Our 2022 Born Free Rally began the evening of April 4th with a meet and greet led by Joel Lefkowitz. It was nice to welcome several first-time attendees. After a buffet of pizza, salad and ice cream, we were treated to a presentation by Paul Franklin. Paul and his wife Nancy are first-time rally members. Paul talked about his book “Backroads of Florida
.” We enjoyed his discussion of hidden spots in Florida.
After breakfast we traveled to THREE SISTERS SPRINGS WELCOME CENTER and trolleyed to the springs. A guided “Eco Walk” provided quite an insight into the ecology of the springs and Crystal River. An extra unexpected highlight was seeing a manatee and her calf in the river. Lunch was at Peck’s Old Port Cove, and what a fun and beautiful ride to Peck’s. Dinner was on our own, but who needed it after our lunch.
This morning we traveled to Homosassa Springs Wildlife state park visitor center where we took either a tram or boat to the actual park. There was such an array of native Florida animals including birds, mammals, alligators, manatees, even a panther and the non-native hippo, “Lu”. A “heavy appetizer” potluck was held that evening – dishes included Eric Sandstrom’s legendary “Roast Beast.” Nobody left hungry.
Due to inclement weather, our scheduled interpretive boat excursion on the CRYSTAL RIVER was cancelled. This enabled us to have a longer and more in-depth guided tour of the ARCHAEOLOGICAL STATE PARK. This site was in use for over 1500 years before suddenly being abandoned. Two temple mounds, four burial mounds and a museum tell the story of this peaceful culture. Dinner was held at Crump’s Landing, a fun restaurant on the waterfront.
April 8th: Our farewell breakfast was filled with goodbyes and promises to meet again.
Thirty-six attendees in 22 coaches from nine states enjoyed themselves immensely. Many thanks to Eric and Sue Sandstrom, and Joel and Sandy Lefkowitz for this wonderful rally experience!
By Cathy Bentz