First I have to say we had incredibly high temperatures this trip. It is snowing in Colorado and Iowa and we had a record high weekend. Ellie and I set up camp at about 3 pm and the rest of the guests started arriving at about 7 pm on Friday. We me Dylan the resident officer and he was just a joy to talk to and get to know! He has a great 2nd job there! We had a wonderful dinner of Baked Ziti, got everyone settled in their tents and took a hike around the meadow. We saw a beautiful rock dove, opossum and raccoon tracks and lots of butterflies. We came across a bobcat track and hog sign to. The kids had a lot of questions and they got to learn a lot! Tracy stopped by to make sure we were having a good time and filled us in on the property a bit more. I was nice to spend time with such a great group of people!
Everyone was settled down to sleep by 10 pm as we listened to a thunderstorm start to roll in. The kids got to see an armadillo rooting around the forest line from their tent. I got up and put all our supplies under plastic just as the late summer shower started. The light rain did not last long and soon after the moon was shining like morning into the door of my tent. Then the critters were out and about again. A raccoon was searching around and then a hog ran past the camp about 20 yards away along the brush.
Saturday morning we all had cinnamon rolls and biscuits and gravy – yummy! Soon we were off on the 1 mile hike to the canoes. Ellie found an armadillo skeleton not far from where we saw more bobcat tracks and there was lots of fresh hog sign from after the morning rain. After a little mix up we were loading in the canoes and headed out to the lake. What an amazing site – lots of butterflies and flowering water plants. Beautifully colored dragonflies zipped in between the flowers and butterflies to. The 10 minute canoe trip to the lake was pleasant and the view when we got there was near breathtaking – not a house in site! We traveled around the lake and took in the sights and then with the sky darkening we headed back to the docks to get the canoes locked back up. Dylan was there to meet us at the dock and wanted to make sure all went well for us – again he went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure we were all safe and had a good time! On the way back to the camp we took more photos of critters and local plants and the Edwin spotted a 14 inch snake just off the trail. It was a fat cotton mouth just hanging around to get its 15 min of fame. Of course we were like paparazzi and got some cool photos. On arriving back to camp we had hot dogs and baked beans and chips and started breaking down camp – the weather was turning bad fast now! We got all packed up except 1 tent before the rains hit. All packed up and on our way home, it was not long before the kids were fast asleep in the back seats!
The staff- Gail, Tracy, Patricia and Dylan were all amazing to work with! I can’t wait to book another event out there in the spring – after and before the bugs J. I cannot close without thanking them and the Lake County Water Authority for the opportunity to share this wonderful property with our group from Tampa!
If you missed this group trip and are interested in this location please contact us or the staff at Lake County Water Authority, this place is a must see if you are interested in the “Real Florida”