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

Henry David Thoreau

We Get By With a Little Help From Our Friends

Friday March 6 and Saturday March 7, 2015
Quail Run RV Park
Wesley Chapel, Florida



FRIDAY March 6

I think we have worked out a plan for the wash and wax thanks to our friends Karen and Al who have a lot at Quail Run but are now happily at their lot in the Keys.   We are going to sublet from them for a few days. Sadly that means we have to leave pretty Lithia Springs.  We have had the rig done when we were at Quail Run previously and we know it works well.  But still I hate to leave this place and David and Sharon.

But now there is another fly in the ointment, the weather guessers have upped their chance of rain for the day of our appointment from 40% to 60% and not to 70%. So do we move or not? Can we reschedule? What is the plan if it rains and you can’t wax? More calls to Gary. We seem to have done little other than make phone calls and search the internet in the past two days. But it’s been nice and pleasant to do it in our shady site here.

On my morning walk, I again check the boat dock and it is clear the river level has really dropped. Two of the three steps down are now above the water. But the river is still flowing very fast. Usually it is a nice lazy black water river. Still no kayaking.





It looks beautiful even with the water up to the tippy tippy top.




My very favorite campsite is at the end of a trail going off of the boat dock.  Not so nice if you are camped there because the only exit from the trail other than turning around is to walk through the campsite.  I’ve always wondered why they don’t put a sign on it saying campsite do not enter from the trail side.   There is a sign at the campsite that says no camping beyond this point.

The trail is beautiful.



Views from the trail.







Here’s the back of the campsite.  I knew from walking down to the boat dock that the camper had taken his little class C and was gone.  So I was able to get a picture of the view of the river on one side of the site and of the swamp on the other.   It’s just a wonderful campsite that we have been lucky enough to get a few times in the past.  No neighbors and a long driveway.   Really secluded.







They’ve opened the spring today.  Good thing with the week-end coming up.  Apparently this was a very popular local swimming hole before the county bought it and turned it into the park and the locals who have generations of memories here don’t take well to rules or exclusions.  But the gates are open today.




Springs always fascinate me.  There are so many here in Florida.  Lithia Spring seems to be the southern most one in the state or nearly.  This is a map of a few that are relative close and north of here.  Rainbow Springs is a State Park 113 miles by road an less as the crow flies from Lithia Springs. 




Also on this information sign is the scale of magnitude for springs.  Lithia is a 2nd magnitude spring which means its flow is 10 cubic feet per second, a daily flow of greater than 6.46 million gallons.   Boy I hope Florida is being careful with their aquifer.  The water these springs provide is astounding.  Look at the first magnitude springs.




I walk along the spring run.  The color is blue green.  The water is clear.  The brown river water has retreated.



This is a zoomed in shot so you can see where the spring run enters the river.  The color difference is striking.  It is the flow all those gallons of water from the spring keeping the river out.




The gauge in the secondary spring says it has dropped by 1 foot since Wednesday.  It’s down to 10.2. I’m bummed I won’t be here to check it every day.






As I walk back I spy this little one on a table in the picnic grounds.  I think it may be an Eastern Phoebe. But on a picnic table?  Sure is cute.





Since this is unexpectedly our last day here, David wants to go for a swim in the spring.  It’s only in the low 70’s which seems a bit cool for me so I don’t take my bathing suit but I do go along.   We have the entire place to ourselves amazingly since the campground is nearly full.   Guess everyone else thinks it’s too cool.  This is unlike David.  Usually I’m the water lover.

We walk over with our chairs.  I think I’ll sit and read.   The water in the spring is high so there isn’t much “beach” to sit on.  Wish I were going to be here over the week-end to see what the crowds do about that.



The spring has some good size fish and some small ones which sometimes nibble on your toes.  I walk in to over my knees but today they aren’t interested.   The water, 70 degrees, is a bit chilly when you first walk in but the longer you stay, the warmer it gets.  Wish I’d brought my suit now.  David is right, it’s fine.




In he goes, swimming with the fishes.






We return to Winnona and invite Sharon and David for dinner since this turns out sadly to be our last night here with them.  I make up some vegetable, lentil, barley and kitchen sink soup. David demonstrates the tortilla press in which they are interested.  So we’ll have soup, salad and tortillas.    Sharon brings some delicious salsa for the chips David also makes from the tortillas. 

We are having such a great time that my pictures of the mix, roll, press, cook process leave a great deal to be desired and I forget totally to take any pictures of us at dinner.



But I do get pictures of them skunking us at dominos.  Dave is the big loser the first round but then he wins every other round we play.  Sharon comes in second.   Obviously we’ll have to have a rematch.






Today is mostly about moving to Karen and Al’s site at Quail Run.  We stayed there previously for 3 months during David’s stem cell transplant so we are familiar with it and its location.

We walk over to say good bye to Sharon and David.  He blesses us with a beautiful song they have written about leaving their farm at Butterfly Hollow in order to go on the road.  I didn’t bring my camera but David got a picture with his phone. What a lovely moving song it is.  Brings tears to my eyes.  I know what it is like to leave a beloved place.   What a talented pair they are.   We’re hoping we can meet them again at least once before we both move on.  It’s been wonderful spending time with them.   Notice the great flowers on their little 21’ trailer and the sign in the window which says This is Our Happy Place.   Great people!





We pull out at the stroke of check out time, 12 noon, dump the tanks, put the dolly on and down the road we go.  Ours will be the only site available in the campground this Saturday night.  Every other one is taken.



 Quail Run is private RV park.  They are not usually our kind of place but Quail Run is relatively small and it was just what we needed the last time we were here.  Its big drawback is the constant I-75 noise but there are compensations. 











Karen and Al’s site backs up to the canal.  We set up our chairs and the picnic table as close to it as we can get.  The first thing I notice is two wood storks on the far bank.  Then there is a Great Egret fishing, a Cormorant swimming and an Ibis poking around on the bank.   I’m definitely going to like this view and these neighbors.








In the material that Bonnie in the office gives us when we check in, I see that they have oodles of things to do during  the winter.  Last time we were here it was summer, July-September and HOT!  No one was doing anything except staying out of the heat.

But now, on the Planned Activities Calendar for March are ice cream socials (oh dear),  bingo (oh boy!)  Also cribbage, zumba, water aerobics, karaoke, quilting, line dancing (oh boy), coffee & donuts (oh dear), quilting, mexican train (maybe we can learn yet again another set of rules).  There are many kinds of cards get togethers, ping pong, bonfires and a book discussion, just to name a few. 

Many thanks Karen and Al for helping us out.  It’s nice to have friends.  We’re going to have a fun subletting your site and most importantly, now Fantasy Car Wash can come and make Winnona beautiful!


  1. Sorry you had to leave Lithia, but glad you got to spend time with Sharon and David....great people!!! Well if you have to stay in a private park, looks like you found a winner:o)) What out for the ice cream social;o))

  2. Quail Run looks and sounds great! So nice of Karen and Al to offer the spot to you...Sharon and David are a lovely couple...

  3. The I-75 noise wasn't bad until the county in all their wisdom cut down all the wonderful trees that gave us such a nice barrier. Of course they did it in bird nesting season, so you can only imagine. I was sick about it. The good news, is that they are building a big concrete barrier, which should keep the noise down. They were working on it when we left. I couldn't believe what a difference the trees made in the noise barrier. Lesson to be learned, don't you think?

    We love all the Florida springs, each one is beautiful. You really need to get up to Crystal River and visit Three Sisters Springs. They are probably the prettiest ones in Florida, and a favorite kayak place for us. Several blog posts about kayaking there.

    I hope the weather cooperates for your wash and wax.

  4. May you find trails at your new location as marvelous as Lithia. Your site view looks darn nice. Good luck with the weather and wax job.

  5. Donuts (oh dear)! Today is the day I'm vowing (or trying to) to get off the sugar roller coaster. I haven't stepped on the scales in a week because I'm terrified of what it will tell me. Roomy looking for a private park.

  6. Glad you were able to find a place for washing and waxing. Hope the weather cooperates!

  7. I think if a fish nibbled on my toes I'd come straight up into the air and run across the water to get away! The birds are beautiful.

  8. If there's one thing I've learned about Florida weather, it's that the weathermen are rarely right :) I'll bet your appointment comes off without a problem!

  9. I can see why Lithia Springs would be a hard place to leave.

  10. Sounds like a great last day and a nice visit with friends! I bet that send off song was really nice. Hopefully luck will hold and you'll have great weather for the washing. Looks like a nice place near Karen and Al. :)

  11. That ibis looks like quite a character!

  12. How nice that you had the spring to yourselves. Too bad you didn't bring your suit along, Sherry! I imagine the weekends aren't anywhere nearly as quiet and calm.

    Too bad kayaking wasn't possible with all the rain you've had. I love your photos when ever you two kayak:)

  13. Ice cream, coffee and doughnuts? A little slice of heaven for sure! Enjoy (not that I have to tell you that). :cD

  14. David and Sharon are such a nice, cute couple and so talented. I'm sure his song was special.
    I remember paying you a surprise visit on that very campsite in Lithia a couple of years ago. My goodness how time flies!
    Very nice of Karen and Al to hook you up. Winnona will sparkle in no time.

  15. We always enjoyed tubing and swimming in Ichetucknee Springs near Gainesville when we were there. But I don't remember the water temperature ever being more than about 60 degrees. I guess spring water is warmer in South Florida. Enjoy your new spot. It looks nice.

  16. Little phoebe is precious. It is amazing to me the volume of water coming from those springs, and that they've managed to stay mostly natural over the years of mass human consumption. Good to see David enjoying the water. You knew you'd regret not taking the suit......don't you hate it when you don't listen to yourself? Sharon and David look so happy, and so does their rig :-) He needs to put his song on YouTube! Enjoy the spot that serendipity and good friends have provided, the welcoming party is pretty sweet.

  17. We walk past the campsite at Lithia Springs where Winonna quietly sat and watch a family of tent campers scurry around trying to light a fire. We stroll on with a warm glow inside remembering our wonderful time with the two of you.

  18. What a sweet time you've had with friends. It makes the traveling life even richer, doesn't it? Looks like you're in for some fun activities at Quail Run, too. Bingo, haha! We had a blast playing in Bisbee for the art center benefit. I even won a tiny painting. :-)

  19. Friends have indeed enriched our lives again. Such a blessing to get to share part of our stay at Lithia Springs with David & Sharon and another blessing from Karen & Al to be able to stay at Quail Run again. Seems it is even nicer than first time we were here and WAY more things to do- Classic Car Cruise is Saturday ;)


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