Hitch 'N' Go  #082
Kissimmee, FL

August 2012

AWESOME August social camp-out! - in many ways!

Eight couples traveled to Hillsborough River State Park in Thonotosassa the 4th weekend of August to spend time together socially before our dancing schedule begins again in September.

Three couples arrived on Wednesday, August 22nd. Tom & Jeanne arrived to find their reserved site covered in water. They managed to set up camp elsewhere just as the rain started up again in earnest. Sometime later, Phil and Deanna arrived to the same predicament; they were then able to set up near Tom and Jeanne. Few hours later, George and Sandy arrived, their site also inhabitable so they settled near the 2 couples. After the 3 RVs were set up, probably to keep them clean inside (!), the 3 couples stood quite awhile outside with umbrellas in the rain catching up on their news! Soon it became time to get out of the rain, go into our RVs where we stayed for the rest of the day - we had plenty of water all around us outside!! Quite an awesome sight!

Thursday, we had Eddie and Joyce, John and Wilma plus Steve arrive throughout the day. The day was gorgeous but they also had flooded campsites, so they were given different sites. Earlier that morning, a park ranger came by and suggested the Wednesday arrivals move from their sites if they wanted to because the park staff thought more rain was scheduled with more flooding. There was confusion, however; one couple moved while the other two were not able to obtain new sites. So it was great the rest of the weekend stayed dry for them! It was possible to hike and bike throughout the day; the state park is immense, giving us plenty of awesome places to check out and explore! 

Friday, Ron and Sue, John and Karen plus Sharon arrived. The day was spent in many different ways by the folks: visiting, exploring, relaxing; several went out to Sergio's for dinner. The park had tram tours that evening so the ones who stayed at camp went on the early tour while the diners went on their return after eating. The tour was very interesting and educational; amazing and awesome how big the park is and how much goes on at Hillsborough!

On Saturday, John and Wilma's son and daughter-in-law, Steve and Sheila, arrived to spend the rest of the weekend with us. John and Wilma will soon celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary; Steve and Sheila wanted to surprise them with a cake. Phil suggested we make hot dogs on a stick for supper. That suggestion progressed until we ended up with a complete pot-luck supper! Thanks to everyone who donated! To make it even better, it was learned we could use the pavilion! Huge building along the river with a fireplace where our hot dogs were roasted! Plenty of tables to set up our feast which included 2 cakes, peach cobbler and ice cream! It was awesome!

On a personal note: when Tom and I changed our site, we had no idea we were given a camp volunteer host and hostess site (obviously there was not a couple there at the time). We soon discovered the fact though as other hosts came by to greet us and one of our neighbors came over to ask what events were scheduled. That neighbor remained very friendly throughout our stay, giving us wood, his newspaper and just showing general curiosity on their part who all of us were. So, when we gathered for our pot-luck, we invited them to join us...which they did. Soon they learned we are a square dance camping club. I asked Ron if he could give a short intro to them as they told me they were not familiar with square dancing. Ron graciously did, not once but twice. She danced, he did not due to an injury, but then we were able to get Steve and Sheila on the floor - what an awesome time we all had!

To cap off the evening, there was a slide show given by a park ranger later that evening. She did a segment where she played the sounds of some of the creatures found at the park. One was the call of a Barred Owl, which she mentioned having seen on several occasions; she even knew where the nest was. Soon after playing that sound, we saw a Barred Owl fly from one tree to the next. She played the sound several more times; we could see the owl react but it stayed in the tree....however...soon another owl flew out from a tree over to it and they had a major conversation for awhile before they flew away! To see and hear that! Now that was totally awesome!! 

Jeanne Hartwig,
August 27, 2012

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