Anne & Tom's Florida Trip in 2014 travel blog

On the "Cracker Trail" Central Florida and its cowboys - called "Crackers"...

Mailing a letter from cowboy country

Our campsite at Kissimmee Prairie

View of the prairie from our RV's window

Prairie birds


A hike on the prairie


Morning fog

A visit to our friends, Paul & Sue Yorke. Watching the "Owl...

The forlorn tent campers in the 3 days of rain

Many puddles

But the skies cleared and we met new friends, Judy and Gerry...

Happy Hour at our RV

Happy hour at the Quinn's RV

Swamp buggy

Naturalist leads a swamp buggy expedition

This is the definition of a hammock

This is inside a hammock


Wild turkeys right next to our campsite

A woodpecker

Tom tries out his new 300mm mirror lens

The gator pond

Crawling out of the water - gives you the creeps

Really close

A rookery

An owl

Great blue heron

In flight

We left Fort DeSoto and headed into Florida's interior. While we think of Florida as the land of oranges and grapefruit, there is another agricultural aspect of this state many would not think of. Cattle! We traveled the Cracker Trail and saw herds of cattle - some among orange trees! While Texas is the state most associated with cattle, Florida has a long history and some interesting legends, such as the "Crackers." No, not the munchies you eat with cheese, but cowboys with whips that made a cracking sound and thus the name given to these wranglers. We mailed a letter from Ona, Florida where the decoration on the post office is a cowboy hat.

After a bone jarring ride down a dirt road, we arrived at Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park. We love this place and have what is considered the "primo" campsite with a great view of the prairie and the wide open spaces. Tom set up the hammock and we had a great first meal watching the glow of the sunset. Next day, we just rested and took it easy with a hike on the prairie that circled back into the Hammock of shade trees (not the swinging one by our RV!).

That night a "Rent an RV" pulled into the site right next to us. Our new neighbors, Judy and Gerry Quinn, came over the next morning and we soon became fast friends having so many things in common.

On Wednesday, we drove into Indian Town and had lunch with our friends, Sue and Paul Yorke. As we entered their living room, we were looking into the eye of a Barred Owl on their big screen TV. Paul goes by the moniker of "The Owl Guy." He has set up an owl house with TV cameras that are linked to the internet showing the life of a pari of owls. Mrs. Owl had laid an egg and it was just beginning to show signs of hatching while we were there. A few days later a baby owl (named Boo) hatched. As we left the Yorkes, it began to rain and continued to do so for the next 2 days.

Despite the rain, we continued to have fun. However, we felt another couple from England (Simon and Anna) who were traveling across the USA on a motorcycle and tent camping must have been miserable with water running into their tent. But they were so upbeat and spent considerable time in the shelter of the alcove where the washer and dryer were located at the park.

The weekend turned sunny and warm and we had "happy hours" with the Quinns.

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