We left Ortona Lock on Sunday, December 30. We knew we were in a holiday weekend, so we made reservations at a Wildlife Management Area Campground called, "Fisheating Creek". The price was right at $25 per night and it sounded nice, so we made the reservation for a week. It is a very different campground than we normally stay in. I very much liked and disliked this place all at the same time. If you read on, I will try to explain.
The drive was only about 40 miles, so the travel day should have been easy. We arrived at just after noon. The problem is they do not allow you on your site without a charge before 3PM, so we went back to Labelle and did some shopping at Walmart and then had lunch in the parking lot. I ended up having a nice conversation with a local guy that parked next to us. I learned a lot about the area and what to watch out for. I guess we were meant to meet.
We came back to the park and all went well until we tried to back in to our site. I kind of messed up the passenger side back in and Kim was no help because all of the neighbors had to come out to talk and offer advice to us while we were getting set up. This is a clear indication that this place was filled with families camping for the holiday weekend. Experienced RVers know not to bother you while you are getting set up.
For most of the week we were there, the music was playing until the quiet hour (it did shut down on time) and started again at 7AM. There were kids running and playing in our site and then to top it off, our neighbor pulled his truck in to our site and changed the oil. In this type of situation, we just shut the blinds and turn on the AC and stay in our own little world. We really do like seeing the families out enjoying camping, but it would be great if they could do without the loud music.
The crazy thing about this place is that it is built right on a beautiful creek that runs through the WMA. I found that I could walk a hundred yards and be all by myself in the peace and quiet of the WMA. It was like two different worlds.
The water in the creek was clear with a tint of brown. The Cypress trees that lined the banks were very interesting to look at. I really enjoyed the quiet and solitude.
There were lots for birds along the creek and enjoyed trying to get a good picture of one.
|Wood Storks flying overhead|
Once the long weekend was passed, we decided to go for a paddle on the creek. The current was slow enough that a round trip down the creek and back was very doable. I went down to the boat ramp to talk to the outfitter. A family was just returning from a paddle and I asked them if they saw any Alligators. Their response was "Over a hundred". Hmmm...better not tell Kim that.
We got the boat set up and headed out. It was a beautiful day for a paddle.
We had only paddled about 100 yards when we spotted this guy.
I don't think we saw hundreds of Alligators, but we agreed on about 30 on the way downstream, and we saw the same ones on the way back.
|This guy looked quite menacing with his mouth open.|
It was a beautiful paddle with lots of wildlife. We will remember this one for a long time.
On the return trip we saw these two large Alligators on the bank of the creek. I guess we got too close, so one made a very quick and loud move into the water in front of us. Kim's question was, "where did he go?" He finally surfaced just a few feet in front of our boat. That was exciting!
|I did not capture the splash, but it startled us.|
|There he is!|
|A couple more big boys.|
|We saw lots of Ibis, Blue Heron's and Egrets. I think this is a Night Heron, but I am not sure.|