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Wrapping Up Wekiwa: Paddle, Hike, Weigh, Swim

March 28 to April 5, 2017                                                                 Most Recent Posts:
Wekiwa Springs State Park                         Early Morning Paddle on the Wekiwa and the Rock Spring                
Apopka, Florida                                     Wekiwa Springs State Park, Campground, Trails, Spring Local Residents



Our last week in Wekiwa was a repeat of our first week in many ways including working on the income tax.  But we did have two added extras.

The First Extra was basketball -4 games in 3 days. 

Over the week-end we got our yearly basketball fix.  By now this is all history but we had a great time watching and listening to basketball over the week-end.

On Saturday  we watched the Final Four which thankfully was on CBS. Since the park is pretty much in the town of Apopka which is only 20 miles from Orlando, we had a fabulous signal. Both Final Four games were great. It was hard for us to pick who to cheer for between South Carolina and Gonzaga. Coming into the Final Four both the Men’s and Women’s teams from South Carolina were still in it.  What a thrill for South Carolina.  They must be dreaming of dual national Championships.  South Carolina of course is an Atlantic Coast Neighbor who has never gone this far in the tournament, Gonzaga is a tough determined team with super players from a small school in Washington State playing very well.  Both were new to the Final Four and we wanted them both to win. It was a great game with Gonzaga winning by 4 points.

picture compliments of Oregon LiveImage result for 2017 final four scores

The late game which didn’t even start until 9pm tested our ability to stay up but since it was the North Carolina Tar Heels playing the Oregon Ducks, we hung on. This was another problem for us as I really like the Ducks and had been rooting for them all the way. Wish they hadn’t been paired against the Heels. I can’t root against the Heels especially this year since they had the title snatched from them last year. North Carolina won by only one point and I didn’t think they played well at all so by the time they won I was almost rooting for Oregon.   Honest Eric, almost.


On Sunday we wImage result for dawn staley with championship trophyere not so lucky. The Women’s Basketball final game was on ESPN which of course non cable subscribers don’t get so we were forced to listen to it on line. We were thrilled when the South Carolina Gamecocks coached by former University of Virginia basketball superstar Dawn Staley, beat Mississippi State 67 to 55. Sounded like a great game and I sure wish we could have watched it like Carrie did.
                                                                                              (photo of Coach Staley cutting the net thanks to Chicago Tribune)

We watched Dawn play at UVA all four years in Charlottesville. 
Carrie was a middle school basketball player and we had season tickets to the UVA Women’s games. They had great players during those years and should have won the championship with them. It was so great to see Dawn take the crown, something her former coach at UVA never could do in 34 years CONGRATS DAWN!.

Photo credit to Fox NewsImage result for tar heels win the national championship 2017

Of course, on Monday night very late AGAIN we watched North Carolina barely beat Gonzaga for the National Charmpionship in a game that had more fouls called than I think I’ve ever seen before. Neither team played as well as they had in previous games. At least 4 players on each team were in foul trouble most of the second half. In my opinion, it was a terrible game and the referees were to blame. As anyone who follows basketball knows by now, North Carolina was lucky to win 71 to 65 in a game that was much closer than the score indicates. Next year it’s Gonzaga’s turn or the Ducks.

One really fun thing about watching the NCAA Final here was that one of the North Carolina Players was from Apopka where the park is, a home town boy. He was player of the game. How great!


The Second Extra was Weighing  Winnona

We took her over to Sumpter Oaks Escapees park in Bushnell Florida to get her 4 corners weighed. (ode to Dean Smith)

There was one other coach in line before us so we parked in the shade of the dry camping area to wait our turn.  From here we walked around to look at the park a bit.




In the office we found a seemingly never ending list of activities that go on here during the winter.  Bingo and a weekly ice cream social were my favorites,  but they play cards including poker, have coffee, do crafty things, have a geneology club, men’s breakfast, cocktail socials, educational presentations like one entitled “Edge Browser Tips”.  They even have an “adult coloring club” and “Yappy Hour” at the dog park..  The social director came out when she saw me looking at the schedule and encouraged us to come back for the winter next year. 

We stopped by the Activity Center where all of this goes on. 



Lots of room for bingo, a HUGE TV, sit down eating and banners.



5 recliners in a room with a another TV and plenty of DVDs to watch.



Billiards anyone?



Ahhh,  a library with some not as cozy chairs for reading.



By then it was our turn and off we went where Al Peterson checked Winnona’s height and weight.  Couldn’t get a shot of him doing her weight since I had to be inside as I am part of her weight.



But I did get him doing Ruby just before she moves her front tires onto the two separate metal scales.



Looks like the passenger side weights 950 pounds.  Ruby acts as our sport hauler with bikes, kayaks and gear.  Today she’s sans kayaks but we know how much they weigh.



The final result is that Ruby is well under weight and Winnona is over weight by 20 lbs.  We can obviously fix that pretty easily but I really don’t like to ride the line closely.  That she is overweight we could have found out on any CAT scale but what we really wanted to know was over weight where.  We could have had each axle weighed and we’d know if she was over weight on either of them but we still wouldn’t know the real details to answer the question are any of her tires carrying too heavy a load and if so which ones.

Turns out all her overweight is in the rear and most of it on the passenger’s side so we’ve got some rearranging and eliminating to do.  Were she a diesel even at only 34’ we’d have no issues.    But, I must admit that I am a bit concerned about these weights as Escapees scales are not certified and I neglected to ask how often they are calibrated.  The results are a LOT different from the ones Howard and Linda did for us when they were doing RV Safety weighings with scales that are certified.  Granted that was 5 years ago and I’ve wanted a reweigh for a long time but we’ve never made it happen until now.  We have added solar panels and AGM batteries since 2012.  But all of that is in the front of the coach and should not affect the rear weight.  Other than that we have mostly taken “out” not brought in to the coach over the years.


So what were we doing during the rest of our days??


We visited with neighbors in a cute little vintage trailer.  The owner of this Serro Scotty Sportsman said she bought it fully restored from Vintage Camper Trailers in New Jersey.  I later had some fun looking at their website.  Not full time trailers for sure but what a kick.

This one is just darling with a double bed to the right of the door and a dinette to the left.  No bath.  She asked me not to take any pictures of the “messy inside”. 





We do more hiking on the trails. 



On one I found a park project called “Nature Rocks”.   Wekiwa area 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students paint a rock with their favorite Wekiwa flora or fauna after their guided hiking adventure.  The stones are here and other hikers are encouraged to add their own.  Pick up a rock somewhere, paint it and drop it off on your hike.   The title on the sign is Building Bridges of Hope for the Natural World with Art Education and Awareness





I find very dry conditions here, looking out at Lake Prevatt.  All I see is bright green grasses where last time we were here we saw quite a few waterfowl on the water.  I do see fowl though.  In the far distance two turkeys are march stepping this way but while I can see them through my camera lens the picture is too grainy.




On the trail to Sand Lake it is clear that this area has been burned.  It doesn’t hurt the pines but makes their bark interesting to look at.




Plenty of water in Sand Lake which I assume must be spring fed after seeing Lake Prevatt.




I find the trails here in the park to have some really beautiful sections.


There are areas that require close attention so you don’t trip over the roots.


On Thursday after the weighing, we set out to weigh things and move them around to get the proper weight on our tires.  David emptied some back bins and I stood on the scale and told him how much each thing weighed. Tool boxes and compressors are some of our heaviest bin “gear”. 







Unfortunately for us, a totally not predicted torential thunderstorm shows up all of a sudden  while we are doing this and have the table covered with items to be weighed.   We quick put a tarp over it but it was nearly dark outside as the rain poured buckets.  Time is 2:04 pm.  That’s David coming back inside.




When it was finished there was a lake to the front of us and a lake behind us.






So, we took the weighing gig inside.  We take everything out of the bedroom, other than the clothes, including from the great storage area under the bed.  We weigh and rearrange, moving as much as we can forward.

We’ll have the axles weighed at a CAT scale on our way north to see what general improvements we’ve made.

It’s difficult to find 4 tire weighing. I prefer to use RV Safety’s scales as they are certified and calibrated annually but we don’t happen on them often. 

Both Escapees and RV Safety have a “permanent” location in Florida although Al told me he’s their only weigh master and he’ll be gone for 6 months starting in late April. That doesn’t seem “permanent” to me.

RV Safety has a weighing schedule on line at this link. Their permanent location is in St. Cloud Florida but they do rallies throughout the year so if they are near you, take advantage.   We went to Escapees in Bushnell rather than St. Cloud so we could see how Escapees does it.  Not sure I’ll do it again given our questions about the results.


And finally, of course, there were trips to the spring for paddling and swimming.

Since I’ve just done a long post on one paddle here are a collection of photos from others of sights I saw.  There are few things better than paddling a quiet river and side streams.













Under the bridge I can see Wekiva Island.  With its outdoor bar, it’s party time on the river.  They rent canoes/kayaks/paddle boards too.



Closer look but not too close.



Not a party place.




See him?


















For the turtle lovers







And then there is that other reptile.




Finally there was the Spring, the center of everything.

Hiking to the spring is a wonderful way to start the day.  It is lovely and empty first thing in the morning.  With the water at 72 degrees, it is often warmer than the air.






Later in the day, the water is a cooling refreshment.  


I pick out a spot, bring my chair and my book and alternate people watching, swimming and reading. Great way to spend afternoons.



Here’s the view standing in the water which in most places is not over my head.  My favorite activity is to just lie back and float.  The trees and clouds look amazing.  Unfortunately, no pictures of that.





One day this family had a fabulous flamingo float.  What fun!  At first they are not exactly sure how to get it in the water.



Since there is no jumping or diving allowed in the spring, they figure they’d better take it down to the steps so they can get on it.  Works out great.  Doesn’t it look terrific?  Might not work out in mid summer when the place is packed but on a week day mid afternoon in April it’s just fine.




Now doesn’t that look like the life?  She just acquired a pilot.



Even two can do it.



By late afternoon people thin out and it begins to look like early morning just warmer.  This picture is taken from what is supposed to be a grassy slope on which people spread out their towels and blankets or picnic.  Some grass, some sand.




From this point I can see the bridge which separates the spring from the kayaking area.  The spring run is there in the far back middle of the picture.



We always enjoy the spring and kayaking here but time is up and we must move on.  We’re off to our last Florida stop at Faver-Dykes State Park after which we’ll be heading north.


  1. All the photos are great, but I especially like one of the turtle sunning himself. Also, the pictures showing reflections in the water are spectacular!

  2. A busy week of chores. Glad you got out to paddle. The pink flamingo is a kick.

  3. Beautiful pictures but I especially like the ones of the trail to Sand Lake. Glad you had a chance to get weighed and having progress shuffling the weight around.

  4. Our coach is overweight on the back left. I feel certain it came that way from the factory as we have nothing but clothes in that corner and it was suppose to have the washer/dryer in that corner. I don't think manufacturers are enginering these rigs to be sure they meet the weight ratings:o(( Hope you were able to adjust things...sure is a big job!!

  5. Never thought about the importance of weighing your Winnona. There's a lot to this full-timing. ;-) I, too, was delighted for Dawn. Love seeing former Wahoos attain success. We are now on the "Malcolm Brogdon for NBA Rookie of the Year" train. Of course, a good Wahoo from the '70s loathes Carolina,but I needed them to win so I could win the family March Madness plastic trophy. Smiles all around.

  6. Wow, what a lot of great times and pictures here. I particularly like your pileated woodpecker, green heron and you straight-faced at the spring concealing your glee at the wonder of your day.

  7. Davis looks good in the Kayak. Looks like an enjoyable kayak trip in a beautiful place.

  8. We've done a lot of purging since we got the new RV. George lost a bit of basement space, but that's a good thing ;) Love that flamingo float!

  9. Ok- the limpkin on a limb could be a children's book: Lola Limpkin out on a long Limb. Love the flamingo float! There's just something about flamingos. The kayaking looked fun too. Hello Mr. Alligator! I didn't realize that you had to be so careful about distributing the weight in Winona. I guess because the tires are so expensive and you don't want to wear them out. See you soon! xxxooo

    1. Actually you don't want to have too much weight on any tire because it could lead to a blow out. Pretty dangerous in a multi ton vehicle.

  10. The spring looks like a marvelous place to relax, and I always like those bird shots!

    Canadian university athletics are separate, of course, but each summer a number of American university basketball teams, both men and women, come up to play several teams here. A couple of years back the Hoosiers were among the visitors, and there were Hoosiers fans who came up to see them play- because the games at home sell out so fast they never get to see them live.

  11. Looks like you had another wonderful week at Wekiva Springs—we're really looking forward to our return visit next spring. Your photos of your hikes and paddles are beautiful! Love the pink flamingo float—I think I need one. Eric says we can still be friends even if you did root for the "other team." :-))

  12. That was quite the surprise rain dummp!!! We definitely need to get weighed this year. Love the not-a-party-place. Thank you from the turtle people :-)))) The smooth water is wonderful. I think I need that flamingo :-)))

  13. you found really nice spot to chill. cool flamingo!

  14. Good point about the scale certification. It doesn't take much to knock one out of kilter. At least it gave you a good idea on your weights, can't be too careful with that, too easily to overload.

  15. Something else I never knew about RV life...the weighing! Beautiful pictures of the paddle and spring-love the floaty flamingo. Great basketball pictures! Amazing height that Oregon player got on that shot!

  16. Love that reflection shot of the house, perfect! And you are just having a wonderful time as always whether with nature or with other folks.

  17. The photos from basketball are so alive! Cool!


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