Travel dates : January 19 – 23, 2016
After a few days at Myakka State Park we said, “later gator” and continued north. We had our eyes set on getting to Montgomery, Alabama by January 29, so that’s where we were headed. The next reasonable stop without driving too far was O’Leno State Park about 30 miles North of Gainesville, Florida.
Unlike Myakka State Park we didn’t do much at O’Leno. It’s a very small state park and even the park rangers office/visitor’s center is only open on the weekends. Plus, it was cold while we were here – so we did a LOT of just hanging out in the Airstream, doing homeschool, and catching up on work and sleep.
This park has a LOT of deer. I didn’t get any photos – but we saw them often in the trees and in the empty campground spots.
We were originally only going to stay at O’Leno State Park two nights, but ended up extending our stay two extra days after the place we were headed (St. Andrews State Park) was expecting severe storms. St. Andrews State Park ended up having tornado warnings the night we were supposed to be there, so I’m glad we changed our plans to stay put until after the storm. Read my post about severe storms and what apps we use for planning.
One of our days at O’Leno we headed south to Gainesville to the Florida Museum of Natural History. We had FREE admission thanks to the ASTC Travel Passport program which we are a part of thanks to our Museum of the Rockies membership.
This museum was wonderful! It tied in so much from our travels around Florida – St. Augustine, De Soto Memorial site and even Civil Rights in the south. It was definitely worth the 40 minute drive from our campground.
We also went to Trader Joe’s and stocked up on groceries. . . because it wasn’t far from the museum and the only one we’d seen in awhile. I love Trader Joe’s, don’t you?
And we also took the opportunity to fill up one of our propane tanks at a Gainesville U-Haul location because the temps in the low 30s had us using our propane furnace overnight. (By the way, we use a nifty app called All Stays to easily find places selling propane (and for truck stops and camping spots). It’s $9.99 but we’ve found it’s worth the cost for functionality and information!)
We left O’Leno on January 23 and ended up hitching up in a light snow fall. I’m not kidding – tiny, tiny specks of snow were falling from the sky (in Florida!) when we hitched up at O’Leno. Of course they weren’t sticking, but I swear it was snow and others were reporting snow on Weather Underground, so I know weren’t the only crazy ones!
So that was O’Leno! It wasn’t thrilling or overly exciting, but it was a nice place to relax for a few days before continuing on. From here we head up to the Florida panhandle – specifically St. Andrews State Park and Henderson Beach State Park. . . stay tuned for details about that!
Have you been to O’Leno State Park before? Have you been to the Florida Museum of Natural History?