After spending most of the winter hanging around the Florida panhandle, Deas and I were both anxious to get the wheels moving again. In mid March we said good-byes to our friends and families, rolled out of Grayton Beach and headed east. Our very first stop was a Harvest Host farm in Monticello, FL, just a few short hours down the road. We stayed at Golden Acres Ranch, and it was yet another great Harvest Host experience. This is a working farm with lots of goats, sheep, and chickens, and several Great Pyrenese dogs who roam the property freely. These are working dogs, and they made sure to give us a few warning barks, but they mostly kept their distance from us and our dogs. It was a lovely, pleasant stay and with very friendly owners, and we bought some farm fresh eggs and mayhaw jelly from them before departing the next morning.
Our next stop was Cedar Key, which we had heard much about from our friends Chris & Cherie of Technomadia. Last winter there was a large group that gathered in Cedar Key, but Deas and I never made it over. But after hearing so much about it, we wanted to check it out for ourselves. We stayed at the Sunset Isle RV Park. The spots are really, really tight, but luckily for us we ended up parked right next to Denny & Veronica of RV Outlawz. We knew of Denny & Veronica from other friends of ours, so it was fun to end up right next to them and hang out for the week. Our very first night there we walked down the street to the Tiki Bar at the Low Key Hideaway RV Resort. The Tiki Bar is our kind of place – it’s got that small, hole-in-the-wall kind of vibe, and the owners Pat and Cindy are former full time RVers. We had couple of drinks with Denny & Veronica as well as another couple that we just met – Zach and Shauna, who just started RVing and blog at Bellingham by Bus.
Our second night we bought a sack of 100 clams and Deas cooked them for us behind our RV. We had one of the waterfront sites, but due to trees we only had a little peak at the water. But the clams were sooo good, and aftewards Denny & Veronica joined us for some wine.
Cedar Key is primarily a fishing town, but we also managed to find a few nice, easy hikes to explore in the nearby Lower Suwanee Wildlife Refuge. First we did the Dennis Creek Trail which is an easy 1 mile loop that takes you through some of the marshland where the Suwannee River meets the Gulf of Mexico. The tide was going out as we did this hike, and there were hundreds of little crabs in the receding water, as you can see in the first picture below. Right next to the trail is the Shell Mound Archaeological Site, which is where Native American discarded thousands of oyster and clam shells. That trail ends at a dock that goes out over the shallow gulf waters.
Another easy, short hike in the refuge is the River Trail, which takes you through some swamp land and then out to a view of the Suwannee River.
We also did a day trip the nearby Manatee Springs State Park. Unfortunately the last of the manatees had left just a couple days before, but the aqua blue water above the springs was still a real treat to see, and there were several people snorkeling and diving in the water.
We found a couple of other easy walks in town, and just enjoyed wandering the streets with dogs almost every day.
On one of walks around town we spotted another couple walking a dog that looked just like our dog Shorty. Shorty is a rescue but our best guess is that he is a Corgi/Golden Retriever mix, and this other dog could have been his twin! She is also a rescue dog from Las Vegas, and her name was Cha-Cha. This is Shorty on the left and Cha-Cha on the right. When I texted the picture to my sister she couldn’t even tell who was who in the picture!
One of the things I kept hearing about from our friends who have been to Cedar Key was the fabulous sunsets. We had a lot of cloudy weather when we were there, so the sunsets in general were lacking. One night midweek though we were treated with a real stunner and I got this shot from one of the docks at Sunset Isle.
One of our last nights in Cedar Key we had a big cook-out at Denny Veronica’s RV, and we were joined by Zach and Shauna, our friends Brian and Maria from The Roaming Pint, as well as a few other new friends we made at the park. It was fun way to wrap up a fun week!