Nov 222010

Yesterday was a long short drive for us.

We pulled out of the Orlando Thousand Trails preserve about 11 a.m., me driving the motorhome and Miss Terry, the Explorer. We drove north 11 miles on U.S. Highway 27 to State Route 50, then took it west through Clermont, Groveland, and Masconte.

Traffic was light, and we moved right along. When I planned our route on Microsoft Streets & Trips, I thought that it said it was going to be a short drive of about 40 miles, but it sure seemed to take a long time!

We very seldom travel in separate vehicles, and I don’t like it very much. But since we don’t have the base plate on the Explorer yet, we didn’t have any choice. I like Miss Terry’s company a lot better than my own!

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I kept wondering when we’d get to Interstate 75, and since the GPS was in the Explorer, I didn’t have any point of reference. But eventually we reached to the interstate, and took it north eight miles, then took County Road 673 east a couple of miles to the Escapees Sumter Oaks campground. I don’t know how I figured the mileage wrong, but it was actually 55 miles from our campsite at the Thousand Trails to our site at Sumter Oaks. That sure was a long short drive!

We got the typical warm Escapees welcome, with hugs. Well, at least I got a hug. Miss Terry is fighting a nasty cold, and kept her distance so she wouldn’t make anybody else sick.  We were assigned site #11, a full hookup 50 amp campsite we’ve been in on previous visits here.

Winnie Explorer at Sumter Oaks 3

The campground is not full, but there are quite a few RVs here. Most of the sites have full hookups, but they also have a small boondocking area across from our site, where this nice Airstream trailer is dry camping.

Boondock Airstream

Sumter Oaks is a nice campground, with lots of beautiful old live oak trees, draped with Spanish moss. There are usually some sand hill cranes wandering around, but we haven’t seen them so far. Once Terry gets to feeling better, we’ll have a better look around.

Sumter Oaks trees 2

Sumter Oaks trees 3

We’ll be here a week, then head back to the Orlando Thousand Trails. Under our membership, we can stay at any Thousand Trails preserve for up to fourteen days, and then we have to go to another campground, even another Thousand Trails/NACO preserve, for at least a week before we can return to the same campground.

Usually we don’t go back to the same campground that soon, but the nice folks at Camper Connection, just a couple of miles away, have ordered a Blue Ox base plate for us, and we have an appointment to have it installed December 1st.

Once that’s done, we want to head down to Fort Lauderdale for a visit with Jim and Chris Guld, from Geeks on Tour, and then get down to Key West for a week or so.

I have some nephews and a niece in the Saint Petersburg area that I have not seen in about 25 years that I want to visit with, and that’s only about 70 miles from here. So, depending on how Miss Terry is feeling, we may pop in on them while we’re here, or else we’ll wait until after we come back from Key West. I’m looking forward to reconnecting after such a long time.

Thought For The Day – A friend is the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  6 Responses to “A Long Short Drive”

  1. What you need now is a nice pattern painted or pinstripped on your Ford to match the coach. I have always wondered why our cars are so plain. Cars are just one color and rarely have designs or different colors. There were some flower cars/vans during the 60s but they were a politcal statement rather than a nice car/van paint job.

    Just a suggestion. And yes, I’m serious. A pattern would look nice on the tan Explorer.

  2. When we went to KW we stayed at the Am. Leg about 1 mile from the bridge that takes you to KW island. Tight parking but our entire stay was less than one night at a CG

  3. Nick,
    I recomend that you make resevations at Thousand Trails quickly if you plan to use either Peace River or the Orlando park as High Season starts the 15th of Dec. and they are filling up fast. by the new year you’ll have a tough time getting in without a reservation until March.

  4. Your GPS was probably taking you west on 50 to Terrytown, route 471 north to Webster then west on 478 to US301 then south to 673 Go west on 673 to Sumter Oaks. This route saves somewhere between 15 and 25 miles. I use it all the time.

  5. We’ve stayed at Sumter Oaks several times; great place. I always have to take some pictures of the trees too! Haven’t visited your site in a few days; congratulations on your new Explorer. Looks like a beautiful vehicle. Glad you got the towing thing solved.

  6. I’m with you, Connie. A nice design down the side would really brighten up the new ride. I could probably work with you on that, Nick. : )
    Of course my realistic side says that, unfortunately, unless you plan to keep it ’til it’s scrap you would probably want to do it in …… vinyl graphics (ouch, that hurt to say) only because if you were to sell it some day you would be able to take it off so the new owner wouldn’t match your coach. I have to agree though that it does look a bit plain… but in a nice way. Maybe a pair of big girl panties would spruce it up. LOL

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