Friday, February 26, 2010

Farewell to Silver Springs

Friday morning was busy around the house.  Gene got the tires aired up and the hitch cleaned and greased.  I got all the laundry done.  I don’t especially like the laundry facility at this campground, but it is cheap.  I think I washed everything in the house.

Ocala claims to be the horse capitol.
A large chunk of the afternoon was spent visiting with Bill and Helen.  We are so glad we were able to work out a time to get together again before we left Silver Springs.  They are heading out west this year and we are heading north.  Who knows when our paths may cross again, but one thing is for certain, they will cross and we look forward to that time.

There are some beautiful horse farms around the area
We hadn’t hiked in a couple days, so even though the weather forecast predicted rain, we went out anyway.  It was cold and wet, but we had a good hike.  We closed in the gap on the Florida trail which we skipped over before.  With todays hike, we have done 26 miles of this trail.  Actually, we’ve done that 26 miles twice, since we have to hike out and then return to the truck.  Today, we saw several patches of spring wildflowers and a few blooming trees.  Although it is hard to tell with the snow still falling in the northeast, I think spring is on its way, finally.

Horse playground?
This is our last day in Silver Springs.  We will probably get an early start in the morning for our 250 mile drive to Perry, Georgia.

We have enjoyed our stay here.  The weather hasn’t been real warm this winter, but it hasn’t been warm anywhere.  Ocala is a large enough town to have a variety of large groceries, a couple Wal-Marts, a mall, and a Hobby Lobby.  There is live entertainment at the Silver Springs attraction every Saturday afternoon and it is very reasonably priced if you buy the season pass.  If you’re staying a month or more, it’s worth it.  It is an easy day trip to Daytona on the Atlantic coast and Cedar Key on the Gulf coast.  Other cities are within range of a day trip--Orlando, Tampa, Gainesville.  There are several state parks within 75 miles of Ocala and we have found the Florida State Parks to be very worthwhile.  We have enjoyed the hiking in the area.  Although we have spent most of our hiking time on the Florida Trail, there are trails in most of the state parks and many trails in Ocala National Forest.  Despite my original fears of dying from snake bite, we only saw that one tiny snake on our first hike.

We have not been overjoyed with our campground.  When we come back to this area, we’ll select a different place to park.  Other than that, we have no complaints.

That’s it for today.  Tomorrow night I will be writing from Perry, GA.

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