Monday, February 28, 2011

Canyon Lake, TX.

We made it down to Canyon Lake Friday afternoon and are staying at the Military Recreation Area. Canyon Lake is approx. 40 miles south west of Austin in the Texas Hill Country. Speaking of Austin, what a nightmare traffic is in that city, especially on I-35 (won't be doing that again!!!)

The park is nice with nice large sites, some are pretty close to the water, but ours was just 2 rows over.

Seems to be alot of folks that come here each year and every evening they gather around the large fire ring and chat the evening away, everyone is welcome.

The rec area has a marina, beach and swimming area also.

Ahhhh, just love a nice sunset.

Sheryl's brother and family came down for a visit on Sunday, Sheryl and George got caught up on all the family gossip while the kids enjoyed playing in the water and at the playground.

While down at the beach area, there is this little group of geese (4) and they are a ornary bunch. They seem to think they own the entire area, and proceed to try and run off everybody who come there. Now I don't mind them defending themselves if you approch, but these guys will come and find you no matter how far away you are, just to pick a fight. Of course we learned, if you just stand your ground they will run up to you as if trying to attack, but just raise your hand and the will stop short and bow down. Now this little game seems funny at first, but then gets old quick. This guy here actually ran in for a nip right after this pic was taken and ended up with a shoe to the head for his trouble. After shaking off the little encounter, they decided to leave us alone for the day. (no he wasen't hurt and we actually felt bad, but he just wouldn't leave us alone)

We had a good visit here at the park, cooked dogs and burgers on the grill and enjoyed the 80+ degree weather. Monday we went to see Georges new house and spend more time catching up on everything. It was good to see them again and we sure did enjoy our visit.

Tomorrow we take off again headed towards El Paso, we are looking to make Del Rio where we'll stop for the evening. For our military readers, Canyon Lake Rec Area, is a nice small RV Park and well worth the visit if you should ever find yourself in this part of the counrty. Ok, well depending on WiFi for the next couple days we'll see you along the way, or our next post will be from El Paso. Take Care and we enjoy having you along for the ride.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Leaving Dallas

Our stay here in the Dallas area has come to an end, we head out tomorrow for Austin to see Sheryl's brother. Actually we'll be staying in the Canyon Lake area, which seems to be a 5 or so hour drive. Depending on how we feel we may stop about 1/2 way at Ft Hood for the night, not going to kill ourselves driving this time. We've had a great time here with Chris and Kayla, just visiting and relaxing, no pictures or fuss, just quality time together. Tonight we all went into Fort Worth for dinner at Texas de Brazil and had a great meal. The place is an all you can eat Brazilian Steakhouse, where the servers come around to your table and slice off a wonderful variety of freshly cooked meats. Along with the meats, there's and amazing salad bar and not your ordinary salad bar, but one worthy of the term Gourmet!!! What a great way to spend our last day here. Tomorrow we pick up the trailer from the shop, had the wheel bearings done while we were staying here in the house, and we'll be off.
Stay tuned for more from the road, and as we say.....Keep Lovin Your Life as we do ours!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Eglin AFB Off Road

Now that I'm caught up on posting, I can get to a little adventure I had exploring the vast Eglin AFB reservation in North West FL. The Eglin reservation is 720,000 acres of north Florida woods and coastline. I only had the day to get out so my destination was the northern area along the Shoal River, just south of Crestview. This is what my GPS looked like for most of the day! Luckily, Linda husband Glenn had a map of the reservation, so I had at least some Idea where I was.

The main road leading from Hwy 85 to Hwy 87 for some 25 or so miles. This is the road I based most of my side trips off of, it's a nicely graded wide dirt road, which is more than I can say for most of the side roads. That's Ok because if all the roads were like this, they wouldn't be worth exploring.

Most of the side roads were just narrow sandy two tracks.

I did manage to find a unnamed road back to a beautiful spot along the Shoal River. I was thinking what a great canoe trip this would be, we may have to give it a try next time we make it by this way.

The roads varied from the wide open main one, to open sandy ones to travelling through some pretty dense vegetation. Sheryl is always pleased when she sees the Jeep with dirt, mud and one more scratch after my outings. I think she's beginning not to buy the phrase "but honey, they'll buff right out" Then again, if I actually buffed them out that would

And now a shot for our northern friends, 73 and blue Sky's, what a great day.

Being north Florida, there are several creeks running through the area. Thought we'd test the water by just dipping a toe in, ohoooo cool crisp spring water, nice.

That was pretty much the adventure, not alot of mud slinging and rock crawling, more just exploring the North West Florida backroads. It was a great day and nice just to get out into nature's beauty.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Wow, what a last few days. We left Crestview, FL. Thursday and are now here in Dallas, TX. I woke up Thursday not feeling my greatest, but we hit the road anyway and things just got worst. After about 70 miles and my 5th yacking session, I had, had enough and we sought out a RV park somewhere in Alabama. I crawled in bed around 2:00 pm and don't remember too much after that. Felt alittle better the next day, so we pressed on and made it just outside Baton Rouge, LA. before stopping again for the day. Two more days of travelling and we finally made it to my daughter Kayla's house just outside Dallas. You may ask why are you pushing yourselves so hard, isn't fulltiming supposed to be an at you leisure's pace?? Well, yes it is, however, we do have a schedule, we need to get back to El Paso for a doctors appointment we made for Sheryl. You see, she is at her wits end with her back pain, so we are going to (hopefully) have the doc operate and fix it once and for all. In the mean time we needed to stop by and pick up a few things from Kayla's house and drop them off at her brothers house in Austin, TX. since it is basically on the way.
We didn't stop, visit or take any pictures along the way, except for the one above. While driving along just outside of Crestview, we ran across the above and just had to get a picture. It's at the entrance of a Black Angus Ranch, and each of the branches is a Black Angus head carving. Besides being a really cool work, we thought it was great that they just didn't cut down the old dead tree, but actually made a work of art out of it.
We'll be staying here in Dallas for a few days relaxing after the hectic week before heading out again. Thanks for stopping by and we'll see you next time around.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Air Force Armament Museum, Eglin AFB, FL

Monday morning came and it was time to leave Destin and head up to Crestview. Along the way, I thought I'd stop in and surprise an old friend at work. We popped into the bank where she worked, Sherry had to do a double take but finally recognized us. We chatted for a bit and made plans to meet up for dinner later in the week, then we were off again. While we were headed up, we saw the signs for the Air Force Armament Museum at Eglin AFB, so we thought we'd stop in for a visit.

The museum, documents the history of Air Force Weapons Systems. It's a very well done museum (as most military ones are) and they also have a very impressive outdoor aircraft display. After spending a couple hours there, it was off to Crestview to visit and stay with one of Sheryl's Cousins.

We finally made it in, Sheryls Cousin Linda and her Husband Glenn were very welcoming. They have 40+ acres just outside of town and hooked us up with a nice spot by the garden and even provided water and elec. Sheryl is having a great time visiting and catching up after 20+ years. I took off yesterday to explore the Eglin Reservation (and didn't get lost or stuck!!) but I'll save that for the next post. We are both enjoying our time here, and have plans to visit my old friends Andy and Sherry tonight, it'll be good to see them again.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Destin, Fl.

We arrived in Destin Saturday afternoon and got settled into the Army RV park here. We didn't do a whole lot except have dinner out. Sunday morning we decided to get an early start on the day so we could spend the nicer part of the day sitting out and just enjoying the great weather. We headed over to Eglin AFB where I was stationed in the Late 80s (really, has it been 20 years???? I showed Sheryl around and took her to see where I used to live. Well as you can see above, there seems to be something missing on Willow Lane, yup that would be our old homested that is no longer there, just a wooded area now, even the road is gone and I would bet the street sign is soon to follow.

We had a choise between staying on Eglin AFB or one of the surrounding military campgrounds, we chose to stay at Destin. I wanted to show Sheryl the campground here on Eglin also. The Campground is right on the bay as I remembered, however they only have Elec and Water hook-ups, no sewer. A newer campground was built close to the BX area with full hook-ups, but the one on the bay has the best views.

Back here at Destin, this is our Campsite, not bad, about 100 yards from the bay. They also have hotel style rooms and duplex style rooms for rent. The campground is fully fenced in and gated, nice and secure. All in all a great place.

The campground pier at sunset.

Captured this little guy giving me the evil eye, as if to say, hey, what are you lookin at...................

Sunset shot of the campground area along the bay, beautiful. Sheryl just can't get over how clear and blue the water is.
Tomorrow we head 30 miles north into the Crestview area to vist one of Sheryl relatives. I going to try and get my wilderness fix, and go out and explore the vast Eglin Reservation. Not really sure when we'll have WiFi again, maybe sooner or later, so check back and see if I got stuck or lost in the North Florida woods.............................

Friday, February 11, 2011

Beachin at Panama City Beach

Wow, finally a decent day here in the FL panhandle and seeing how we're here at Panama City Beach we thought a day checking out the beach was in order. Temps were in the 50's and the sun was shining bright, breeze was alittle cool but that was ok. We did lunch at one of the local diners (not very good) then pretty much drove along the coast, stopping to check out the beach once in a while.

We came across Pier Park (open air mall), this place is pure tourist trap, lots of shops selling lots of souvenirs. Not my kind of place but Sheryl had a ball looking around the shops (must be a woman The whole beach front is lined with hotels and condos, everything else is tourist and spring break oriented. I don't fault the area for that, it's how they make their money, it's just not for me.

However, the Gulf is clear blues and greens and the sand is nice and white, beautiful as long as you don't turn around. We have enjoys our stay just relaxing around the campground, however I don't think we'll be back this way, the are is just not for us. Tomorrow we head out for Eglin AFB and the Ft Walton Beach area. We'll be staying at the base for a couple of days and the north about 30 miles to visit one of Sheryl's relatives for a couple of days. They have large piece of property and told us we could park the trailer there and would provide water and Elec, not a bad deal.
Ok all, we'll see you in a couple of days, so, keep Lovin Your Live as we do ours................

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Panama City Beach, FL.

Panama City NSA is a small base with a nice little campground. The base is actually in Panama City Beach, just over the bridge west of Panama City. We arrived here a few days ago for our week stay. We really haven't been out much, the weather has just been kinda cold and gloomy, so we've just been hanging out inside and relaxing.

Small campground, 16 sites with hookups and 3 with only elec and water.

Campground is nicely wooded and the facilities are kept very clean. Each site has a pretty large and level concrete pad. Our only issue is, the sites are pretty tight to get into. We had to have them back our trailer in with their tractor as there were a couple of large 5vers right where we had to maneuver in.

The RV Campground is also part of the marina, so it is right on the bay. The RV area is back a bit from the water, but you can see the water from most all the sites.

The marina also rents boats, kayaks and canoes. We wanted to rent a kayak, however the weather just doesn't want to cooperate. Most are the sit on top type and with the windy 50 degree temps, it may just be too much for us to bare once we started getting wet. We'll have to save that fun for alittle later in the year.
Just a quick update and rundown on the campground, tomorrow the weather is supposed to clear up and start getting nice, so we'll see about going down to the beach then. All right, we'll see you in a couple of days.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Traveling North

We left out of Manatee Springs and headed north and this was our view for the day, fog rolled in and blanketed the Big Bend area of Florida. The fog refused to let up so it was a pretty gloomy travel day.

After several hours on the road, it was time to get off it and settle down for the evening. We found a nice little campground right off the highway and right on the water. Here in Florida, we sure have been striking gold with or water front campsites.

We slept in a bit and got started around noonish (as I always say, no place to be and all day to get there). We travelled through north Florida on Hwy 98. The highway pretty much skirts the Gulf of Mexico so the views for the day were much nicer than yesterdays.

We pulled into Apalachicola and decided to stop and look around for a bit. The town is your standard old Florida fishing village. There are several shops, and eateries to explore, and after shopping for a while, hunger started to set in. We stopped by the visitor center to get some ideas for lunch. The nice lady at the visitor center mentioned several good places and I remembered one from a recommendation from another camper at Ceder Key.

Apalachicola is famous for its fresh oysters and Papa Joe's is one of the best places to get them.

We sat ourselves at the bar and let the shucking begin!!! I ordered up a dozen on the half shell and Sheryl satisfied her craving for Oysters Rockefeller with a half dozen. Now these fine folks sure know how to treat their customers, my dozen turned out to be 15 and Sheryl's half was 8, what a great place. The Oysters were fantastic and we can highly recommend Papa Joe's to all our friends who may find themselves in this neck of the woods.
We were able to get a campsite at the Navy Base in Panama City Beach, so we headed that way. We'll be spending a week since neither of us have been there before.

Manatee Springs S.P. FL.

We left Cedar Key around noonish Friday and were in no hurry to head north. Approx 40 miles north of Cedar Key is Manatee Springs S.P. so we thought we'd stop in for a quick visit, since Sheryl had never seen a Manatee before. We called the park rangers and they said that there were Manatees in the springs, Yipppeeee.
Manatees are abundent in certain Florida rivers, and especially in the north central rivers. During the winter they tend to frequent the the warmer springs that feed these rivers. The springs are usually a constant temp and Manatee Springs stays at 72 degrees year round.

The Manatee averages 8' to 10' in length and weighs in at several hunderd pounds. We were lucky this little girl was hanging around the spring, just enjoying the warm water bubbling up from underneath.

From the spring itself, it flows a 1/4 mile or so out to the Suwanee River.

Egret stalking it's prey.

This old stump had some eerie looking vines looking to take it over.

This little fella stuck a nice pose for us, sitting on a Cypress Knee.

It still amazes us at just how clear the water is before it heads down stream and becomes darkened by the Cypress trees.

It was a nice to stop for an hour or so to see the park and the Manatees, but it was time to start heading north. We figured we'd drive for a few hours and stop where ever we fancied, and so we did. On a side note, boy am I bad about getting behind on posts, seems as if just a few days go by and there is so much to catch up on. Even our daughter called wanting to know where we were, since "you haven't updated the blog in a few days" so once again, time to play catch up....ok, time to get busy, see you guys in the next post.