Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Great Day in Southern Florida

Today is a great day here in southern Florida.  Admittedly, it was a bit cool this morning (frost  on the Honda), but this noon it was delightful.   The breeze was a bit much, but we can handle that when we're parked here at Dinner Island Ranch.

This morning while we were sitting in the down wind side of one of the motorhomes, we had another couple come in. So  naturally, a couple of us went  to meet them and help them get parked.  One of his first words to me was "I'm here because of what you've written in your Blog!"  (   Okay, I knew a few friends have read it, but this couple was a stranger to us.  (We soon became well acquainted.)

They are snowbirds from Illinois and hoping to spend the winter in Florida without getting themselves bankrupted by camping fees.   It didn't take long for the group to welcome them and perhaps overwhelm them with where we're planning to park (in free or nearly free locations.)  Like ourselves months ago, it is hard to imagine that this place (and many more in Florida) are completely free other than our expense to dump and load up with water.  Before we part company tomorrow, I'm sure we'll have them convinced to become members of the SKPs.

Yesterday while browsing on the web, we found a place close to Punta Gorda (and our park Paradise Park) that also has free camping. It has two locations (one immediately off of the interstate) that are free in November, December and the first two weeks of January.  It is part of the Babcock-Webb Wildlife Management area.  Officially, it is a hunt camp, but I think open to all users.  A friend has already volunteered to check it out for us.

On Tuesday we leave this park and go  to  the Dupuis WMA for a week. It is free, and includes a water hydrant and a dump  station. Frankly,that is hard to beat.  As a friend has said, "We're always looking for low cost parking locations, cheaper is better and free can't be beat!"  While at Dupuis, we intend to check out another WMA called J.W. Corbett WMA.  Supposedly, it has free camping, but we'll have to pay a yearly entry fee of 29 dollars  (or a daily of $3).  The entry fee is good for all of the WMA areas for one year.  So the price becomes a non-issue.  After Dupuis, we go to Three Lakes WMA for two to four weeks, so we'll get good use of our entry permit.

When I  use the abbreviation of WMA, it can mean "Water Management Area" or it can mean  "Wildlife Management Area". Yes, confusing, but I didn't name them.


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