- Lisa Parsons
Little Manatee River State Park
We found another out of the way park to camp at in the interior part of Florida. Late in the day this park had three spots left. As we are finding the farther south we get in Florida the fewer open campsites we are finding. Luckily this little park had spots left.
Upon arrival we took a walk out to a fishing point along the river.
Some of the local wildlife
At the point we met a couple relaxing at a picnic table. We struck up a conversation and found out they have been nomads for 6 years. They retired at 55. He was the bridge operator in the famous Mystic Connecticut. They started their retirement with bicycle touring across the U.S. They saw the U.S. by bike for about 3 years. Then they moved on to a van. Finally, they sold their house and most of their belongings in Mystic. Then they hit the road in an R.V. Now they spend quite a bit of time in Florida during the winter.
They told us they schedule all their campsites a year in advance and spend 2 weeks at each campground. They said they loved the travelers life and had no intentions of giving it up anytime soon. They worked the same jobs and lived in the same place all their lives, raised their kid, and now just want to live the life of RV Nomads.
Morning hike along river nature trail
It was great to meet fellow travelers and share stories. They inspired us. They had spent many years on the road and still enjoyed the journey. As the sun was setting we walked back to camp with them and their lap sized poodle (much easier to manage in an RV). Then said our goodbyes at the campground. As we were walking back to our site we met another woman who was traveling solo. We commented on her pink and yellow beach cruiser parked next to her Sprinter Camper Van. She was from Couer d' Alene which is very close to where my parents live. She was now a nomad too. She left in October to get away from the winter weather up north.
The campground was surrounded by forest of oaks and pines. Each camp was surrounded on three sides by the vegetation. We settled in for the night. We were finally enjoying the warm evening air and the clear night sky that we'd heard about in Florida.
For more information on this park and campground visit the Florida State Parks web page for Little Manatee River State Park