Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Apopka, Florida to Sioux Falls, SD.

Mon, March 18th - Mon, April 22nd

This is John's first attempt to get around after his surgery.  Sixteen days after surgery they removed the staples and put him in a boot, so he could get around without the crutches, a big improvement.

 While John spent his days with his foot propped up on the couch, I got back to my training routine for the RAGBRAI in July.  For those who don't know, it's an annual bike ride put on by the Des Moines Register crossing Iowa from the Missouri to the Mississippi in seven days, "Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa".   I saw this pair of Sand Hill Cranes near the industrial park right in Apopka on one of my first rides.

This is the Veteran's Memorial in the Apopka City Park near the 24-mile bike path that runs through the center of town.

This is a Buddhist Temple right along the West Orange Bike Trail, near the center of the trail and next to one of several very nice comfort stations along the trail.

This is a really nice trail.  About five miles from the southern end it goes right through the very quaint and pretty, old downtown of Winter Garden. 

There is a museum and an old train car on the right where you cross the cobblestone street diagonally and the path continues through the archway right down the median between quaint, little shops and restaurants.

A couple blocks further along, looking back at the fountains.

A couple miles further on, Live Oak trees drooping with Spanish Moss in the little town of Oakland, settled in 1844 by a group of South Carolinians who brought a hundred slaves with them.  It was prime agriculture land for fruits and vegetables, which still is a major part of the economy here. 

Neighbors next to us in the KOA campground at Apopka.  Yes, "Life is Good",  even if it was 91 degrees our last two days here.  John had his last follow-up appointment with his surgeon on Friday, April 12th and we left on Saturday morning making a quick two-day trip to Sioux Falls, where he started eight weeks of physical therapy.

A view of the Arch as we drove through St. Louis.  We were here many years ago when our kids were young and did the ride to the top of the arch.  John was very surprised to see how much the city had changed and grown and the improved highways through the city, just since he last drove truck through here less than four years ago. 

We arrived at Dawn's on Monday just a few days after the big ice storm.  On Tuesday she had a couple guys here cleaning up the mess on the ground.  On Wednesday three guys worked on cutting down damaged trees in her yard and hanging over both of her neighbor's yards.  The "boot" didn't stop her Dad from going out to do a little supervising.

There were power lines on the ground and hanging low in several places, but they seemed unconcerned.

I took these pictures from the second floor window, so he was up there quite a ways. 

It only took a couple hours to cut down all the damaged parts and haul it all out to the boulevard.

The boulevards looked like this all over town and it snowed a few inches again the next day.  But Friday the city guys came by and picked it all up.  Truckloads of branches have been going by all week.

It got up to 50 degrees on Sunday, but today (Mon, April 22nd) we are in a winter weather watch all day with six inches of snow predicted and it looks like we have that much already. 

What a change from the 91 degrees we left in Florida.  So glad we are staying with Dawn and left the camper at the RV place for it's annual checkup.  I sure hope they remembered to keep it inside or keep it plugged in until the weather gets warmer. 

We will be in Brookings May 21, 22 and 23 and heading for North Dakota on the 23rd or 24th.

Happy Spring to All,

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