2017-10-28 Troy, AL to Manatee Springs, FL

It rained a little in the wee hours of the morning as the front moved through the area. It was still overcast as we readied ourselves to leave and pulled out at 9:00. 

We had 297 miles to go today and we would end up in Florida at Manatee Springs State Park for 2 nights. I want to check out whether the manatees have started to migrate into warmer waters for the winter. Tomorrow we’ll clean and decommission the trailer for storage. We ran into more rain in Dothan, AL, about 15 miles from the Florida border. It remained cloudy throughout most of our drive through Alabama. We crossed the Florida border at 10:45 and the rain had lightened up.

Eventually, it stopped altogether and the sun peeked out. The temp quickly rose to 77 degrees with the warmth of the sun. Then there was the humidity. It was up to 64%. I didn’t miss the humidity at all on this trip. Being in the high desert and mountains for the last 2 months, we did notice how dry the air was, which effected our skin, nails, sinuses, and throats. It also dried out all the wood in the trailer and we noticed some shrinkage of cabinet panels. They’ll return to normal once we have more moisture in the air. We crossed the Apalachicola River and lost an hour just west of Tallahassee when we crossed into the Eastern Time Zone.

I love driving through northern Florida. Highway 19/98 from just east of Tallahassee to Manatee Springs was very quiet, with little traffic, and small towns. It reminded me of northern Wisconsin.

The clouds opened up letting more sunshine through and the temperature rose to 81 degrees. We arrived at our campground, Manatee Springs State Park at 3:30 CST. 

We’ll be here 2 nights before we head for home on Monday. We checked in at the Ranger Station and were assigned site # 49, Magnolia Loop.

After setting up, we had a cocktail outside before dinner. Auggie was tied out with us and spent his time chasing squirrels. It wasn’t long before we noticed a deer at the next campsite. Then another and another. The people were sitting outside playing cards while the deer just meandered around. 

They told us that the deer have been visiting on numerous days. Then across the street we saw a doe and her fawn. Later, 3 more deer wandered through the campsite next to us.

They did not seem afraid of anyone. That was so cool!

Later, Auggie started barking at something. We thought it was another deer, but it was an armadillo who came to visit.

It started getting dark and we finally moved inside to have dinner. After dinner, Auggie and I took our evening walk in the dark with a flashlight and then we all watched some TV. We had a long drive today.

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