Monday, March 19, 2012

Farewell, Florida

2012 Mar 19

Wow! We really did spend a lot of time in Florida! We arrived in the state on 22 December 2011 and finally bid farewell to it on 16 March 2012! Although, to be fair, from 5 - 16 March we were in the Pensacola area, which is almost Alabama. But, almost doesn't count, and Pensacola is still Florida. So, on Friday 16 March, we drove out of Florida, into Alabama, then into Mississippi. 

Sunset along 98, on our way to Hattiesburg, MS

We spent two night at an off the beaten track RV campground called, Okatoma Resort and RV Park. It is located about 10 miles outside Hattiesburg, MS. Because of poor planning, too long of a lunch break, and too long stopping at Walmart in Pace, we arrived at Okatoma after dark. Not my favorite thing to do. When I say this place is "off the beaten path", I mean it is  down a country road with no street lights, and arrival after dark seemed an adventure in itself. Once we navigated the back road and made our entrance at the gate, we had to call a posted number. The person who answered explained that we should drive back on the twisting road which was directly ahead of us, slowly, and at the top of the hill, look for the office.  At the crest of the hill, we noted a lovely lake, and what we took to be several houses. Thinking that one of them was the office, we stopped. Then we noticed, someone with a flashlight about 200 yards further up into the property. That was the person we were to meet at the office.

We registered and paid. And were surprised to find we could get the 10% Good Sam discount here. We hadn't noted that when we found this place in Woodall's. We had our choice of lake front campsites. Raymond choose #21 (Clemente's number). The park recently underwent some renovation and the sites all have new water, electric and sewer hook ups. The parking area is pea gravel and there is fairly new sod between the pea gravel and the lake. The sites are wide enough that you wouldn't be cheek to cheek with your neighbor, though that was not an issue for us.

Our site at Okatoma, in Hattiesburg, MS

The lake offers fishing, but all bass must be catch and release. There was even a resident alligator, about 3 feet long, living in the lake. Brandon, a neighbor whose family has a vacation spot in the park, said that they've removed the gator at least three times, but he keeps coming back. 

Raymond called him "Alli"

Speaking of Brandon, he was another of those really nice, helpful people we keep meeting. He came over with his flashlight to help Raymond and I hook up. He was doing such a good job, along with Ray, that I didn't have to do much of anything. We ran into a little glitch in that the electric service receptacle and our plug were not compatible. Ray and Brandon went up to the office and the manager was willing to lend us an adapter to use, but Raymond opted to purchase one instead, in case we ever run into problem again.

Waddling away

We enjoyed our time at Okatoma. There were loads of ducks on the property, along with chickens and a rooster. I got to feed the ducks, too. Greyla was less than thrilled by the fact that the ducks would walk up to the door of the RV and quack. But I loved waking up in the morning to the sound of the ducks greeting the day.
Muscovy duck

It was also enjoyable because we could have a campfire. Many of the campgrounds in Florida prohibited fires because it has been very dry there, mostly in the southwestern portion of the state.

The first night there, I was enthralled with the stars. There was a breeze and it was far enough out in the country that there was little light pollution. The second night, the breeze died down and the mosquitoes invaded. We did very little star gazing that night.

But we both liked Okatoma enough to add it to our list of places where we would spend more time.


  1. I'm glad you guys are seeing the sights and making your way to new ones. How do you feel about it all now, at this point in your journey?

  2. Although the ducks are lovely. . .it's probably not a good idea to feed them at your campsite. . .they leave little blessings that you will not be happy about stepping in. . .I learned this from experience. . .ha ha!


  3. Prin, I am mostly feeling very blessed that we have this opportunity. Occasionally, I feel a little homesick, cause I miss my brother, Vinny. He and I share a lot of the same interests and spent a bit more time together than my other siblings. I am grateful to be out of the neighborhood where we lived, mostly bc I never really liked the house we lived in for 20+ years. I'm enjoying Greyla WAY more than I did in Pgh and R & I only have had a couple of tussles, and only one major blow out argument, so I guess we're adjusting :D

    We had an offer on the house, so I am praying for all the contingencies to work out. It will be a huge blessing to finally be out from under that. And it will open up the possibility to use that money to pay down our remaining debt, and hopefully maybe when we get to Texas, or when we get to SD, later in the year, we'll get ourselves a little car to tool around in.

    I am blessed, grateful, occasionally a teeny bit sad, and generally enthralled.

  4. Janice, good point about the ducks! And their deposits are huge!

  5. Yey for the offer! That's awesome, JM. I hope it goes through.

    And I'm glad you're adjusted enough to be enjoying it all. :)