FLORIDA TRIP - One Long Ride!! – Silver River State Park -- Thursday, January 20, 2011

Our plan was to get up early and get on the road to Silver River State Park in Silver Springs, Florida. Nancy had mapped it out and we knew it was going to be a long day. We decided not to take the interstate and take Route 27, a more scenic route. BIG MISTAKE!!   I REPEAT…BIG MISTAKE!!

The first couple of hours were great. We left around 7 am, shortly before sunrise.
The sunrise was gorgeous as we headed east on the Tamiami Trail to Rt 29 north.

We traveled for a couple hours before stopping for breakfast in Labelle. We wound up in a grocery store parking lot and struck up a conversation with a US born man with Mexican parents.
He told us all about the citrus crops and how they get harvested. He was quite a well-educated man and was very passionate about the farm workers' issues and the future of the citrus industry in Florida.

Shortly after breakfast, we got to Route 27 which runs through central Florida. Our memories of this route had been nothing but citrus for mile after mile. It started out just as we remembered it.

A quick stop for Citrus to take home!

Then, as our Labelle friend had pointed out, 50% of the citrus crop is gone. Yes, and it has been replaced with cities, cars, shopping malls and restaurants.
From just south of Sebring until we got to the campground just outside of Ocala,  we hit stoplight after stoplight, town after town, congestion after congestion.
The Citrus Trees are no more!

In all, 305 miles in 9 hours…that averages out to less than 36 miles an hour for the trip. That’s a long day!!

We were pleasantly surprised when we got to Silver River State Park…it is a beautiful park.
Our site is huge, level and close to the very clean and spacious bath house.

After setting up, we walked down to the river to see where we could launch our kayak.
Trail to the Silver River

The main reason we came here was to kayak up to Silver Springs. We quickly realize it is too far to carry the kayak to the river, so tomorrow we will figure another plan, weather permitting. But the view at the river was beautiful...sure hope we can get out to see more of it.

Nancy just checked the weather and it is supposed to start raining about 8pm tonight with showers off and on tomorrow. Oh well, we’ll see what tomorrow brings. As for now, we are both tired of driving and look forward to a good night’s sleep.


  1. We just did much of the same trip you are writing about. From LaBelle to Sebring is okay, but after, its traffic light after traffic light. We went from LaBelle up to Salt Springs, which is near Ocala.


  2. Well, we are following you up the road. We left Ocala this morning and stopped at Salt Springs Campground to check it out on our way back to Murrells Inlet, SC. This evening we are stopped off I-95 in middle Georgia for the evening.

    Vacations over ;o(

  3. That's just how we felt about taking 301 to Ocala....hope you get out on the river. It was really wonderful. We went from a local park dock just up the road from the park. Nice entry and exit.

  4. Sherry,
    We didn't get out on the river this time. Rained and cold weather...we headed home. But we did find Ray Wayside and will return to paddle this river again someday :o)