Since we hadn’t had a chance previously, Monday morning 2/20 we took a walk around the ‘resort” at Horseshoe cove. There is a wooden bridge that crosses to a small island in the center of the Braden River. There are trails that crisscross and follow the perimeter of the island as well as some wooden fishing/boating piers. In the center part of the island is a pavilion for various events. While everything is clean in this area our general impression was that things were a bit run down and due for some updating.
From there we walked back to the office and activity centers (which are in good shape and very nice) to return our gate card and get our $5 deposit back. Everyone that heard we were departing wished us well and a safe trip.
This campground is mostly park models/mobile homes of assorted vintages and construction (which contributes to its disheveled appearance) but there is an area set aside for us transients as well. Generally though, despite the tight sites it is quiet and everyone was ultra-friendly. Also of note is the well equipped woodworking shop here for use by the residents.
Back at the site (FF8) we began planning our departure strategy – our neighbors dually truck would have made it awkward to pull forward and the cars behind us would have made it awkward to back up. Of course everyone immediately offered to move their vehicles when they learned we were leaving. We ended up pulling forward and had no problems, hitching up at a grassy area on the way out.
Just before leaving of course we met all our neighbors and everyone was extremely friendly. They all loved the Kat Kabana and playing with the kitties. There were at least 7 or 8 coaches from MA as well as folks from Ontario and Tennessee (our neighbors). They all loved it here and raved about the people and lifestyle. Our neighbor from Tennessee with a fifth wheel alternated winters between FL an AZ – he indicated campgrounds out west were roughly half the cost of FL. This got us to thinking maybe going west is in the cards next year if the fuel costs can be offset by the lower campground costs – we’ll see!
So the trip to Williston Crossings RV Resort was estimated to be about 158 miles and 2:36. We departed around 11:00 and arrived around 2:00. At exit 341 off I-75 we stopped for fuel and a quick bite to eat at the Pilot station. Mrs. Google (Google Navigate running on my Android smartphone) was guiding us and indicated a traffic jam just north of exit 341. Sure enough as we were exiting for fuel we could see all the brake lights coming on up ahead – fortunately by the time we tanked up, ate lunch and got back on the road the problem had cleared up.
No problems and smooth sailing up I-75. It’s interesting how the flora changes pretty quickly north of Tampa from semi-tropical terrain with lots of naturally growing palms to a more new-englandish terrain with lots of pines and deciduous trees. There is still lots of Spanish Moss and occasional palms, but most of the palms seem to have been purposely planted.
Also, the topography goes from flat-as-a-pancake with straight-as-an-arrow roads, to gentle hills and mildly curvy roads. We exited I-75 at exit 354 to SR27 in the Ocala area for the last stretch to Williston. The AAA map has this divided highway (SR27) marked with dots indicating it was a “scenic” drive. Well, we were skeptical as the “dot guy” at AAA has been wrong before, but were quite pleasantly surprised. This drive was easy and very picturesque with large fenced horse ranches, pasture land and stands of pine and hardwood among rolling green hills – we could have been in southern VT or NH.
Apparently this area is major horse country and it seemed every other vehicle on the road was a dually pickup carrying hay! In fact someone in front of us accidentally dropped a bale or two into the road.
So we arrived at Williston Crossing RV Resort without incident and in good time. Stay tuned for a separate post about this very nice campground.