Florida is here and then it’s gone. With my return to Birmingham approaching I wanted one last fling into the Sunshine State. Gainesville is in Florida, but its not really Florida—it is on the edge of the Floridaness which is so well known. So I headed south trying to do those things I had said I would do, but hadn’t yet and get to the beach one last time.
Crystal River is just outside of our coverage area, but because of its winter residents at the University of Florida folks who keep track of them I have been trying to get down there. I never saw the Manatees despite stumbling onto the Refuge headquarters and looking out across its waters I did see some sort of tour boat stopped near an island.
I did meet a couple of nice folks who were drumming up business for the tax prep services on east side of Crystal River. I’m not so sure I trust Liberty Tax Services more having seen this.
It’s a straight shot south from Crystal River to Weeki Watchee. I made it there with fifteen minutes to spare before the final show of the day. Actually, I didn’t. The show was at 2:30, not 3:30. So much for tacky Florida. I kept driving south.
Skirting rush hour Tampa I decided to try to stay at a beachside state park near Venice. It was full. So I tried another place on their list of other campsites. They were not full, but charged $55 per night. Instead of the sunset that was promising as I drove up, a fog back settled in and turned everything gloomy.
I ended up staying at a campsite six or seven miles inland, called Myakka. They had RVs and tents mixed into the same site and things were packed. Nothing like kids screaming ‘til 11:00 and RV generators starting at 6:00 the next morning.