Saturday, December 15, 2018

Imperial Bonita Estates in Bonita Springs our 2018 Florida Winter Home…

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At daybreak we had a leisurely breakfast then packed up the rig to head south a few miles where we will finally arrive at our winter home in Bonita Springs Florida. We will spend three months at Imperial Bonita Estates and since we have spent several winter seasons here we have made many friends who are a mixture of snow birds and a few permanent residents.

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This is an interesting RV park in that it had three sections. We stay in the area that is mostly RV’s with some semi-permanent park models. Then there is another section known as the co-op where people have the option to purchase a share of the co-op and put their own park model on it. This way they own their park model but are simply “borrowing” the land as they can always opt to sell their park model plus the cost of the co-op share. The last section of the park allows one to purchase both the land and the park model to become true home owners.

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Many of the park models were destroyed last winter when a hurricane pretty much hit this area head on causing long lasting flooding and damage. As a result nearly 30 park models were destroyed and bulldozed into a pile of rubble which was hauled off site leaving nothing but the bare dirt beneath it. The park has since converted most of those back to RV sites and some who wished to rebuild had to do so under new city codes requiring the new place be elevated some four feet or more more than the original units.

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Needless to say last season when we were here the place looked and smelled pretty bad but we came down anyway to help in any way we could. It has come a long way this winter with new RV pads and new park models certainly sprucing up the place. Onsite repairs to the recreational facilities is complete as well and now the park looks better than ever.

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With us being here for three months I have several projects to tackle on the RV before we head north for the spring. I will pen blogs about these projects as they are completed and I will also write a few blogs about projects I recently completed but haven’t yet written about. Blogs will be a little less frequent during our winter stay as there is usually less for us to talk about since we are in one spot so long…

NOTE: We are now at our winter site for the season in Bonita Springs, Florida…

Friday, December 7, 2018

A Few Days Along the Caloosahatchee River, Florida…

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Since we were only able to score two nights at South St Lucie Campground we packed up and started our westerly trek through Florida. A few hours later after passing around the southern edge of Lake Okeechobee we pulled into the W.P.Franklin Corps of Engineer Campground. We have four nights booked and although we don’t plan to do much while here except enjoy the waterfront views from our campsite, we will surely find  a few things to do.

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The W.P.Franklin Campground is definitely one of our favorites. The campground is larger that the S St Lucie campground and this one also has boat hook ups where it is always fun to be able to chat with other folks who full time on their boats.I did meet up with one couple who do it a bit differently as they were on their way from Minnesota to the Florida Keys.  They tow their boat but wherever they can they put the boat in the water and camp at at the docks with hookups. They do this because they plan to stay on their boat in the Keys instead of a campground. Pretty cool…

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The campground has a boat lock on the opposite side of the Caloosahatchee River so it also entertaining to watch the various boats pass through the locks. One place we like to go hiking is the nearby Caloosahatchee River Regional Park where there are several moderate trails where we can hike a couple of miles though the wilds of Florida. We found lots of wild flowers in bloom on our hikes even in late November and we even heard couple of wild hogs as we were observing the damage they do while rooting the soil for food.

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Another day we hiked in the park and even saw a couple of the aforementioned  hogs we heard on the previous hike. Part of one of the trails took us along the Caloosahatchee River where we saw a few sailboats making their way west to the locks at our campground.

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Another thing we like about this campground is we nearly always see a bald eagle here and this trip was no exception as we spotted a solo eagle sitting in the top of a large live oak tree. He sat perched atop the tree for a couple of hours and it was a treat to see.

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Also near our site is a lovely little bar on the river called the Boat House.  It was a great spot for happy hour and a chance to take in the setting sun as we pondered our next move down to Bonita Springs Florida where we will spend three months hiding out from the worst of winter…

NOTE: We are now near at our winter site for the season at Bonita Springs, Florida…