Friday morning, March 24, and we set off for our return to TTO at 10am with 96,948.2 miles on Acey and 114,304 on Thor. We arrived at Thousand Trails Orlando just past noon, and parked at the same site we were in 2 weeks ago! After we got set up, we went over to the Rec Building to pick up a package. The last load of laundry we did was quite cold and damp after the dry cycle and Jim determined that the heating element in the washer/dryer was bad, so he was able to order one to be shipped here. They charge $5.00 to receive packages here, but so it goes!
We went for a bike ride on Saturday, on the West Orange Trail, starting from the Killarney Station. As usual, we packed a picnic lunch to have along the way to break up the ride.
We rode by a small farm with cows and goats. The goats came right up to the fence, maybe hoping for a handout?!
The cows were having a “bull session” in the shade of the trees…
The trail goes right thru Winter Garden.
There was a cow stationed outside a building as we continued thru Winter Garden!
We rode 18 miles on a fairly warm day. After our ride, Jim fixed the laundry machine. He took the top off the machine and opened the housing (with the X on it) to change out the heating element.
We are very fortunate that he is so handy.
Monday morning, we went for a bike ride on the Van Fleet trail. We had not gotten very far when our son Chris called to let us know about the tragedy at The Covenant School. He works for TDOT so he got early notice. This horrible event really hit close to home. Six beautiful people lost their lives in this inexplicable event.
We knew Mike Hill; he worked at Covenant Presbyterian Church where we worshipped for several years, and he also helped out at Stephens Valley Church where he was a member and came often to our Sunday School class. Cindy Broyles Peak was our son Chuck’s third grade teacher at Christ Pres Academy. The third adult lost was the principal – and 3 families won’t have their 9-year-old children ever coming home. So many people were affected by this senseless event. Tennessee Governor Lee said the “struggle wasn’t against flesh and blood” or “people” but “evil.” “We can’t forget this – and it’s very difficult – but we are called to not only love our neighbors, but to love our enemies, to bless those who curse us, to pray for those who intend harm,” Lee said. We pray for all the families and friends touched by the tragedy.
We stopped at the bridges to look for alligators. The “Mama” was resting among the plants in shallow water.
This smaller gator (about 18-20”) looked orange; the sun was playing tricks on us!
Further down the trail, we stopped at the “wildlife viewing” area where much of the growth for about 40 yards has been cut back so you can look for wildlife.
We have heard reports of beavers and otters, but we have only ever seen gators and turtles – and an occasional bird or two. We did see a few gators and turtles again today; most of which were not able to be captured in a photo, but this one was!
We rode to the 18-mile marker and turned around. It was a hot day with not much shade, and the bugs were biting whenever we stopped!
Tuesday, we went out for lunch at Piesano’s in Clermont with Tom and Chrissy to catch up with them before we head back toward Tennessee on Friday.
We picked up a carpet cleaner on the way back to Acey. Linda vacuumed and Jim cleaned the carpet. We have to do this about every 6 months; the shag carpet gets nasty! We hope to replace it with vinyl tile in the bedroom and use another woven vinyl product on the slides.
Wednesday, we rode our bikes on the South Lake Trail, starting in Minneola. Had to stop to get photos of the sandhill cranes and 2 little chicks right beside the trail!
The flags we rode past were at half-staff as ordered by President Biden to honor those killed on Monday.
There is an underpass with several murals painted on the walls. We stopped to take a closer look; we usually just ride on thru…
Each of the murals are unique!
Only a few areas are unpainted. We saw an artist at work and stopped to chat with her. Each mural is done by a different artist.
She plans to paint an anhinga and showed us a drawing of what it will look like!
Beautiful! We look forward to seeing it next year!
Another area had a mural sketched out – so it will likely be done when we return 😊
We enjoyed another lunch out on Thursday with Ron and Julia. We dined at Harry’s in Lakeland. We met them last week when Jim helped Ron fix the radio in their American Coach. They have a lovely home in a Motor Home community in Polk City.
Friday we headed out, leaving TTO at 8:15 with 97,030.7 miles on Acey and 114,549 on Thor. Temps have been in the 80’s and even going into the 90’s some days – time to make like snowbirds and head North! Traffic on the Florida Turnpike came to a standstill, so we got off to take route 44 toward Inverness just before the Turnpike (Route 91) ended in Wildwood and merged with I-75 which was also at a standstill!
Route 19/98 was clear sailing as we headed North! Much better than sitting in stop-and-go traffic!
There didn’t seem to be any Rest Areas, so we pulled into a shopping center parking lot to make lunch. Wouldn’t you know it, there was a Rest Area just a few miles down the road! Soon we were headed west on I-10 to go north on 231 to Dothan – our destination for the night.
We crossed the state line into Alabama at 3pm Central Time and bid adieu to Florida for now.
We arrived at Folklore Brewing and Meadery about 3:30.
We have stayed here twice before, and they now have an option to hook up to 50-amp power for $15/night. 2 other RVs also came for an overnight.
A fun place for a stopover!
We had an early start on Saturday April 1 as we left Folklore and headed to Nashville at 7:30am.