January 14-16, 2006 - The road to Clermont, FL

We were due at the Clermont, FL Thousand Trails on January 16th and had two nights to make the journey.  Originally we were going to route up US27 by Lake Okeechobee but found we couldn't get an easy camping spot that route.  A reroute using the Microsoft Streets and Trips software said it would take 4 minutes longer to stop at the Bonita Springs Elks lodge on the way and see Barb and Dave Jenkins one more time.  We could also stop at the Florida SKP Resort in Wauchula and see what it was like.   Then when we researched where to get diesel fuel and that there was a Love's fairly convenient if we drove up to I-4 at Lakeland and we had a plan.

What we didn't plan for was the weather, January 14th was very windy.  The 138 mile drive to the Bonita Springs Elks lodge was no fun, if we stayed below 55mph the gusts only moved us about 6" sideways.  Those that were following on the two lane US41 were not amused.  We still saw a lot of wildlife on US41 and we stopped at the Big Cypress National Preserve Visitors Center on the way.  When we got to the Elks lodge we set up and there was one other RV in the place, a Green Prevost bus conversion.  Here are pictures of us and the bus conversion:

We called the Jenkins up and said we were the lowly Dutch Star behind the Prevost and got a laugh.  We checked the menu at the lodge and the Jenkins said they would arrive at 6PM.  We had a good visit and a good meal at the lodge and said our goodbyes.  This way Barb got to see Evita, she had not had a chance to when we were in Fort Myers.  There were no hookups at the lodge, so we got a good test of the new batteries.  Everything worked well.

On the 15th, Sunday, we drove the 92 miles to the Florida SKP Resort, checked in and got mostly setup before lunch.  We had never visited this Escapees campground and were warmly welcomed with, "next time stay longer than one night".  Here was our spot:

Some people in the campground had an older one-slide Dutch Star custom painted, it looked really good:

Similar colors to ours, but more swirls. 

We ran into one person we had met at Sumter Oaks in November.

The next day we drove through Lakeland, FL to I-4, fueled the motorhome up (it had been 769 miles), and arrived at the Orlando TTN in Clermont, FL.  We drove 83 miles.  We ran into Rita and Roland while checking in, we knew they were there but it was still a surprise to see them then. We last saw them in Nappanee, IN. We drove the car towards the Disney attractions and saw a Carrabba's and had a nice dinner.   We plan to be in Clermont for two weeks.  In January 2004 we stayed at Clerbrook RV Resort in Clermont, so we knew the area.

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