On Monday, January 25, 2021, we left Clermont just before 11am with Acey’s mileage at 70,177 and Thor has 78,472. We arrived at Forest Lake Village RV Resort in Zephyrhills at 12:30, got set up and had lunch. Linda finished the blog for our stay in Clermont while Jim finished setting up. We walked down to the pool and found they have shuffleboard equipment to play and also horseshoes. No pickleball courts or minigolf here. Jim checked on the Amazon package that was supposed to be delivered last week and found out it finally came a few hours after we left Clermont.
So, on Tuesday, we went back to Clermont to get our package. The mailroom at the RV park closes from 11:30 to 2, Since we couldn’t get the package, we went to ride on the South Lake Trail. On the way, we drove past the Citrus Tower. Built in 1956, the 226 foot tower was one of Florida’s first “attractions,” It was once among the most famous landmarks of the Orlando area!
We found a spot to eat our picnic lunch at Lake Hiawatha Preserve Park which was right by the trail. There was no place to park at the end of the trail. it was about 78F today and cloudy, making it a really nice day for bike riding.
This was one of the most scenic and hilly trails we have been on in Florida.
This was an interesting tree with quite a large base.
At the top of one of the bigger hills we rode up we stopped for a rest to look back!
The playground by Lake Minneola was open and it was nice to see children at play!
We rode 15 miles today. Went back to the Orlando RV park to pick up our package and headed back to Acey.
Thursday we did some shopping and looked at flooring ideas for the back bathroom to replace the carpet. Floor & Decor had a couple of waterproof flooring products. We found a Rigid Core Luxury Vinyl Plank with a cork back made by NuCore that we liked.
We got a sample piece to see how it might coordinate with the tile that we will leave in the toilet area. This sample is Devonshire – maybe grey would be better than the brown tones (for which there were no samples)
Jim is thinking about putting the flooring in when we get to Nashville next month.
On Friday, we drove over to Owensboro to ride our bikes on the Withlacoochee State Trail; another Rails-to-Trails trail. It was a cool clear day – about 63 degrees F.
There were a few small rolling hills and a bridge over State Route 98 – we gained 50 feet in elevation going over the highway – a nice challenge to ride up!
The trail was fairly rural and had some shade – a bit more scenic – and curvy – than the very straight General Van Fleet Trail.
We rode from the southern end to mile marker 10, logging in another 20 miles today.
On Saturday we did some cleaning, laundry, maintenance and reading. Linda made pizza for dinner and we Zoomed with the family to catch up with everyone.
We generally use Pastorelli thin crust from World Market, a bit of olive oil, BBQ sauce, turkey pepperoni, chicken, pineapple, tomato, mushrooms, parmesan cheeses, feta and mozzarella – bake at 425 for 15 minutes. YUM!!
Sunday morning, we did the usual – Zoomed with our Sunday School class and worshipped with Stephens Valley Church on YouTube. Its really great we can keep in touch while we are living on the road.
In the afternoon, we drove up to The Villages to visit Russ and Adele. They showed us around the area. Linda’s parents lived there for a short time – about 18 months -before they moved to Nashville in 2006. Since then, The Villages has really expanded! And, we couldn’t remember where exactly the Mags had lived… Russ fixed Salmon with a tasty lemon-dill sauce and sautéed broccoli – a delicious dinner with salad and dessert too! We enjoyed our visit but took no photos -ooops!
Forest Lake Village RV Resort is an “Encore Resort” and. as seems to be typical. there are LOTS of “park models” – permanent housing owned by individuals. There were many empty sites available for “transient” folks like us!
The weather turned cooler for a good part of the week. Linda spent a lot of time reading The Stand by Stephen King and Jim found maintenance jobs and YouTube videos to keep him busy.
By Thursday Feb 4, the temps were finally above 65, and we drove up to Brooksville to ride again on the Withlacahoochee State Trail. We started at the Trailhead right past the bridge over State Route 98.
We started before mile 6 and rode past mile 10 – where we had turned around last week.
We rode past mile 16 and turned around at the Post Office at Istachatta. Crazy names for places in this part of Florida!
The original cement mileposts from the railroad were still standing watch along the side of the trail. We wondered if they also show mileage to Richmond – like the ones along the Legacy Trail in Venice.
We rode nearly 21 miles on this beautiful day! After our ride, we stopped at Zephyrhills Brewing for some fresh craft brew.
On Friday we drove over to Winter Garden to see the Central Florida Railroad Museum; a free museum – only open for a few hours on Fridays; 11-3. The museum is housed in the former train station in Winter Garden.
The parking area to the right of the building has a set of tracks that runs under the parking area and end even with the front of the building.
This plaque was put up in 2013 — the 100th anniversary of the building.
The museum had a lot of history of railroads in the area, way too much to read in the few hours the museum was open! Lots of railroad signs, tools, parts and memorabilia.
A huge variety of railroad signal lanterns
Several collections of china, glassware and silver used on different rail lines.
Elegant china service; just look at the menu prices!! Not sure what year this was… Braised Short Ribs of Beef with a savory sauce, oven browned potato, carrots and new peas for 2.25, includes beverage rolls and butter.
A collection of track tools – Primarily used before automation
We were surprised to see this! Engine 576 is being restored in Nashville and our son Chris has several YouTube videos about the move and restoration. We went to see them move the engine in January of 2019 – what a huge undertaking that was! You can find the videos here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4JlwC-E99m5dowqlfA0bpg/featured
Headlight from Steam Engine 577 – a “sister” to Nashville’s 576 engine.
This lubrication chart was interesting – lots of different types of lube recommended for different places – it would seem lubricating would be a full time job!
Western Union Naval Observatory Clock, typically found in all railroad depots.
After visiting the museum, we walked around Winter Garden for a while and found this yellow caboose by the Heritage Museum that was also only open 11-3 on Fridays — but was closed by the time we got there. We didn’t know about it, and could have gone into the caboose had we gotten there earlier…
Since we were not terribly far from Winter Park, we decided to visit St. Richards Episcopal Church where Laura’s ashes were interred.
Linda couldn’t recall exactly where Laura’s ashes were, but the garden was well kept and she was glad we stopped by.
Laura passed on the evening before her 37th birthday. Linda was there with Rob and her parents, and Laura’s husband Vern. His mother and brother Carl also came. Laura was supervisor of Graphic Design at Disney World, She had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in late May and 4 months later, Jesus took her into his arms.
These are some samples of Laura’s art that hung in the hallway of our house – the first 2 on the top row are photos of larger works, the cat and elephant are silk screen, the sunflowers was one of the last things Laura painted; a watercolor of flowers that were sent to her at the hospital, and the one on the left is a self portrait taken when she was an art student at FAU. Our house was filled with her work and that of Linda’s mother.
Here’s a 1989 family photo of Linda with her siblings; Laura in the center.
Saturday we got caught up on laundry and stayed in most if the day. It was quite windy and rainy. Linda read some and worked on the blog. Jim got wires run in the Jeep so that we can hook up lights for a small U-Haul trailer we will rent to take the 2 captain chairs in to be re-upholstered when we are in Lutz; our next stop after Ocala. We had our family Zoom time and made pizza again for dinner.
Sunday we Zoomed with our Sunday School class – still looking into Genesis and we are studying how God called Abraham. The Stephens Valley Church service on YouTube has started a series of Jesus’s last days, leading to the cross as Easter is approaching. You can join us LIVE on YouTube @ 10:40 a.m Central time on Sundays and Click here to view the bulletin! If you don’t tune in live, you can still see any of the sermons.
Well interestingly, we are in Zephyrhills, only 35 miles from the Raymond James Stadium where the Super Bowl LV was played. All week, the news channels have been full of coverage about the “Bucs” and Tom Brady the G.O.A.T. – you just can’t avoid it here! The Chiefs of course get little to no coverage… And Budweiser was not running an ad during the game… we turned it off just before halftime and watched a movie.
Tomorrow we move to Ocala. The dash air conditioner went out in December, so its only a concern when we are driving. Thru the American Coach forum, Jim found a suggestion for a place in Ocala (PatRicks) to have it fixed. So, that is on the top of our list for this next stop!