Tuesday, January 26, 2010

January 20th-21st

We left the safety of having full amenities at Florida Springs RV Park in Bonifay only knowing that we were headed for the Anna Maria Island area. It was a little scary for both of us to head back out into the unknown. We knew RV park prices would be higher in the tourist areas, and possibly out of our budget range. In researching campgrounds we saw that in tourist areas the 50% discount provided by Passport America is not honored December through April. Our safely net plan was to boondock, and then head back to the lower prices in the rural areas, if needed. Boondocking is the RVer term for free camping. A well-known boondocking site when traveling is Wal-Mart parking lots. There is actually a book listing Wal-Mart locations across the country! RVs tend to cluster in the front corner of the parking lot. I'm finding Wal-Mart camping to be satisfactory. The lots are well lit, have security cameras, are reasonably quiet, and have grassy areas that are great for walking dogs. The main RV need is room darkening devices for the skylights, windows, and door. Boondocking in rural areas with public lands would consist of parking your RV anywhere you felt comfortable. I'm looking forward to that, when we go West. Our first night away from Bonifay we stayed in the parking lot of a RV store in Tallahasee called Camping World. Maybe it was because it was closing time and we made a reasonably large purchase that they allowed us to use their full hook-up camper space reserved for new RV purchasers. Pretty cool for allaying our fear of dealing with the unknown! That night we got a taste of high winds and a downpour. Being in the camper gave us a real sense of experiencing the storm up close, and being thankful for having a dry place to escape it. While in Tallahasee, Roy purchased a metal detector. Metal detecting will be a great way for him to have time to himself and get some exercise. We're both determined to work on our health. The next day we did some sightseeing through the saltwater swamp and coastal area of Florida. Below is a picture of a community called Dekle Beach. It is on highway 361. The picture shows some of the older homes. The newer ones are built even higher up on cinder block stilts.

We pulled into a campground called Southern Comfort in Cross City near bedtime. This was the first campground we encountered after our coastal tour. Luck was with us again, as our Passport America applied and we got our full hook-up site for the night for $14.50 (normally $29). The weekly rate is $162 plus tax and the monthly rate is $235 plus tax and cost of electric.

We enjoyed this park, as there was a field where the dogs could run. They had lots of fun!

I've been experimenting with different leash combinations to find one that is easy on me and seems comfortable for the dogs. This combo uses two 6' leashes attached to the end of a retractable leash. It works well for Sugar, but Prin can't seem to figure out how to keep from getting tangled. I'm using a binocular case for my poop scooping supplies. It's discreet and serves the purpose well. *Writings on RVing the tourist hotspots during prime season to come!*