Private Beach and Dolphins

Spent three days at E.G.Simmons Park in Ruskin.  Another favorite to add to the growing list – but not surprising. This IS Florida, afterall.

Simmons is a county park.  While there are RV sites available, I chose to visit first on a $2.00 day pass and liked it so much later opted to dry camp overnight.

For most of the day, Mia and I enjoyed our own private beach.  I watched three ospreys fishing the bay, and off shore, a flock of what looked like mergansers.  Mullet were jumping, Mia settled in for a nap…and before too long I heard the blowing of dolphins. A pair came cruising by, right off our beach..went around the strip of island, and circled back out to the bay.


When we’d had enough beach…well, that’s not really possible so let me re-phrase that.  When we decided to take a walk and see other areas of the park (that’s better) we came upon this black vulture picking at a very old carcass…probably raccoon or possum but I didn’t get close enough to really see. Some things are better observed from a distance.




Zorro in Space


Well OK, maybe not THE Zorro, but pretty darn close as far as the Z goes.  This is actually the contrail from the Atlas V rocket, launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex this morning.

Having witnessed Shuttle launches from Florida in the past, which were awesomely impressive – I made sure I was down by the lake at 8:30 in the morning for a clear view straight across the flatlands to Canaveral, less than 60 miles away.

Launch time approached, the winds died down, and the three people (including me) who showed up to watch were all eyes to the sky.  I anticipated lots of contrail, orange engine glow, a good view of the rocket, and maybe even a rumble.


And there it was!  What?  That’s it?  That skinny silver speck with that little jet-trail behind it?   It was over in a minute..and the wind picked up the contrail, creating that Zorro Z in the sky.

What I learned today….Atlas rockets are never to be compared in awesomeness to the Shuttle launches…but the whole concept is still amazing.  That rocket was in space before I arrived back home, just a short walk away.


Heading to the Mountains of Orlando

Actually I’m now just south of Clermont, FL, in a park called Thousand Trails Orlando.  The WiFi service is unavailable at the site, so it’s been a bit between posts.

The elevation here is about 128 feet – and in Florida, that’s a mountain. I could tell especially when I got my bike out of the RV basement and went for a ride.  What the heck???

I am in love with this park.  The sites are spacious, there’s a lovely lake and a hiking trail through the pine woods.  Mia is loving it as well.  Apparently we are very close to Disney, as we can hear the fireworks every night and I’m told if I go down to the lake, we can see them as well.  Haven’t done that yet…

There’s a small dog park with a resident gopher tortoise, which I haven’t figured out just yet.  Does the tortoise make it out of the very small park?  And if not, how does he survive on the minimal grass present?


The tortoise hole is in the small dog area..which also has me wondering, once again but for different reasons..what the heck?  I had to discourage Mia from popping down the hole for a visit, and she is just an oblivious, non-hunting Chihuahua lap dog.  What do the terrier do with this easily accessible turtle hole?  I can only assume it is actually abandoned and the fencing and sign is an attempt at public education.  No tortoise in his right mind would want to live in a dog park!


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