Southern Palms – Eustis, FL

We left Wildwood on Saturday February 11 at 11:20and arrived at Southern Palms RV Resort in Eustis just past noon. The spots here are pretty tight, but we have full hookups. Jim put the Starlink dish on the roof since there was really no other place to put it!

We were able to Zoom with our Sunday School class on the 12th – and due to technical issues, missed the second Sunday. We worshipped with Stephens Valley Church by YouTube, watching the service from the previous week. It rained some on the 12th, so we had a restful day inside.

We are still working on getting estimates for building the house and have a lined up a few subs. Not sure it would be any easier if we were in Tennessee, it’s hard to get phone calls returned!

We went for a bike ride on the Lake Apopka Loop Trail but didn’t see the lake! The rustic trail runs thru a wetlands area and is a lime-rock trial; a bit rough compared to the asphalt trails we usually ride! Part of the trail ran along a canal.

It was nice to not have to deal with road crossings. Fortunately, it was a cool 68° since there is NO shade on this trail! We saw a few gators along the way.

These two gators were playing or fighting, and we stopped to watch their antics for a few minutes.

We rode a little over 12 miles.

We took a walk around the RV park a few times and we were watched by pets sitting in the front window of their RVs.

A dog was sleeping in the window of a park model.

This “pet” was tied up out front.

This guy came by to check us out when we were sitting outside.

We rode our bikes on the West Orange Trail a couple of times, starting at the Killarney Station trailhead. Part of this trail is a rail-trail and we passed by a mile marker.

There were several road crossings and some shade along the way.

This very well-kept trail goes right thru Old Winter Garden.

We rode a total of 28 miles on this trail on our two rides.

Another trail we enjoyed was the Cross Seminole Trail which had just a few street crossings. Much of the trail was concrete and part of it ran alongside some roads.

Lots of scenic areas, some shade and a few hills and bridges.

 It was a nice day to be out and about; we went about 15 miles.

After our ride, we stopped in at Orange County Brewers and sampled some craft brews served on a paddle in the shape of Florida!

We had heard about pontoon boat tours in nearby Mount Dora to see the Dora Canal, so we checked that out! Premier Boat Tours had several options; we took the 2-hour tour at 11:00am.

While we waited for the tour, we watched a great blue heron that didn’t seem to mind folks watching as it posed and fished.

An egret waded nearby.

Some ibis waded by the shore.

And some longnose gar swam near the dock.

We cruised across Lake Dora, past Tavares and to the Dora Canal which connects Lake Dora to Lake Eustis and is part of the Harris Chain of Lakes, leading to the St. John’s River, Jacksonville, and Atlantic Ocean. We encountered a couple of low bridges as we made our way down the scenic canal.

This lighthouse has some Hummel figures in its windows!

A Gnome Village was situated close by.

More white ibis perched by the canal.

An interesting article found on the internet said “In 1951, the Dora Canal location was used to reshoot some of the river scenes in the now-classic movie, African Queen, starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn. Although it had been originally filmed in Africa, the Dora Canal was selected for the retakes because, other than a few residences at the southern end of the canal, it looks much like a wild river running through an uninhabited jungle.”

We saw lots of Bald Cypress as we motored down the canal.

As we headed into what our tour guide referred to as Alligator Cove, there were some red flowers along the bank. US441 runs over the bridge in the background.

Way up in the treetops, we spotted a bald eagle! Jim did a great job on the photo 😊

Down in the water – a gator was lurking.

And a turtle as well.

An anhinga watched us pass as we left the cove.

We headed to another branch off the canal. A momma gator was resting on the bank and reflected on the water.

On closer look, we saw one of her babies! Hatchlings have black and yellow stripes, and the young gators stay with their mother for about 2 years.

More turtles!

A young gator.

This fella was watching and waving at the traffic on the canal.

A small blue heron waded by the shore.

Like cormorants, anhingas need to dry their wings after they dive for fish.

We enjoyed our boat tour on a beautiful Florida day!

After the boat ride, we had lunch out at Puddle Jumpers in nearby Tavares. Out front was an old Cessna 150 much like the plane Jim flew many years ago!

On Saturday, February 25, we left Eustis to head to Clermont for 2 weeks.


4 thoughts on “Southern Palms – Eustis, FL”

  1. Jim & Linda looks awesome ,
    Thanks for sharing!

    Did not know Jim was a pilot also.

    Stay safe & Happy Trails!

    1. Yeah – that was a long time ago – he had a commercial pilot license to fly single engine land. After we got married, he changed jobs and had to give it up for insurance reasons. Airplanes and technology still fascinate him… 🙂

  2. Great photos. Were they all taken with your iPhone or did you have some other equipment. Please tell me the gator on a leach was made of rubber. The tabby cat in the window looked like our Riley.You sure make Florida fun!

    1. Most of the photos are taken with our iPhones – but on the boat ride we had our Canon with us and Jim got some great shots!
      We didn’t touch the gator on the leash – but it was rubber or ceramic – not a live specimen.

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