From Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Hobe Sound, FLWednesday, January 4, 2011
We have two chilly nights and cool days here in Hobe Sound. Temps has dropped to the mid 30s at night, and it has been cool and very windy during the day.
The wind blew so hard that we decided to take the canvas top off on our new canopy. Charlie was afraid that the strong winds may stress it to the point that it would begin to tear. We left the frame up, and it has stood strong.
We try not to run our furnace very often because it uses propane. Instead we have a couple of small space heaters that do a decent job keeping the chill down. But when we wake up to a cold house, we usually run the furnace for a while until it warms up. Fortunately, we are not heating a large space, so it’s pretty effective. : )
On Tuesday we went to see The Descendants with George Clooney. It was a really good movie, and we enjoyed it a lot. After the movie we came back to the park, and I went into the office and cancelled our last night’s stay that we had reserved. After we made the reservation, we decided to leave a day sooner so that we could check into Ortona South and secure our favorite campsite there. It’s hard to book the reservations back to back on a perfect schedule when you have to reserve the state parks 11 months in advance and the Corp of Engineers parks 6 months in advance. We definitely want to stay here again next year. We have enjoyed it so much more being in a better campsite this year.
Here’s a little tip I learned for those of you who stay in FL state parks. If I had changed our reservation online (which I meant to do sooner), it would have cost us a $17.75 fee. However, because I cancelled it here in person at the state park, I received a full refund. We have found the same thing at the federal parks too. Of course, it’s better to cancel as soon as you can to open up the campsite for others. But sometimes you don’t know until the last minute.
We did a little driving tour through the state park. As I have stated before, this is the second largest state park in FL, so it’s huge. We noticed there is now an equestrian campground complete with horse pens. The cabins here are tiny, but are now closed for renovations. It appears that all the furniture and appliances have been removed, so I assume they are being replaced. It would be nice if they would enlarge the cabins themselves. The cabins in other state parks are much nicer.
We rode through the River Campground which is more suitable to smaller rigs. It does have a lot of nice vegetation which gives it more character. But the campsites are actually closer than most of the ones in the Piney Grove Campground where we are staying. And the River sites only have water and electric. The two campgrounds are about 10 miles apart in the park.
We decided to try one of the local restaurants for supper on Tuesday. The Catfish House
is only about 4 miles from the state park on US 1. The reviews online were somewhat mixed, but we noted that their parking lot was always busy (usually the best review). I’m happy to report that we will definitely return to this place. The seafood was local and very fresh. We ordered our seafood fried, and it was lightly battered. Between the two of us we had the catfish, huge shrimp, frog legs, and gator bites. The hush puppies were to die for. It was a little pricier than I expected, but it was worth the money. My platter of shrimp and catfish was $16.95 and included soup or salad and a side. It’s nothing fancy inside, but clean and interesting in a local way.
Today we drove to Stuart and did our laundry. The Laundromat was on US 1 at Summerfield Rd. in a strip mall. The Laundromat was just ok, but the nice thing was that while there, we took turns shopping at the mall. Charlie went to the Ace hardware store to pick up some ant powder (we usually sprinkle this around the jacks and tires of the RV). I shopped in my favorite FL dept. store, Bealls. I love this store, and at the very “young” age of 50, I now qualify for their senior discount. Haha
Later today we got outside as the temps warmed to the mid 60s. We hiked for about an hour, exploring some of the trails we hadn’t been on before. There are 11 miles of trails in the park, so they are really fun. We enjoyed our hike so much, and I regretted not taking my camera.
The temps are going to get warmer and warmer for the next few days. Charlie’s cousin Sandy and her husband Sam are coming to the park in their RV on Friday. So we’re really looking forward to spe4nding a few days with them.