Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Places Where Time Stands Still

My home for 2 years in North Texas
There are RV resorts, where likely you get all the amenities that let them charge the big bucks to spend the night. Next are your campgrounds, maybe a little less luxurious and usually more rustic in appearance. I've also stayed at some motor camps that have endured over the ages as an economical place to settle in. Be it for a day, or 10 to 15 years. Lets face it, there is a need and a purpose for out of the way places where life is slow, the expense is low, and you can live a quiet life without bother from the rat race of modern life.

My last two years of residence in North Texas back in the early 2000's was such a place. A mobile home park that had been around since about the
Every campsite comes with a covered boat slip
second world war. Many older homes, and a few RV's that had long ago seen their better days. The plus to such a place is the trees have been around long enough to mature and give the appearance of cozy seclusion. An ambience if you will, that just can't be found alongside the freeway around the A-frame office structure of the familiar KOA campgrounds you see today.

Yesterday I experienced an old Fish Camp where time has stood still for well over 70 years. A secluded getaway where those
Abandoned and sunk, the results of many Gulf Storms
interested in dipping a line and drowning some minnows came long ago to stay.

Nothing's changed since the brick office building, bar, store, and bait house (All in one structure) was built back in the 1930's. Very little has been maintained either. Cobwebs and Spanish Mose hang from the rafters, remains of long abandoned boats lay where they were last used. Some filled with vegetation, others laying upside down in their slip. Sunk in the mud and left where they lay, the owners not able to afford having them salvaged.

The owner, an ex Marine from the Vietnam War, calls this place home. Not interested in improvements, he likes the peace and quiet of a small venture that calms his memories of violent times decades ago. After serving in Nam, he went to South America and lived the same experiences
A world travel boat sits sunken in the channel
he had been accustomed too in the military. It changed him, now he leads a very simple life running his Fish Camp that has become lost in time.

Now it's more important to him that he takes in those who need a second look. A chance to live peacefully. Yes his place is run down, but it is orderly. The rules to staying there, and his vigilance, have cleaned up the social problems while maintaining the simple ambience that keeps him there.

The boat that rest along the channel entering this secluded spot from open water has a story. It's
My spot nestled in between the ancient oaks
history takes it down to South America, and many far off ports that echo some of the life of the proprietor. Doing battle with the Coast Guard, they wanted it removed and the channel cleared, he has for now succeeded in his efforts to declare it part of the soul of his serene establishment.

Life doesn't move fast here, in fact it stands still. What little turn over there is in residents is insignificant. I took the only vacant spot in the circle for my one nights stay that only happened because a friend from 40 some odd years ago is staying there for a good part of the year. Because I was a friend of someone respected in
A questionable camp bathroom with more abandoned boats lined up
the park, check in was limited to my first name, and little questioned about my plans or ability to accept the rules. Because they were ill equipped to handle a coach with large holding tanks, requiring me to buddy up with my friend to empty my tanks then relocate to my parking spot, I got a sizable discount on my nights stay.

It's very clear the owner is more interested in maintaining a caliber of  people that suit his personality than in making as much profit as the market will bear. All I needed was a chance to visit for the evening with my old friend, empty my full waste tanks and refill my fresh water tank, and a quiet spot to get a good nights sleep. Mission accomplished, and very well I might add.

Old dilapidated RV's are still home to someone
History is an interesting hobby. Life was different in the old days, and if you're lucky you can stumble across places like this hidden away from the fast pace of modern society. It was a winding narrow little road that took me 5 miles away from the modern life of suburbia and stip malls. I kept my fingers crossed that there would be space enough to get me turned around when it was time to leave.  It was close, and I had to be careful not to clip any low hanging branches as I weaved my way through a campground that was built back when RV's amounted to  small little spartan trailers with only the essentials in the way of conveniences.

If you can look past the rundown demeanor of places like this, accept that this is all some people can afford, you might just realize that it isn't such a bad way of living after all. Peace and serenity trump glitz and glamor every time. If your mind is happy, your body will adapt. That said, this morning I packed up and headed on down the highway to the next Walmart Super Center as I continue my travels.  I think that's a McDonald's across the highway, time for a burger.











11 comments:

  1. EXCELLENT post !! Wonderful place to stay, so peaceful, so serene !

    My regards, Lucy.

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  2. Your information and insight are proving invaluable as I lay the foundation for my future as a turtle. No matter where they go they always have their home with them. My sons approve and are enjoying the info as well.

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    1. Thank you Charyl, glad you find my writing useful and enjoyable.

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    2. I have been looking for a fish camp in FL. Two I checked on were closed. Would you let me know the name of the one you spoke of? Thank You

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    3. Andrea I'd be happy too. http://www.lakecountyfl.gov/enjoying_lake_county/accommodations/details.aspx?ListingID=49

      That is the link to information about the Pine Island Fish Camp on Lady Lake, south east of Ocala. If I post an article while I am still there I don't say where it is for security reasons. Now that I've moved on I'm happy to share that information.

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  3. Do you have any seaside adventure in your repertoire?

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  4. Mare, Not yet, I just got to the Florida coast recently. All in good time.

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  5. HEY Curtis,
    Loved the story about the old fish camp. Sounds like a nice quiet place to visit. How do I get ahold of the place? Website or a email?
    Sounds interesting and sounds like you don't have to have a 2000 or newer model rv?
    Many thanks,
    Lynne

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    1. Pine Island Fish Camp on Lake Griffin, near Lady Lake Florida. Google the name for more information.

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  6. HEY Curtis,
    Loved the story about the old fish camp. Sounds like a nice quiet place to visit. How do I get ahold of the place? Website or a email?
    Sounds interesting and sounds like you don't have to have a 2000 or newer model rv?
    Many thanks,
    Lynne

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  7. If you want to know about a few places in Fla. let me know. I can tell you a few beaten paths off the road. ;) We lived in fla for around 14 years. But finally left when hurricane Charley was coming. I knew it was going to hit us way before it hit the Gulf. I got a built in radar for those things. I could predict within 30 miles where they were going to land and how big a storm it was going to be.
    We lived in a sailboat for 6 years. Then bought a house. I miss the boat more..
    Lynne

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