|After several travel legs of 100 miles or less, we've found that we like this slower pace. The 15th was a very short drive from McDill AFB to the Thousand Trails Preserve near Orlando. Actually, it's about 34 miles west of Orlando, right in the middle of orange groves. The scents in the air that greeted us were absolutely wonderful. Let's hear it for FaceBook. I posted our arrival "near Orlando." On the 16th, I get a reply from a Rotary RV friend, asking us to join him and his family on a St. Johns River cleanup on the 17th. He says that we're right in his neighborhood. Well, he's near Orlando, but about 35 miles east - not exactly the neighborhood. But, that sounds like fund, so I call him to get time and destination. On the 17th, we get up early and are on the road by 6:30, because we need to arrive somewhere in Volusia County by 8:00 am. The morning is beautiful, with pockets of misty fog in the low places and we drive through country we haven't seen before. We arrive at almost exactly 8:00. In fact, we beat our friend to the appointed meeting place. People are already beginning to gather. We're at the Sugar Bluff boat ramp, on Sugar Bluff Road, somewhere in the middle of Volusia County. Fortunately, I'd found the address on the internet, because Jim gave only vague directions and the GPS (for once) took us right to where we wanted to be. As we're walking across the road to join the gathering people, our friend and his son arrive. By 8:30, things are beginning to happen. We're at the annual cleanup event sponsored by Volusia County. The teenagers, a lot of whom are from a scout troop, take off in canoes, armed with gloves and trash bags, warned about watching for snakes and alligators. It was a sight, watching people launch canoes, trying to go through the mud near shore to get to the water. It was obvious they didn't want to get dirty, so didn't get out to push. I couldn't figure out why they didn't just carry the canoes a few yards to open water. We joined our friend, his wife, son-in-law, and grandchildren (plus others) in a pontoon boat and headed upriver, dropping people along the shore as we proceed. We were equipped with water and extra trash bags for the people in canoes, in case anything was needed. We finally go to shore and do a little trash pickup ourselves. People are scattered for miles along this beautiful river and what a day it was - absolutely a glorious day and perfect weather. By 11:30, everyone is back at the boat ramp and a catered barbeque lunch is served just after noon. The food was delicious. When it was announced the food was ready, the teenagers (especially the boys) were in line and ready. One of the older boys, evidently a scout leader, got them to back up and told them the women went first. He gestured to me and had me get to the head of the line and I was grateful. Breakfast had been a long time ago. After lunch, we go with our friends to the son's house and find a wonderful house, just downriver a ways. We visit for a couple of hours and then head home. We try to find a couple of farms Clark had noted from an internet search. We did locate one, but it was closed and we never could find the other one. We got home about 7:00 with the wonderfully tired feeling one gets from having a good day of activity. Another special day happened on the 18th. A classmate of Clark's from the Air Force Academy was passing through our area and stopped to meet us for lunch. While we were having lunch with Ed and his wife, we got a phone call from Canadian RV friends, who were in the area, and wanted to get together. After lunch, we met the Wilsons and spent the rest of the afternoon having a great visit with them. On the 19th, we drove to Clermont to get our mail and then went to a nearby farm for fresh eggs, etc. I've found an area of Florida that I like - the drive was beautiful. But, driving in and around Orlando is like driving in Los Angeles – maybe worse. On the 22nd, the GPS took Clark all over the place on a wild goose chase. He was trying to find a welder he's located online and ended up on a dead end road, in the middle of nowhere and not a building to be found. He did find his way to Clermont, got a tire fixed and the tire shop fixed the trailer hitch, which was why he was looking for a welder. He got his errands done, successfully, while I did laundry.