Yep, it’s another one of those “Life Lately” posts. Bits and bobs about what we’ve been getting up to lately. Right now, we’re in Florida. We came in search of warmer weather and our next sailboat. While there has been a few days of nice weather and sunshine, we’ve also had a few days of torrential rain, cold winds and clouds. But, I guess it beats having been caught up in that horrible blizzard the East Coast has been experiencing. Brrr!
So, here’s what’s been going on for us lately in Florida.
We’ve been absolutely loving the Emerald Coast – the area of Florida’s panhandle between Pensacola and Panama City. Who wouldn’t want to stroll along sandy, white beaches along the Gulf of Mexico. (You can read about our walk on the beaches of the Gulf Islands National Seashore here.) And the water is this amazing color – so clear and green and blue. You wouldn’t get tired of these views very easily. I wonder if this is what it is like in the Caribbean? If it is, I can’t wait until we get our next boat and go cruising down there.
We found the most amazing boondocking spot at Hagen’s Cove in the Big Bend Wildlife Refuge (which you can read about here). We were never 100% sure if it was okay to stay there overnight, but we took our chances anyway. We loved the solitude at sunset and the watching the birds scamper around in the water the next morning. And of course, we loved the fact that it was free! We also had a mixed bag sort of a boondocking experience at Panama City – you can read about it here.
We were hoping to do some more boondocking at the Apalachicola National Forest. Turns out it’s hunting season just now and they don’t allow any dispersed camping while folks are walking around the forest with guns trying to kill things. Everyone needs to stay in developed campgrounds, where I assume shooting at moving critters and people is frowned upon. I’m not usually a big one for following rules, but this seemed like a pretty sensible one. The whole forest was crawling with hunters and all of the developed campgrounds were full, so we headed off down the road to the Ochlocknoee River State Campground. Pretty nice place and a good spot to hide out in Scamper during the torrential rains and flash floods that Mother Nature delighted in providing us. There were a couple of hunters at the campsites next to us – guess they couldn’t find a spot at the National Forest either.
At Manatee Springs State Park, I saw a little creature scurry across our campsite with purpose. Turns out it was an armadillo. They’re such weird little creatures – almost look like unwanted pets that alien visitors to our planet left behind. You know how some horrible people abandon puppies and kittens on the side of the road. Maybe some little green men dumped unwanted armadillos on Earth. Fortunately, they seemed to have thrived on our planet and are now happily spending their days in search of insects to eat. We also saw manatees. They come up and spend the winter months in the springs at the park. They’re pretty weird looking too. And, I’m glad to report that we haven’t seen any alligators, despite all of the signs warning us that they’re lurking about.
That’s what’s been going on with us lately. What’s been happening where you are?