After 4 1/2 years this is the first time both us us are approaching a destination quite this way. Up until now our stopping off places have been “visits.” We saw them as places we wanted to explore because even if we’d been through the area before we were there for an extended period and we wanted to see what was there, to experience the things that residents might experience.
Yup… We left Milwaukee for the last step of our Spring re-positioning. It was a simple 288 miles of Interstate; on a Saturday morning; a route we’ve driven many times. By the time we arrive at Highland Ridge campground we’d completed our recap of the Milwaukee stay and we realized that for the first time in our Full-Time experience we were both looking at this not as a place we visit, but as a place to live. It’s, perhaps, a subtle difference for some. But we are both of one mind.
We’ve been here before. Simple words. But the meaning is far from subtle. I do believe that if we count them up, we have been in this place more different times than anywhere else. Perhaps not by length of stay, I’m sure the Oregon Coast wins out there. But certainly by individual trips. This is the first place we volunteered. It’s the first place we Camp Hosted. We know the area; we are comfortable here. And this year we’re here to live here. We aren’t as interested in snooping around the local area, we’re ready to be here.
We are sited right at the entrance to the campground… so everyone drives past us on the way in. There’s no gatehouse, it’s a very informal campground. The Corps took out the coin operated showers — so showers are free. They haven’t been charging fees thus far this Spring. May 1 they turn on the “cash register,” but the 13 families there this weekend are getting a free weekend and enjoying it very much. There’s also an archeological group from McAlester College poking around the area this weekend.
We aren’t officially on the clock yet. And there’s a problem with the 20 amp circuit that powers the Ethernet circuit so we aren’t up and running with information yet either. All of that will get sorted out soon enough. We’ll check with our boss on Monday and get the details worked out.
While we were in Ocala I was thinking a lot about the way we check out new areas. You’ll remember that we did quite a bit of touring around the northern half of Florida while we were there. That’s what we won’t be doing while we’re here. I like this place. I like it enough to want to spend time here, not chasing around doing all sorts of other things. Oh, maybe we’ll take one of our days off and go tubing on the Apple River. And I’m sure we’ll wander into the Twin Cities — but we are both looking forward to enjoying just being here.
You can see a carpet of white flowers on the forest floor here. I have no idea what they are — I’ll get my book out and try to identify them if I don’t forget — but they are gorgeous little pops of white. >>
For a busy day driving and setting up that’s about as far as I’m going to go today. We took a walk around the campground, did much of our camp set-up, and took time for dinner. And I’m tired. Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll chat with you tomorrow.