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A Visit from the MoHo and Drumming Down the Sun

Tuesday 1/18 & Wednesday 1/19/2014
Oscar Scherer State Park
Osprey, Florida




How nice it is to meet up with frequent commenters.


Happy Sue inside her MoHoDSCF7106

I feel like I know many of my frequent commenters even though we’ve never met so it is really nice to get to see them in person. Yesterday I got an email from Sue Malone of The MoHo and Other Traveling Tales.  She and Mo were leaving the Clearwater area and headed in our direction on their way to the Everglades.  She asked if they could stop by.  You bet!   We made plans to meet up in the afternoon.  Then things started to go awry.  First their dog Abby was having some problems so they had to make an unplanned stop at a vet in Bradenton.   OK so we’ll just move the visit back.   They were going to stop in at the Walmart just north of us before meeting us at Nokomis Beach.   Good plan we all thought.



We head down to Nokomis Beach and notice an amazing amount of traffic heading north; thankfully we are going south.


When we arrive at the beach, we find that there are NO parking places.  I have NEVER seen it like this.  Cars everywhere.  The two parking lots are full as are the two over flow lots; cars on the grass and under trees.  I’ve never seen it this packed even on the Saturday drumming nights when it’s the worst I experience during a week.   I don’t know whether there is something special going on or if the winter Florida traffic has just gotten seriously worse in one year.  I wonder if the state is just going to sink into the ocean under the weight of all the cars. 


Greeting Sue and the MoHo


I am shocked and call Sue right away to say don’t bring the MoHo here.   Instead we meet them at the park in the picnic area where there is plenty of room for the rig.  

We take a nice walk on the South Creek Trail, through part of the campground, up to the Nature Center and “Lake” Osprey.  I guess OSSP didn’t like the name Pond Osprey which is more accurate.





Soon they have to be on their way down Highway 41.  Sure hope most of the traffic is still going North.


Mo, Sue and Abby on the South Creek TrailDSCF7103

It is great meeting both Sue and Mo in person and seeing that Abby, despite an apparent kidney infection, seems to be fine.  We also meet Jeremy their 17 year old kitty who had to get out of the MoHo and check things out.  He’s thin but is very spry for his age.  I am sorry when I look through my pictures that I don’t have a better one of the two of them or a closer shot of either Mo or Abby.  Sue was doing a much better job of taking pictures than I was. 


Jeremy in the MoHo doorwayP1030782


They are on their way to the FamCamp in Key West with a stop in the Everglades.  We wish them safe travels.





We piddle away the morning in the way we have become so good at doing.


Today we have again been having electrical problems in a Florida State Park.  Low voltage again. I'm wondering if anyone else has has this experience as it seems to be recurring for us and is rather disheartening since we enjoy the parks so much.  I sure am glad we have our Progressive Industries monitor on guard for us.  Our neighbors came over this morning and asked if we had lost power, at that point we had not.  I wonder what damage is being done to all the coaches without an EMS.  I have actually cut one of my very favorite parks out of any future plans because the low voltage is nearly constant.  Since we are a 30 amp coach, we have found that if we use an adapter and plug into the 50 amp, that will often help.  IF there is a 50 amp of course

In the morning David treats my swamp walking boots and his new hikers to some much needed waterproofing and installs the new taillight for Ruby needed after I cracked the lens trying to get my bike off of the stupid trunk rack.  

I play the next winter in Florida State Park lottery with no success, wipe the piles of pollen and raccoon tracks off of Ruby and do a load of laundry in the “uses only cold water” machines here in the park.  $1.50 for a 30 minutes wash.  $1.50 for a 50 minute dry.   There are only 2 washer/dryers in the park,  one outside each of two of the three restrooms.  With over 100 campsites that seems hardly enough but any is better than none and on this lucky day I don’t have to wait for the washer.   That’s probably because it is a gorgeous day and everyone else is out playing. 



In the afternoon we head back to Nokomis to see if the hoards from yesterday have gone somewhere else. 





There are a few spots in the parking lot but the place is still more covered with cars than I remember it and when I get out to the beach I just can not believe my eyes.  Is it spring break week?  Nah, that’s in March and the kids usually go over to the Atlantic side of Florida.  The beach is covered with umbrellas and people.  But there is a nice vacant spot near the water and we plop our stuff down.





The water is brisk and after walking in up to my hips, I decide not to take the plunge.   I do love this beach more than most I’ve been to on the gulf and always enjoy the shells.  The sand is more coarse and for many reasons I like it better than the sugar sand on other Gulf Coast beaches.   The shells are pretty picked over this afternoon.  I must come out early one morning before the “collectors” and see what’s here.  Although that will have to wait until my toe recovers.  It is the main reason I don’t do much but sit today


We relax in our chairs on the shore and have our lunch.  David watches the show interrupting me frequently to point out something he finds interesting. This is a dex day, he is wired.  I read my book.










The sun sets at about 6:25 this evening and we think most folks will leave about 4 as usual and we’ll stay for the sunset drumming.  


This doesn’t happen.  The drumming does but the folks don’t leave.  In talking later with one woman from Venice, who like me is amazed at the crowd, I learn that it is “winter break up North”.  Her grandchildren are visiting.  Perhaps that’s what this is all about.  Folks get a week off during President’s week.  Sorry we won’t be here next week to see if the crowds die down.   Note to self:  Consider President’s day week in the same way you do Spring Break week in determining where you want to be.



The first sound of the drums is at 5:00 and people start gathering in a circle David says.  I’m too busy reading to pay much attention but I do notice that the drumming is different.  It’s not the heart beat drum that usually begins the festivities.

David goes over to the gathering circle and reports back that none of the regular folks who set up the circle with an alter in the middle and none of the regular drummers are here.   That’s also a first for us.






It turns out to be a huge gathering. Biggest I’ve ever seen here.  More like Saturday night in Siesta Key than Wednesdays at Nokomis.  Word has clearly gotten out.  Chairs are 10 to 15 deep.  I decide I’ll just stay put on the shore and watch the sun go down.  I wouldn’t be able to see anything from the back row sitting down anyway and I can walk over and take a look if I want to.  David takes pictures and provides reports. 






 The drummers pick one combination and play it for the entire hour and a half. 


This is also unusual but without a lead drum perhaps no one knows what to do.  Folks are clearly having a good time and the “no alcohol on the beach” rule is being ignored.  Grandparents and pre schoolers abound.   Eventually the belly dancers and hoola hoopers join those in the circle.













As the sun gets closer to the horizon, the lights begin to come out.  The drums do not do the slow to frantic build up that usually accompanies the sun slipping beneath the horizon.  But the cheers and clapping are there just the same.  People do enjoy a sunset.







It’s not a spectacular sunset and there is really not much after glow color but every sunset is beautiful and I love watching it set over the water more than any other place.







As the skies darken, people leave and the lights become more vivid. 

Once the sun has set I walk up and stand behind the smaller circle enjoying some fine dancing and hooping by 3 or 4 women.





This is one of my favorite pictures of the day.  GREAT costume!
Tinkerbell comes to the beach???
I wonder if she always wanted to be Tinkerbell?









  1. Glad you got to meet Sue and Mo & Company in person. I'm also glad you enjoy the beach so. It's sure not my cup of tea. :)

  2. That truly is the most crowded I have seen this beach--at least from any of your previous photos. Still the weather looks gorgeous and the drumming down, while crowded, looked like it was a good time. We went to Nokomis once for the drumming but it was the total opposite--a cold evening where they had to hold it by the community center instead of the beach. I would love to see this in full swing sometime.

  3. Wow -- that looks like too many people to me -- it makes me think twice about heading further south for the winter in Florida. You always seem to make the best of any situation -- or at least to find humor in it. :)

  4. Nice to meet up with the Moho folks. What is the cancellation policy of the FL parks? I had a reservation at a CO state park and my cat got sick, they charged me a one day penalty. I have a few reservations in Yellowstone for this summer and the website says they give a full refund with a 24 hour notice.

  5. We are also amazed at how many people there are here this week! It has been so cold and snowy in the north, that I believe we had everyone down here for the winter break week. Sure hope they leave soon. The beaches here on Anna Maria Island are packed!!

    We did the sunset thing one year at Siesta Key but it was a rainy, cool evening so not the best drumming. We haven't gone again because of the unbelievable crowd. Glad you were at least able to get a spot to park and then witness the beautiful sunset. Great photos of the dancing and lights after sunset.

    We aren't too far from you.

  6. My son and d-i-l took their kids to Orlando this past week, so I guess it was spring break for the primary grades also. I love sunsets, and the most breathtaking one I ever saw was from Mt. LeConte in the Smoky Mountains in the 1990's.

  7. My Mom has been a FLA snowbird for years, staying about a half-hour from where you & David are right now. She would tell you that the amount of traffic there any given winter is directly proportional to the kind of winter being experienced "up North." The colder/snowier the winter, the greater the traffic. Many of those who thought "Well, we won't go South this winter" changed their minds 'long about January with the cold Eastern winter we've been having. Winters like this one, my parents would leave FLA around mid-April in order to avoid the mass exodus that will take place at the beginning of April (& also the beginning of March).

    Knowing the area, your pixs make me envious as my husband and I wouldn't mind trading places with you & David right now. Or at least camp next to you at Oscar Scherer SP. Enjoy for those of us in the snowy North!

  8. how nice to meet them ~ I need to catch up with them on their blog … and Jeremy! pretty kitty … ah… holiday weekend … sure do think that drumming would be very cool! on the beach ~ love the sunset pictures as always ~ love the costumes… what a crowd!

  9. well there are times our beaches in Oregon look like that, especially in Seaside during spring break or the Hood to Coast run. It starts at the base of Mt. Hood and goes to the beach. Joe's daughter has run that in the past. And Tinkerbell on the Beach?? How cool is that.

  10. I really thing the extra large crowds are a direct reflection of the horrible weather in the north. Even up here on the Pan Handle it is packed. We have met several people who came down, no reservations, because they just needed a break from the cold. Now they are having a very difficult time finding places to stay;o(( Most told us they have to move every night or two. So keep playing the Winter Lottery;o))

  11. Looks like way too many folks on the beach for my taste, loved the costumes-makes me think of my son's girlfriend who loves to dress up similarly ,so glad you were able to meet up with friends. Good luck with your reservation lottery hunt.

  12. That last picture of the two chairs is beautiful. It's always fun to meet fellow bloggers. My parents have mentioned several times that it "seems" more crowded in Florida this year. Guess they might be right! Hope David is doing well.

  13. Still intrigued by those drum circles. Doesn't look like we'll get down that way to see it this time. I'm with you though, the crowds would keep me away anyway.

  14. It is so enjoyable to meet bloggers to share great stories, meet the fur kids etc. The sunset may not be spectacular, but any sunset over water is beautiful.

  15. Nice meet up with Sue & Mo despite all the aggravation. I'm sure it was worth it, Sue is a frequent commenter on my blog as well and we had hoped to meet them in FL this winter, too. You know how that worked out for us. :c(

    Love the picture of Tink. Fairy tales do come true... ;c)

  16. It was fun to meet Sue and Mo and their critters and hear some of their tales on Tuesday. Despite the crowds, Weds. was a beautiful day for piddling, sitting on the beach and watching the crowd form for the drumming climaxing with another gorgeous sunset. No complaints here - I can sympathize with those who have been struggling with the weather up north and were able to get a break down here. Of course I won't be sad when they leave either.

  17. Definitely some big crowds at the beach for February - glad you were there before Sue & Mo to find out that parking situation. Cute cat! Glad you got some time to read and people watch even with all the folks doing the same thing. Dad got some great pictures of the drumming! Your favorite is mine too :)

  18. I love the Tinkerbell costume! I can tell by the way you wrote this that you were less than happy with the hoards of people. Sometimes I don't mind a bunch of people on the beach but other times I get annoyed by either the smokers or the crying kids. 60 degrees here yesterday and YEA! it is still light out at a little after 6:00 p.m.


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