After a couple of games of pickle ball, it was time to take care of business and go a little further north. I dropped off the Bounder at a service center to take care of the things on my list, except the awning, and went to Matlacha and Pine Island for a few hours.
Matlacha (mat-la-shay) is a quaint little village with colorful one-room stores alongside the road. Kind of reminds me of Woodstock with the types of stores, but the building colors make it unique - purple, fuscia, yellow - all bright and some have all those colors included! There is a county park in the village and I spent about an hour there planning my route up to northern Florida in the coming week.
Pine Island is a country type island but still has the upscale houses, restaurants,a nd resorts. There is one main road about 15 miles long. At the northern end, the homoeowners have their private beach and boat launch. They place Adirondack chairs (some painted in pastel colors) on white pebbles looking at the water - like what you see in paintings or on a calendar. Then, I passed by a cattle farm on the southern end. All along the way are palm tree nurseries, so I think the island ought to be named Palm Island - they far outnumber pine trees!
I took I-75 a couple hours north to Hillsborough River State Park, just outside Tampa. This park is the oldest one in Florida, established in 1968! I arrived at 5:30 and was set up about 6:45. It feels good to be in a regular campground - I was getting tired of openness all around me!
As I was finishing a meal of green and potato salads, Deb, a new friend I had only emailed up to this, came over to greet me and I ended up visiting them at their (Deb & Laura) site until after 11 PM! It was so easy to talk to them and we learned alot about each other in a few short hours!
I am here until the morning of 3/31 and will then head up to Tallahassee. I have an appt. at Camping World up there on Monday morning to get my awning arms fixed. I don't know where I will park the nights of 3/31 and 4/1, but I will be in Camping World's parking lot on 4/2 so that I can be taken care of first thing Monday!