Sunday, October 23, 2011

March 2011 Continued

Homosassa, Florida is a snow birder's paradise. The local population's age and the large amount of filled RV parks confirms it. We stayed here for a week and enjoyed exploring a part of Florida we had not yet seen. The Turtle Creek RV Resort provided us with a great base for our touring.

Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park is the feature attraction of the area.

A huge fresh water spring feeds the river and attracts many manatee. The park itself is a refuge for the strange looking animal and they have a special tank they use for those that are sickly or wounded. When we saw the tank there were 5 manatees of different sizes and it was filled with cabbage heads, their favorite food.

The park boasts that all of its animals are native to Florida, except for one, a hippopotamus. Why, you may ask, is an African species found at a Florida park with all native wildlife? Well, Lucifer has lived there all his life. He was a big movie star when the park was an exotic animal park. Local residents took a special liking to Lu and often visited him between his many movies. When the park went to strictly native species Lucifer was bound for a transfer. You can imagine the demand for a 6,000 pound hippopotamus is not particularly high. When the locals caught wind of the intended transfer they put up a fight to keep Lu here. Needless to say their voices were heard and Lu was granted honorary state citizenship by the governor.
If you are ever in this area, this is a must stop. Plan on at least 4 hours for the visit.

Our next stop was Tyndall Air Force Base RV Park for another weeks stay. Tyndall is located on the southern city limits of Panama City, Florida and is the training center for the F-22 Raptor fighter jet. Again, our mission for the week was to explore the area. By the time we departed, mission was accomplished.

Panama City's claim-to-fame is its 27 miles of beautiful beach. They even have a beach dedicated for dogs. Way to go! We stayed pretty close to Tyndall and the city checking out the beaches and searching for good seafood. We took more down time than we had before. The RV park was big and very wooded so we walked a lot with "the boys". They loved it.

Speaking of the O'Doodle brothers, Guinness had the opportunity to swim and play in the bay across from the RV park. The water was quite calm and he did his favorite thing of swimming after a stick. The water was ocean water so very salty and he ingested a lot of it. When we got back to the RV, he became a bit unsettled. We guess the salt water played a number on his digestive system because all of a sudden he raced into the woods and began projectile expulsions and it wasn't from the mouth. This went on for more than an hour and we became very concerned. We made him drink lots of water to make sure he didn't get dehydrated. It took a lot out him and he didn't eat that night. He slept most of the rest of the day and all night. Next day he was fine.

Now it was Rosco's turn. The weather had gotten warmer and his long hair was making him uncomfortable. If you remember several posts back, his hair was extremely long (almost dragging the ground) and it seemed to be continuously growing. This is when he got his nickname as Fluffer Doodle. It was time, though, to do something about it.


Joyce had been a hairstylist in a previous life so she wanted to take a "whack" at it. She placed Rosco on the picnic table and got out the electric shears. It took almost an hour and a half but, the results were great and Rosco was ecstatic. He pranced, jumped and ran like he had been rejuvenated. Good job Joyce.


Our highlight for this destination was the annual air show at Tyndall Air Force Base. It was an awesome event with the culmination of each days activities showcasing an exhibition flight of the F-22 Raptor. This is an amazing aircraft. It can, literally, go straight up and "HANG" in the air. No movement what-so-ever, then continue to climb at Mach speed. Watch this video:

Our time at Tyndall was very pleasant and we will return to that destination. Next stop is Conecuh (kuh-neh-kuh) National Forest in Alabama about two and half hours north west of Panama City.

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