Lake City Extended Stay

Lake City Formerly Alligator (on the downtown square)

I came to Lake City, Florida for a week. I liked the area so I decided to stay an extra week. The weather up north had been bitterly cold and was extending into northern Florida. The evening temperatures dropped below freezing. Then the weather improved for a few days.

I have an appointment to keep in northern Indiana at the end of January. My intentions were to travel to Chattanooga on Wednesday and visit my friends Terry and Helen again. I would leave the RV there then proceed northward in the car. The cold weather and snow moved deep into the south again. Once again the evenings have been at or below freezing. I extended my stay until Thursday while keeping a watch on the temperatures in Chattanooga. I have extended the stay by a day again. I will be leaving on Friday now.

I have not felt like driving long distances for site seeing. Nor have I wanted to stay inside the RV all day. On Monday I drove to Lake City to check out Lake DeSoto. It is a public lake two blocks east of downtown. There is ample free parking near the lake. Shands Lake Shore Regional Hospital sits to the northeast corner of the lake. A one way road encircles the water with a designated walking path on the inside of the road. I walked around the lake twice passing or being passed by fellow walkers and runners. It was only a half hour walk, but it was exercise.

Anhinga on Lake DeSoto
Great Blue Heron on Lake DeSoto
Tricolored Heron on Lake DeSoto

The best parts of the lake were the many types of water fowl that roost there. Great Blue Heron, Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron Coots, Egrets, Muscovy ducks and others. There were plenty to see. A man with two young girls brought loaves of bread to tear up and toss to the ducks. Not exactly nourishing but I’m sure the ducks enjoyed filling their gullets. They followed the girls in anticipation then swarmed to get their fill.

On Tuesday I returned to Alligator Lake and hiked the three miles Montgomery Trail again. There is a boardwalk that extends off to the south side and dead ends a short ways up. I checked it out. I heard a loud splash as I reached the end. A search of the weeds below found an American Bittern resting on a dead tree. This bird presented an ideal photo opportunity but I had not brought my camera. Always be prepared.

American Bittern Hidden in the Weeds (from iPhone)

I passed a handful of people along the trail. One elderly woman told me she had seen some alligators ahead in the water. The temperatures were cool and I had my doubts about gators being out. The woman also volunteered that she had vision problems. I figured that she was mistaking pine branches in the water for alligators. There was a distinct resemblance between the floating branches and an alligator.

I finished the three mile trail in one hour. The birds were the same as I had seen on the other visits to Alligator Lake, Great Blue Herons, Blue Herons, Snowy Egrets, White Egrets, etc., etc..
I enjoyed the walk and fresh air.

On Wednesday morning I returned to DeSoto Lake where I completed two laps around the waters then ventured downtown to take some photos.

Courthouse on Lake City Downtown Courtyard

I walked along North Marion Avenue. A small Italian restaurant, Sal’s Italian Deli advertised “The best Coffee in Town”. I put it to the test. It was good but I cannot say it was the best. The deli is divided into two sides. To the left is an Italian pizzaria and sandwich shop. On the right is a fudge and dessert shop. I went to the right and ordered an apple turnover with coffee. It cost $2.05. I was very pleased with the price until I got the turnover but no coffee. “And the coffee?” I inquired. The girl at the register looked and me blankly and replied, “Sorry, I didn’t get that part of the order.” She rang up another $2.47. I was handed a paper cup and pointed toward two urns. It was serve yourself. The turnover was served in a styrene to go container that they slapped into the microwave when I asked to have it heated. I asked if they didn’t have any plates. Once again, I was met with a blank stare. After a moment another employee replied, “No. That’s how we do it.” The turnover was a let down. The dough was flakey but difficult to cut. It was chewy. The apple bits were large and tasted good. It would have been better without the dough. I finished up then walked around downtown a while.

Downtown Mural

There is a nice mural on the side of a building downtown. Also, I found the Halpatter Brewing Company on NE Hernando Ave. but they did not open until 3:00PM. I was not going to wait around two hours. I returned to the campground for the afternoon. One more day and then I head north.

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