Starke, Fl Day 2

May 15, 2023 It was a lazy morning on a partly cloudy 81 degree day. It will take us a couple of days to get into the “camping/traveling” mode where we have a regular routine. Auggie enjoyed his perch looking out the window to watch for squirrels.

I packed some fruit and cheese and at about 11:00, we took Hwy. 16 though the town of Starke to find Kingsley Lake. The trick would be finding lake access to see the lake. We traveled around the NE side of the lake and didn’t find any public access. Around the south side of the lake we discovered Camp Blanding–Air National Guard Joint Training Center which took up most of the lake access on that side. Unless we wanted to trespass, we would have to find another way to get a glimpse of the lake. Looking at the GPS map, you can see the circular shape of the lake.

We decided to leave there and drive a few miles to Green Cove Springs.

We visited this area by boat about 13 years ago on our boat trip down the St. John’s River. Today, we took a walk on the city pier and into the city park to look at the swimming pool near the actual natural mineral springs.

We remembered being here back then, but the park has really been upgraded to become the gem of the city. The next stop on our drive today was to Moosehaven in Orange City, just a few miles away.

Our friend and fellow resident of Tropic Isles, Hank Vitan, will be moving here June 1. We took a drive around the grounds after checking in at the gate and showing our Moose card. I’m sure Hank will enjoy it here along the St. John’s River.

We continued on our drive and Bob surprised me with a stop at Whitey’s Fish Camp hoping we could have a beer and some lunch.

Unfortunately, Whitey’s didn’t open until 3:00 on Mondays, but we were still able to walk around the area. The significance of Whitey’s is that we had visited here on that same boat trip down the St. John’s River years ago. We had anchored our boat in Doctor’s Bay, a branch of the St. John’s River, and took the dinghy to shore for lunch at Whitey’s.

It brought back good memories of our time spent on the river and we were glad Whitey’s was still there after all these years. In fact, they added a tiki hut area and enlarged the outside seating area. Business must be good!

On our drive back , we tried one more time to find access to Kingsley Lake via Lake Rd. This is as close as we could get with a view from someone’s driveway.

We could also see the sandy beach at Camp Blanding on the other side of the lake via my zoom lens.

We got back to the campground around 2:30 to enjoy the rest of the afternoon outside with Auggie. It was a pleasant 84 degrees and very quiet. We relaxed a little before dinner and then took our evening walk with Auggie. Tomorrow we move to the Jacksonville North/St. Mary’s KOA just over the border into Georgia on the St. Mary’s River, about an hour and 15 minute drive. We don’t have to leave early because of the short drive, so it will be another laid-back kind of morning.

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