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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Hiking in Lake Louisa State Park in Clermont, Florida

There are over twenty miles of hiking trails at Lake Louisa State Park. Eric and I started our hike at Hammond Lake.

We cross an overgrown

The Bronson family bought this land in 1943 to raise cattle and grow oranges.

Yellow, spiky flowers catch
my eye.

Our shadows glide along
the wide, grassy trail.

These white flowers remind

Morning mist accents the
Spider Webs that cling
to plants.

This section of trails
is equestrian friendly.

Eric hunted for many years when we lived in Upstate New York.  He's always scanning the surroundings, looking for signs of animals. 

He pointed out this well
used Deer Run.

He spotted these Giant Egrets
across deep in a stand of trees.

One of the many Orange
Trees from the old 

He tries one....

It's sweet & juicy.

Smokehouse Lake

Here are trees with
 smaller fruit.

This Tangelo is yummy!

The trail brings us back
to Hammond Lake.

An Alligator suns itself.

Spanish Moss grows from
a Tangelo Tree.

A warning not to dig in
this area.

There's a telecommunications
cable buried here.

We have returned to civilization.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Sunrise on Hammond Lake at Lake Louisa State Park

Waitng for sunrise on
Hammond Lake....

This morning's palate
is pastels.

Fog shrouds the treeline
across the lake.

A closer look ....
... at a ghostly

The reflection of the trees
in the water reminds me 

Here comes the sun!

Camping Between Two Lakes at Lake Louisa State Park

Lake Louisa State
Park is sprawling...

4,500 acres

This map shows Lake
Louisa, Bear, Dixie &
 Hammond Lakes.

Nine other lakes dot
the large park.

Eric & I are camping for two 
weeks on the Hammond 
Loop (farthest left) between
Dixie & Hammond Lakes.

There are primitive and equestrian campsites at this park.  Twenty cabins are located on the northeast side of Dixie Lake. 

a solar panel on its roof.

There are 15 campsites
on our loop.

All the campsites on Hammond Loop have water and electric hook ups.  Four sites on the Dixie Loop have water, electric and sewer hook ups.  Nine campsites on Sandhill Loop have full hook ups.  These sites are available, at no extra charge for campers to reserve.

There are pull through sites,
like the one on the left &
back in sites, like the one
on the right.

Hammond & Dixie Lakes

Stairs allow easy access
 for canoes & kayaks.

There's a sign warning of
Alligators in the lake.

The campground rents canoes and kayaks.  

The view from the fishing
pier at Dixie Lake.

 There are over twenty miles of hiking trails at Lake Louisa State Park.  Many welcome horses.

The Bath House has 
bathrooms & showers.

Each Bath House has a
washer & dryer.

With one washer and dryer per loop, the machines are heavily used.

The Dump Station is obscured
by a stand of trees.

So, where are we parked?

Tucked in between the trees
at Site #1 on Dixie Loop

We have satellite access for our TV.

Our spacious patio is obscured
 from our neighbors by trees
 that surround our campsite.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Southwest... To Clermont, Florida

Sadly, the maximum stay in Florida's state parks is fourteen days.  Eric and I say our goodbyes to Gamble Rogers State Park and start our two and a half drive southwest to Clermont.

We start the day on
Florida State Road 100.

This section of road is
 perfectly straight.

We turn onto Florida

This section o road is the Black Bear Scenic Highway.

An eclectic mix of
Art, Fruit &
Boiled Peanuts

This is an Evacuation 

We are about thirty miles inland from the Atlantic Coast. in this relatively flat state.  Many coastal storm evacuees drive for many miles to safety.

leads us into
 deep woods.

A motorhome in need
of new owners sits

Drivers are warned to
watch for Black Bears.

There's lots of bear in

The woods open up &
we pass fenced in

Spanish Moss hangs from
Oak Trees.

The effect is spooky.

The Tavares
Water Tower

Eric at one of the few
stoplights along
today's drive.

And take the bridge across
Little Lake Harris.

This is not a "little" lake.

Cows rest in the shade.

South on US Route 27....

It would be nice if all
speed limit signs were
posted next to route

Lakeridge Winery in Cleremont
grows their grapes on site.

The Citrus Tower is the
area's "high point" & a
favorite tourist stop.

Eric & I arrive at Lake