Friday, April 15, 2011

Ocala National Forest - Clearwater Lake CG and Shanty Pond

On April 5 we went to Clearwater Lake Campground in Ocala National Forest. We stayed in this campground for 6 nights. It is hard to imagine no cell phone service and no internet in the center of Florida. And all the site are tree covered so no solar! We had to use our generator everyday.

On the first morning we saw 5 deer. We did the hike all the way around the lake. There was also 2 Sandhill Cranes at the lake and we enjoyed listening to them.

On Sunday I took a bike ride into the little town of Paisley and found a civil war reenactment going on. There were about 200 men in the field and about 50 spectators. These men were really getting into it.

I especially enjoyed watching this young man load and fire his gun. He was so serious. The battle went on for about 1 hour and the Confederates lost again.

On Monday, April 11, we went to Shanty Pond CG, about 50 miles NW, still in Ocala NF. This is a real primitive campground and was used by boondockers in the past, although now there is a slight charge. We looked at some sites (one had an alligator walking across) and decided on this big field so we could have lots of solar. We stayed 4 days and during that time we saw alligator, racoon, wild turkeys, and lots of birds. We went to St. Augustine from here - that will be my next blog.

Kennedy Space Center

We are really behind in our blogging. For the last 10 days we have been in Ocala National Forest with very limited internet and cell phone service. Today we are in Georgia and I am going to post two blogs to catch up.

On Monday, April 4, Dean and I went to the Kennedy Space Center. We spent the entire day and did not see everything.

We paid for the "Then and Now" tour which took us by bus close to the launch sites. The picture on the right is of the launch area with the space shuttle getting ready for a flight. On April 19 the space shuttle will depart around 8:00 PM. There will only be one more space shuttle flight this summer.

The building on the right was (at one time) the biggest building in the world; now it is third. This is where they put the shuttle together and get it ready for flight. Each stripe of the flag is the width of a highway lane. That is little tiny me in the front.

One experience at the center is the launch simlator. We got strapped into a chair, turned 90 degrees, and they stimulated taking off in the shuttle (noisy and lots of shaking). Kind of like an "E" ride at Disney.

So where do old rockets go to when they are obsolete? Right here in the rocket garden.
We also saw a couple of movies about the space program and even touched a moon rock. Pretty cool stuff!!