Wednesday, January 25, 2023
When we last wrote of our travels, we had just arrived at Oak Alley RV Resort in Webster, FL. It was late afternoon on Saturday and as soon as we were minimally set up, we headed out on a walk of the park. We really needed to stretch our legs after our 450 mile travel day. We don’t usually like to drive that far in a day, preferring no more than 350-400 miles, but we traded out driving every two hours and were not too terribly tired when we arrived. The park walk was just what we needed. Toward the back of the park was one of several retention ponds and we saw an eagle diving toward the water. What a great welcome to the park! Of course, this was not a photography outing so no camera, no picture. Wouldn’t you know it. That was the only time we saw an eagle in the park. (We walked that area every day after that – with camera – but no eagle.) As we continued our walk that first evening we also met Jackie and Bruce, two NOMADS friends. We had a quick little visit with plans to get together later in our stays. The next morning we also met another NOMADS friend Mary when we were all out for our morning walks and we caught up with her husband Phil at the pickle ball courts. So great to already have friends at the resort.
Oak Alley is a resort. One of the things they are known for is their pickleball courts (12) and pickleball instructor. There are many classes from beginner, to advanced. Anytime of the day if you pass the courts you will see people playing. But pickleball is just one of many activities offered. There are hundreds of activities planned such as ice cream socials, quilting and many more. They also have different food trucks visit various days along with pot lucks, and other gatherings involving food. Definitely the most active resort we have visited. Also of note, was a wonderful community like atmosphere. Everyone – employees and RVers all seemed so friendly and nice.
One of the dangers of staying at Oak Alley is the trail that leads from the park directly to Dough J’s Chicken and Donuts in Webster. In the week we were there we only visited it 3 or 4 times and both the fried chicken and pastries were delicious.
Sunday we of course worship with our home church and then checked out the club house and other amenities. We attended the ice cream social with Mary and Phil Sunday night and many of us were outside watching another Space X rocket go into space. This was a secret mission for US Space Force rather than one of the frequent launches of satellites for the Starlink system. Always love to see the rocket launches.
Monday is flea market day in Webster. We were told it’s the largest flea market in Florida. They had everything – new, used, and swap meet items as well as large quantities of beautiful, tasty produce and homemade cookies, etc. We walked there with our friends and many people from the park drove their golf carts. It’s a huge event so parking is at a premium. After the market we attended an excellent “Introduction to 3D printing” class presented by one of our fellow RVers.
The Florida RV Super Show was this week and we choose to drive over to Tampa on Thursday. We had a good time looking at new RV features, new designs etc as well as visiting all the vendor booths. Our only purchase was a new thermostat for our rear AC/heat pump. We have been to the Tampa show many times and now our favorite thing is meeting up with friends and visiting. It was a good day.
Friday morning we installed our new thermostat and all is now working flawlessly. We are so blessed we can take care of some of our RV repairs ourselves. Friday afternoon we took the bikes about 4.5 miles to one of the trailheads of the Van Fleet trail. This is a super 29.2 mile bike/hike trail in central Florida. Almost immediately after beginning our ride we are riding by a swampy area and came upon two river otters playing. Later we saw several large tortoise sunning on rocks in a lake and then on the way back we spotted smaller ones lounging beside the trail. The Van Fleet is a great trail. Flat – always a plus. Partly to mostly shaded. Paved in good condition. Very quiet and peaceful ride. No we didn’t do the entire 29.2 miles because we would have still had to ride 29.2 miles back. We did between 6 and 7 miles and then returned to the truck. Great ride and we intended to do more this week.
This brings us to where we are now. We are now back at Camp Sumatanga in Alabama. We left Oak Alley sooner than planned. Remember RVers must be like Gumby – always flexible. We drove back the 532 miles Monday so that Max could see our dentist on Tuesday at 8:00am. Thank you, Dr. Mac! At 1:00 pm he had a root canal and is now on his way to recovery. So blessed that we are always welcomed at Sumatanga when ever we need to be back in our home area. We will again be flexible for the next few weeks in determining when we will return to Florida to work our next NOMADS project. Stay tuned to see where we turn up next.