Some pretty driving on the way to and from a couple of flea markets

A street tunnel from spreading oak trees and Spanish moss

A street tunnel from spreading oak trees and Spanish moss

The last couple of days we have set up at some different flea markets. One of the neat things about our time here in Florida is that we are seeing a lot of areas that are new to both of us. On our way to Stokes Market in Crystal River we drove down a street that looked like it was a tunnel comprised of huge wide spreading oak trees draped in flowing garlands of Spanish moss.

We also have seen some absolutely magnificent horse farms. For miles we passed one after another farm with signage indicating the race horse stable, equestrian training center, and even a polo club. Each had elaborate masonry flanking huge wrought iron double gates, many of which had the farm logo or name displayed in the gates.

Tree farms on both sides of the nice four lane highway

Tree farms on both sides of the nice four lane highway

We also drove through some wide open cattle country. One pasture, obviously irrigated, must have had over 400 or so yearly steers and heifers. It was common to see large pastures with huge tree farms in between. We also saw several timber hauling trucks loaded with incredibly long fresh cut pine logs destined to be telephone poles somewhere.

All in all Sher and I have enjoyed the pretty scenery of central Florida. Some areas we have driven through have not been so pretty, but we just enjoy th real pretty ones.

 

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This Walmart lot looked like an RV park

That's our Four Winds on the right.

That’s our Four Winds on the right.

Ever pull into a Walmart parking lot for an overnight stay and it looks like a paved RV park? This happened to Sher and I tonight when we pulled into the Walmart at Chiefland, Florida. We had just been through the Chiefland Flea Market grounds and did not see a good place to park for the night. (We are either going to set up tomorrow for the weekend or just shop the market and maybe set up Saturday and Sunday.) So off to the Walmart we went.

There is also a nice diesel pusher behind the other coaches

There is also a nice diesel pusher behind the other coaches

We spotted the Walmart on Highway 19, aka North Young Blvd. and saw several RV’s already in the far side of the lot. I backed in a few spots away from a nice Itasca coach. As soon as we parked a sweet diesl pusher came in, followed by another nice C.

This rig is a monster from Ontario. Never seen anything like this before

This rig is a monster from Ontario. Never seen anything like this before

There was also a high riding rig of some type with a pair of spare tires mounted on the front. It looked like some kind of military comand vehicle. I had to walk around it and noticed Ontario plates. What a rig! Maybe I’ll get a chance to talk to those folks in the morning.

All RVers should thank the Walmart managers who allow overnight parking in their lots. And remember, it is a simple overnight stop, not a camping spot. Don’t set out the chairs, run out the awning and fire up the grill. Don’t ruin it for others!

Stokes Flea Market in Crystal River, Florida

Our RV parked adjacent to our vendor booth at Stokes Flea Market.

Our RV parked adjacent to our vendor booth at Stokes Flea Market.

We spent a couple of days at a long running flea Market in Crystal River, Florida. Open Tuesday and Wednesday each week, we set up on Monday night. The way the vendor spaces were set up allowed us to park the coach right next to the two spaces we needed to occupy.

Tuesday was kind of slow, but we did have some sales. Wednesday was much better, not only because there were more people, but also because the strong winds from Tuesday were gone on Wednesday. It is fun at the markets, because you always get to meet new people, or like today, even see some old friends.

We had a ball at a Speed King Auction

Speed King Auctions Evan Minck

Speed King Auctions Evan Minck

Auctions are one of the things that we like to attend where ever we travel. We found a great auction house on the north side of Lakeland, Florida. We spent a little time at one of their auctions a couple of weeks ago, but we went back today to stay for the entire auction.

The auction started around 1:00 pm (after being open early to view the goods) on the outside. Tables were set up in rows, and wow what a variety of goods were sold. First the hundreds of items on the outside were sold, then the action moved inside. There the ‘more expensive’ items were sold. Small items like jewelry and coins were shown on a large TV monitor.

Evan Minck is the owner and auctioneer of Speed King Auctions. Evan calls a great auction. He is fair,  honest, and straight forward in the way he manages the auctions he calls. No bid jumping here. If you are in the Lakeland area of Florida you should consider stoppping by Speed King Auctions. Check the auction house website for times and dates. You just might find something for your RV that you just can’t live without.

We did end up the successful bidder on some things at the auction and had a great time as well.

The Pilot truck stop at Haines City, Florida is RV friendly

Our home spot for the night

Our home spot for the night

We stopped at the Pilot truck stop in Haines City, Florida last night. This Pilot is great for RV travelors, and is truly RV friendly. It has a Denny’s for a meal, or of course the full range of hot and cold foods in the Pilot store.

This Pilot has two RV islands for fueling and an RV dump station. The dump station is not in the same island as the fueling pumps and is also about 15 feet past the pumps, which does require you to pump fuel and then reposition for the dump station, Not a big deal, but I have seen Pilot stations with the dump station(s) in the fuel islands.

The dump station at the end of the propane filling pad

The dump station at the end of the propane filling pad

The car lot worked for us for parking. With our 24 foot long Four Winds we usually find a spot near the outside edge, as you can see in the photo. Another bonus at this location was the strong “Cable WiFi” connection. Sher and I both were able to work online with no slowdowns. Sher tried the Pilot WiFi but (as is unfortunately usually the case) it was intermittent and slow.

Gas was $1.95 but we paid $1.92 with the Good Sam Club discount. This gas under two bucks is something we all can get used to!

This Pilot address is 35647 US Highway 27, Haines City, Florida, 33844. If you are in the area check it out.

 

 

 

Tractor show transportation

Recently the Florida Flywheelers antique tractor show was held near Ft. Meade, Florida. This huge (240 acres) site was filled with restored antique tractors and over 1500 vendors selling everything imaginable. To get around the grounds most used golf carts. However there were many different, strange, and unique vehicles utilized. IMG_1384_resizedIMG_1388_resizedIMG_1377_resized

Fresh Florida citrus

The produce stand by the side of the road.

The produce stand by the side of the road.

We were kind of out in the middle of the state when we happened across a produce stand. We had been by enough orange groves over the past few days to make us realize how huge the orange industry really is. I’m sure we saw only a fraction of the orange trees that are in the state.

We ended up with two “baskets” of oranges: one was navel and the second was a red variety. Are they ever delicious! We got a box of freshly picked strawberries as well. Yummy!

The young lady who was running the stand asked us how we liked traveling in our RV. She and one of her girlfriends are considering traveling all over the east coast next year to look at different colleges. We had a nice chat sharing our full time RV lifestyle with her.

Sam’s Beach Bar in Hudson, Florida

Nice sidewalk, sand, but not next to the water.

Nice sidewalk, sand, but not next to the water.

Today Sher and I headed over to Hudson, Florida in hopes of going to an auction nearby. The auction was not what we expected, and we were glad we got there early as we did not waste any time there. That is when we headed on to Hudson. We had yet to see the Gulf since we have been in Florida this winter. We found a great little “beach” in a city park. Note the quotes around beach. The sand was there, however it stopped at the sidewalk before the water!

The bar at Sam's Beach Bar

The bar at Sam’s Beach Bar

Right next to the sidewalk was a cute establishment named Sam’s Beach Bar. What the heck, let’s see what was on the menu. Things looked good, so we were seated out on the patio. The sun was out, the temperatrue was in the mid 70’s, and there was a very nice breeze.

Open air patio in the background at Sam's

Open air patio in the background at Sam’s

I ordered the 1/2 pound burger, topped with fixin’s including a great slab of cheddar cheese. It came with a good serving of seasoned fries. Sher had a side of fries and a large bowl of freshly made cole slaw. Tasty, tasty, tasty! We really enjoyed the meal. It was also fun sitting on the patio. We kept wondering how the place kept all the seagulls from attacking everyone’s food. There were tons of those birds, but they would not fly over the open patio at all.

Burger with all the fixin's and seasoned fries: it doesn't get any better!

Burger with all the fixin’s and seasoned fries: it doesn’t get any better!

Delicious freshly made cole slaw

Delicious freshly made cole slaw

 

Sam’s Beach Bar is worth your visit if you get to Hudson, Florida. (Hudson is north of Clearwater on Highway 19.) The parking was a city owned lot, pay your $2 and you are good ‘from dawn until dusk’ as the sign says. The view over the water was calm and peaceful, as was our meal at Sam’s.

Cloudy and cool today at Florida Flywheel

Tractor ready to start the pull

Tractor ready to start the pull

Today was cool and cloudy at the January Florida Flywheelers Antique Engine Club show. The lack of sunshine did not damper the activities. The crowds were moderate, at least those crowds that made it back to the aisle where we have our vendor spot. (We are set up in Row 70, spot 34, near to the tractor pull track.)

The digital reading in real time of the distanace the tractor has pulled. otice the sign on the sled: Antique, 5500 pound max tractor

The digital reading in real time of the distance the tractor has pulled. Notice the sign on the sled: Antique, 5500 pound max. tractor weight

Speaking of tractor pulls, I went over to the track this afternoon for the heavy weight antique tractor pull. Wow, was I impressed with the track and the way they operate the pulls. The track has digital readouts in realtime showing how far each tractor is pulling the sled. (The sled is a piece of machinery that the competition tractor pulls: the sled increases the weight as it is pulled along.)

The crowd watching the tractor pulls. There is another digital sign in the distance at the end of the track.

The crowd watching the tractor pulls. There is another digital sign in the distance at the end of the track.

The track offers plenty of seating for spectators, and of course lots of folks simply park their golf carts next to the track to watch. The track itself was in excellent shape. The rainfall a couple of days ago seemed to have helped by keeping the dust down. It was pretty cool to see a line of the old antique tractors waiting their turn to compete in the pulling contest.

First day of Flywheelers Show

She has a great seat to see the show.

She has a great seat to see the show.

Today is the official opening day of the January edition of the Florida Flywheelers Tractor show at Ft. Meade, Florida. The weather has been cloudy and breezy and cool this morning, with everyone waiting for the forecast sunshine this afternoon.

The crowds are stirring, with a moderate amount of traffic moving around the many many rows of vendors set up. Once again the variety of vehicular transportation being used is been fun to observe.

Another good way to get around.

Another good way to get around.

Looking for that bargain!

Looking for that bargain!

Three wheeler

Three wheeler