Ocala to Wauchula
Wauchula, FL - Events of Friday, September 29 to Friday, October 6, 2017
Since we had several things we wanted to do in the Ocala area, we scheduled a week at Ocala Sun RV Resort when we stopped there on our way south to the SKP Florida Co-op. Some of the things we wanted to do included stopping at a few of the favorite eateries from when we used to spend our winters at Blueberry Hill RV Resort in Bushnell. We could have stayed at Blueberry Hill, but we probably would have had to stay in one of the narrow sites in the front section since the back section where our site used to be is now pretty much all seasonals. More importantly, some of our favorite eateries are actually closer to Ocala Sun than to Blueberry Hill.
The one exception to that last statement is Pancho's Villa located in San Antonio, Florida. However, Pancho's is still a lot closer to Ocala Sun than it is to the co-op in Wauchula, so we headed to Pancho's on Saturday.
We both had what we usually get at Pancho's - chicken chimichangas with queso. We also had two baskets of their warm, crisp, corn chips. Yum!
On Sunday, we went to Live Oaks Community Church, which is the church we used to attend when we stayed at Blueberry Hill. Live Oaks has since moved from their old, rented building located south of The Villages to a new building located on the northern side of The Villages so it is definitely closer to Ocala Sun than to Blueberry Hill.
On Monday, we went to Hobby Lobby in Ocala for Margery to get some yarn for some of her crochet projects, and we stopped at Sam's Club to pick up a few items. On our way back to the RV park, we decided to visit Beef O'Brady's for Burger Monday. They have their Build-Your-Own-Burgers for around $5.50 on Mondays (regularly about $8). The burgers were delish!
We ran more errands on Tuesday then headed to OakWood Grill in The Villages for lupper.
Oakwood has a full rack of their baby back ribs for $13.95 Sundays through Wednesdays, and we were hungry for their ribs. Margery had cole slaw and mac 'n' cheese for her sides, and Paul had lima beans and corn salad. Everything was a good as ever!
We had a few additional stops to make on Wednesday before driving to Dan's Clam Stand in Crystal River for lupper.
We both had their fried clam strip basket with fresh clams ($9.95 for fresh, $8.95 for frozen). The clams were sweet and tender.
We had a couple of other stops to make in the Ocala area on Thursday. We hitched up on Friday morning and made the three-hour drive on the final leg of our journey back to the SKP Florida Co-op.
We had seen some evidence of damage from Hurricane Irma on our way from Georgia to Ocala and also around the Ocala area. The damage was mostly in the form of downed trees and branches and damaged signs and billboards. Occasionally, we would see a building with a blue tarp covering part of the roof indicating roof damage, but those were pretty few and far between.
As we drove farther south on I-75, the downed trees and damaged billboards were a little more frequent, but we still drove for long stretches without seeing any damage. After we got off I-75 and were heading east, we continued to see occasional downed trees and branches along the way. In Zolfo Springs, which is about two miles before the co-op, there are a couple of older campgrounds where there were several trailers and park models that were heavily damaged as well as some furniture piled along the road waiting for cleanup crews to pick up indicating some of the units had been flooded.
When we got to the co-op, we were surprised at how little damage there was. Two papaya trees on one site had been blown over (they are still alive and can probably be propped back up), one of the park's Wi-fi towers is at about a 30º angle, several park models had some of the skirting blown away, and a few are missing some shingles. All in all, the co-op made it through in relatively good condition.
The shed was intact, and inside there was no evidence of water leaks whatsoever. The solar-powered vent fans Paul installed last spring were still running. The only minor problems on our site was a little of the gravel in front of the shed had been displaced by water running off the roof, and the hibiscus we planted last February was at a slight tilt because of the wind. It was an easy matter to rake the gravel back to where it belonged and to stake the hibiscus so it was vertical again.
Speaking of the hibiscus, we were shocked at how much it had grown, and its greater height is the reason it was susceptible to being skewed by the wind. The first of the two photos below shows the hibiscus shortly after we planted it last February, and the second shows it as it is now.
We'll spend the next week or so settling in, shopping for groceries, and puttering around the site getting it back into shape. We'll have another update as soon as we have anything that is newsworthy. It's good to be home.