back to packing up.  Soon it’s time to say good bye to some great people we met and hope to see again on the road.


Donna, Kent Molly the basset and sweet Annie have been our great next door neighbors for the entire week.




Monte and Rose shared many great ideas about boondocking, as well as smiles and laughter with us.




Susan Alton, a sometimes commenter on my blog told me to be sure and say hi to Jim and Peri for her.  So I sought them out to do that and was very glad I did.  Peri says David looks just like her brother.  She’s going to send us a picture of him so we can check this out.


We hope to keep in touch with all these great people as we each go our separate ways and discover new boondocking campsites and ideas.


Rigs have been pulling out all morning and by the time we leave, of the 26 rigs that made up the circle after drama day, only about 8 are left.  


On our way, we stop for gas at Murphy’s and find that they too have taken up what I consider to be false advertising.  The big sign that you can see from the road says $3.359.  BUT when you put your credit card in the price changes to $3.389 if it is not a Walmart credit or gift card.   We’ve never seen this price switch here before but will be on the look out for it from now on.  We didn’t feel like parking the rig and going inside to get a gift card to save the 3 cents a gallon even on 50 gallons.  But I do find these prices listed in signs big enough to see from the street and “sometimes” in tiny print it says cash/BP etc credit card only to be a version of False Advertising.  I always turn around and leave if I’m in Ruby when they do this.  I vote with my money for the policies and businesses I’m willing to support and I really don’t like this.  Make the fine print big enough to read from the road.   In Winnona it isn’t as easy to just turn around and leave but we’ll be wary in the future of Murphy now too just as we are of Mobile, Shell and others who have these Big print little print signs.    When I googled this deceptive sign practice, I found quite a few folks agree with me.  It’s fine to charge different prices if the company wants to, but I feel they should make it clear to you BEFORE you pull up to the pump.





About 50 miles later, my kind of drive, we pull into Oscar Scherer State Park, one of our favorites in Florida.  We have site 63 which isn’t one of my favorites but it was all I could get for a week.  This is a very popular park and I’m finding that each year it is getting more and more difficult to get any kind of extended stays in the parks near the water.  It used to be just the Keys but now it seems to be many more of them.   When that’s the case, you take what you can get.





After getting set up, the first thing on the agenda is to get a nice shower.  I don’t take long showers anyway out of concern for the world wide water shortage but it is nice not to have to turn it off and turn it on and off and on to make sure you use only a gallon or two.


I clean the other 4 crabs left from my seafood dinner of a couple of days ago. It’s a big mess but I like eating with my fingers.   Not QUITE as good as when they were originally freshly cooked but still delicious.




After dinner we watch the first episode of this year’s Downton Abbey.  It’s so nice to be able to watch it whenever we want.  Tonight it happens to be on a Sunday and we wonder if the series is still going on. 

I have a Florida State Parks Passport book and have to remember to take it up to the office here since they have the stamp for Caya Costa State Park, the destination of our much too long boat ride.  After 5 hours in the boat for 2 hours at the beach, I at least deserve a stamp for my effort!  Smile




Today has been a regroup day.  It was 40 degrees outside last night but with hook ups I was able to use my trusty electric blanket so I was snuggly warm.

After running and having a delicious scrambled breakfast which I scarfed down before getting its picture, I worked over our accounts and budget, paid bills and mulled over whether to make 11 month in advance reservations for Florida for next year.   We’d rather be in the Southwest but aren’t sure that’s going to be medically possible.   I looked around at the State Parks south of Tampa and they are full full full.  What to do.  What to do!   I hate making advance reservations but not as much as I hate moving every 2 or 3 days.  Reservations for two weeks seem like a dream.  Actually it seems that each winter, it gets harder and harder to make reservations in the state parks.  I’m not a private parks type so I’m really at a loss what to do.




I made a big pot of vegetable soup outside on our electric burner so it wouldn’t warm up the coach and then a sat back, way back, in my chair and enjoyed the wonderful weather, our site tucked into some “Real Florida” vegetation and read. 

I pick up books along the way at the State Park Book Swaps.  I took two into Oscar Scherer yesterday when we arrived and picked up J. K. Rawlings’ first novel for adults.  I’ve heard some very mixed reviews about it.  I’m only 100 pages into this 500 page book so I don’t have an opinion yet.

For the rest of the week we’ll definitely hit the beach, probably attend the drum down the sun gatherings there and hope to find some local hiking and kayaking that we haven’t already done.   So that leaves out the park itself.  We’ve paddled South Creek many many times so if you know of a nearby paddling spot PLEASE let us know.   We meant to go to a nearby outfitter to see what they suggest but didn’t get around to it.  

No picture of the soup either.  Like I said it was a laid back day.  Maybe if you send us some good recommendations, we’ll actually get out and do something tomorrow.


  1. At this point I figure its a given that using my credit card at gas stations means slightly higher prices. Oh well, I don't want to carry large amounts of cash. The rally looked like a great deal of fun, wish we could have joined in.

  2. We will be passing you on 41 tomorrow mid day. Sent you a note via email. If you are already planning something we can hopefully catch you on the way back. If not, write me a note and let me know. We are on our way to Big Pine Key tomorrow afternoon.

  3. I'm starting to angst about whether or not to make reservations for Florida for next winter, too -- which is NOT how I want to spend my time and energy. We've been trying for two weeks to get reservations for the Keys, with no luck. Crazy. Love your sandhill crane photos.

  4. I also loved the pictures of the sandhill cranes. They look huge! I don't think I've ever actually seen one.

  5. That Sandhill Crane is beautiful. Great photos.
    A pot of vegetable soup sounds good.
    I need to check here for a book swap.

  6. Downton is on episode 8. Still going strong. I watch online which I know would use too much bandwidth. I hate the cash price difference. They never used to do that! Love the sand hill losing his head :) Enjoy Oscar Scherer...one of my favorites too!!

  7. Great photo's of the sandhills. Enjoy Oscar Scherer - maybe we will get down for a visit.

  8. Even a year in advance you can't get reservations at State parks??? Is a 2 week stay the longest you can get? It would be a pain to have to move so frequently especially given all that you have to do to do it. XXXOO

  9. Oh- loved the cranes too! I'm admitting my ignorance... I had thought they were Sam Hill Cranes@#@!

  10. We bought a Kozy World 10,000 btu brick heater in Quartzsite last month. It works great at warming the rig in the mornings, much better than the Wave 3 we had before. Pro Com makes a similar heater if you were to find it at a better price.

  11. I'm with you on not liking to make advance reservations, especially so far in advance. As we both know, life sure can throw curve balls. I'm even aghast that you have to make advance reservations at Brusters to get some JMC ice cream! What is the world coming to? :cO

    Looking forward to seeing your heater set up. A great idea for warmth...and peace and quite. :c)

  12. I too wish they would come up with some standard way to indicate gas pricing when there are two or more prices for the same product. It is annoying to get in there expecting one price (always the lower one) and then finding out that price is only for some other group. Annoying!

  13. I've heard of her book also ... interested in your review... she certainly has quite an imagination ...

  14. Glad to hear you got some more time at Oscar Scherer. I know how much you love the area.

    Karen and Stevio posted a great blog about their Olympic Wave heater. They were toasty warm boondocking a few days ago with temps at 16 degrees...and the next night minus 0. It uses very little to no electricity.

    I don't remember you ever staying at Paynes Prairie SP. It's near Silver River SP. In Jan or Feb they have a massive sandhill migration there. When we were there they estimated 6000-9000 of them all in one place.

    Also, for your to do list, I'll bet you would love to see the Whooping Crane flyover when they land in St Marks, Florida. Google Operation Migration for more info.

    You mentioned getting a new camera. Mine is a Canon SX50HS. It has the super duty stalker zoom and is inexpensive. It's small enough to carry hiking or kayaking.

  15. Good luck with your dilemma about reservations, guess you could make them and cancel if you came west, though you would lose a bit of $$. Except for holiday weekends we didn't have any trouble getting into the TX state parks while there. We're starting to see the same thing with the cash and credit gas prices, I remember years ago that happening when we lived in NY. Nice photos of the cranes, we're getting a pot roast on to cook all day :)

  16. We've had issues with Pilot (in some states) posting a low price, but at the pump it's higher because we're not DOT licensed. Kinda griped us, but what can you do. Love the Sand Hill Cranes, there's lots of them here too. They sure can scream! :-)


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