Warm at Salt Springs


What a difference 24 hours makes!  We left Ocean Pond campground on Monday morning arriving at Salt Springs CG in the Ocala National Forest by noon.  Check-in was a breeze as there were no one in front of us waiting for a site.  We had our choice of 3 long term campsites and I blindly picked site 46.  Luckily it has a nice big area just in front of the trailer that’s full of live oaks, palm trees and mischievous  squirrels.

Our bodies went through a shock with the temperature shift as it had been in the 50’s for most of our trip.  Now we were looking at 80’s for highs for the next 10 days.  I swore to myself that I would not complain about being hot!  Not after freezing for so much of the time at Fort Pickens.

February of 2010 was the last time we were here and I was anxious to see if anything had changed.  As soon as we got set up we walked to the canal, boat launch and spring.  David grabbed his camera and we were fortunate to see, not one,  but four different alligators soaking up the sun.



The next day we finally got to use the kayaks that we had been toting around for  two weeks.  The launch is just down from the spring and frequently, during winter months, manatees are in the spring run.  We weren’t disappointed as several of these gentle giants were playing in the water.  At one point as I was paddling around looking for the giants, two huge nostrils appeared right in front of my boat.  Quickly back paddling, I eased out of it’s way as I did not want it to come up under me!

Last night we went to the  recreation barn and played board games with friendly folks.  The barn was full of snowbirds woodworking, quilting and playing cards. I’m not much for games but the nights are very long and it was a pleasant way to spend part of the evening.

On Thursday the bikes got unloaded and we toured the campground, road through town and went down a sandy forest service road.  Purchased a bag of honey belles (oranges) from a roadside stand and started devouring them as soon as we got back to camp.  After lunch, knowing that the 80 plus weather was not going to last, I unpacked the bathing suit and headed to the spring.  Only a handful of swimmers were there so the solitude of the spring was not interrupted.

The water was wonderful, a cool 72 degrees, and I tried to work off the fried catfish, the previous night’s dinner, by swimming, or rather dog paddling, around the spring.



Salt Spring

Today was supposed to be another paddling day, instead we drove around the forest getting acquainted with other campgrounds.  Visited Eaton Lake’s campground…with the Senior Pass we could stay there for $4 a night!  It had 13 sites and only one camper who warned us that the ticks and chiggers were real bad. (No hookups, pit toilet) We drove on to Juniper Springs where there is also no hookups but a nice bathhouse and pretty campsites.  Probably will be our destination when we leave Salt Spring.


Eaton Lake

 Extremely tired tonight so just quitting the thinking part and posting more pictures.


Home at Salt Springs


Entrance to the spring


Salt Spring with the run, where the manatees play, in the background


Eaton Lake


  1. So glad you finally found warm weather, Lynne. It looks beautiful there!

    If you go to Juniper Springs, be sure to take the boardwalk (short walk) to Fern Hammock Springs. The blue is indescribable.

    Wish we were there with you. We've been sick, so it's doubly nice to be able to share your travels via your blog.

    1. Oh, Sharon,so sorry to hear that you've been sick. There are some nasty viruses going all around. I am a little like RVSue as we are trying to avoid large crowds and Walmart!

      Can't wait to see Fern Hammock now that you have described it.

      We have seen only one other egg here all week...a nice Scamp couple from Lawrenceville, GA.
      Wish you were here!

  2. Looking good. Wish we were there. It's rained everyday since we returned home and more in the forecast each day until Wednesday. Happy Trails...jc

    1. That's a lot of rain! Bet you are sick of it.

      Thought of you today as we were kayaking the Silver River. Need to put it on your bucket list!

  3. What a nice spot and with senior discount...that sounds so cheap for FL as thought everything this time of year was out of sight. A swim in the springs and fresh oranges. What could be any better...ENJOY!!

  4. We got so spoiled last year while in AZ camping for $3 a night! We are paying $16 here at Salt Springs with hookups and will be paying around 10 with not hookups at Juniper Springs.

    Hope you are having some fun in this January thaw!

  5. Man...you Guys have found a nice area there in Florida...thats on my to do list for this coming fall.....I always liked the Panhandle of Florida but have never heard of the places you have just visited...thanks for sharing...have a GREAT week and safe journeys ...Horst

    BTW..really nice photo's especially the first one!!!

  6. Great to hear from you...yes, we like these off the beaten track places. This is a snowbird destination but it's far from a beach.

    Not sure what I am going to do about my pictures....I dislike the little canon point and shoot but afraid to take the good camera hiking or paddling. I guess I will add a better small camera to the ongoing list of things to buy!