Friday, December 18, 2015

Hiking and Fisheating Creek Outpost shennanigans

What do you do in December when the weather is in the 80's? We go camping and hiking in nearly waist deep water of course! We liked Fisheating Creek Outpost so much earlier this year that we decided to go back before the year was over, and since I was a trip or two behind my yearly quota, this was great opportunity to catch up.

Derek planned this trip, and in all fairness I was almost a guest in this trip, which was a new feeling for me, but enjoyable just the same. Derek and I met up at the Sawgrass Recreation area off of US 27 and drove together from there to Fisheating Creek Outpost, where we met up with the rest of the group.

Once at camp "hellos" were exchanged and accommodations for the week end opened up. There were plenty of Jeeples camping there as well and some non-jeeples with interesting set ups, proving that camping and adventures are for everyone with any vehicle.


Little did I know that it was going from a few puddles along the trail to the trail being underwater and up to almost my waist.

The photographers were leading the hike and for a change in front of the lens.

picture courtesy of Derek
 Donny and I kept going to see the rest of the park after the group finished the trail and went back to camp and some to kayak.

The other side of the camp had a day area with some remote campsites, and a lake with a swing rope.

Just on the other side of the park it was private property and there were some horses enjoying a meal in the great weather.

I understand that we don't really rough it when we go camping, but this during the summer may be genious!
 Back at camp there was wild life to watch and some relaxation to be had.

Gotta have hammocks.

For such a short trip and a relaxing one there were so many pictures to go thru, and most of the ones here were mine, it was truly difficult to choose which to post, to the point where I'm considering a "part 2" to this post. In the meantime I hope you enjoyed the pictures and comments as much as we enjoyed the week end, and if you can go out there and see this awesome place do yourself a favor and go.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Clearwater Lake Recreational Area, Ocala National Forest and 3 years of shennanigans...

It's October yet again, and that means candy for most, for me it's time for our second annual trip to the Ocala National Forest! This trip also marks Derek's and I third anniversary of camping, traveling and shenanigans. All I can say is it's been one hell of a ride, so much hiking, camping, driving (sooooo much driving), cooking/eating, and of course brews, lots and lots of brews (both coffee and the fun kind). I heard somewhere that is not about the destination, but about who you travel with, and I can't help but to agree. While traveling alone has never been a problem for me, this last 3 years have been way too much fun and you can see and read some of it on this blog (and my youtube channel these days). But enough about us, and more on this awesome park we camped at.

Clearwater Lake Recreation Area offers a quiet getaway along the southeastern edge of the Ocala National Forest, just outside the community of Paisley, Florida. With a shaded campground, day use picnic area, beach and a nature trail that winds through the pine woods and scrub around Clearwater Lake, this facility has plenty of activities to keep campers occupied.

The Ocala National Forest, in north central Florida, spans four counties and 383,000 acres. It is the southernmost and oldest national forest east of the Mississippi River, and protects the world's largest, contiguous sand pine scrub forest (as borrowed from their website).

Arrival was after dark due to a mechanical difficulty earlier in the day

This was a nice surprise of a view on Saturday morning

One thing I have to say about this place is that the website's description and pictures fall way short of what this place really is like. The campsites are huge, with plenty of shrubbery and trees in between each site, the camp staff is helpful, polite, and very happy to assist with anything, including delivering firewood and ice to the site. The trail around the lake is approximately a mile and a half, and provides plenty of coverage from the sun, and great views of the lake.

After a hearty breakfast on Saturday morning Derek and I went for a walk to check out the park.

Even though there were deer around in large groups, the spiders were much more patient with amateur photographers like me.


After a walk on the trail around the lake my knee needed some rest and some refreshments and lunch were in order, followed by some trail riding and chasing sunsets.


Thanks to rain the prior week there were plenty of opportunities for water crossings. One thing to keep in mind around the Ocala National Forest, and any other water crossing is to always make sure you know the water depth prior to driving thru it.

One of the trails that we took ended up leading to a unpaved road that eventually ran into private property, but managed to provide a beautiful beginning to the sunset.

 At the end of the day the best sunset was right by the lake were we had started, home if you will. Like many other times sometimes you just have to go see and explore to realize that "home is where is at"