The Phoenix Nest

Perry KOA, near Perry, Florida

Perry KOA, near Perry, Florida

A Target Destination on the Phoenix's Grand Fossil Tour

By Jim Fulton

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A Message from the Phoenix

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Abstract

I spent a week at the KOA in Perry, Florida. The weather got warmer as I moved farther into Florida. I took a day to visit the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, and its collection of fossils.

Page Prerequisites
Page Specifications
Id Flights_GFT_2018_0109
Title Perry KOA, near Perry, Florida
Subtitle A Target Destination on the Phoenix's Grand Fossil Tour
Keywords Perry, Florida, Perry KOA, Florida Museum of Natural History
Author Jim Fulton
Author's URL https://fenixnest/Phoenix/
Copyright 2018
Status Published: 2018/3/27
Last Revised 2018-10-21

Perry, Florida

Arrived 2018/1/9
Day of Tour 171
Nights Stayed 7
Departed 2018/1/16
Map miles from last stop 294
Mileage on arrival 29,940
Actual miles from last stop 285
Accumulated miles for trip 13,035

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I spent a week at the KOA in Perry, Florida. The weather got warmer as I moved farther into Florida.

I planned to stay in Perry, because of its proximity to Tallahassee, which a first look through Google told me had a museum with some fossils. A further search made that hope disappear, so I never visited Tallahassee, but I did find the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, which turned out to be well worth my while.

Perry appears to be one of those cities that has not recovered its economy after the crash. A feeling of dilapidation permeates the town, with only a few neighborhoods avoiding it.

Page Contents

The Journey to Perry

I crossed the Florida panhandle to get to the KOA in Perry, Florida, the first of six weeks in the state. (There are a lot of miles to cover along the coast of Florida, especially if your trip includes the Keys.) Google maps suggested a nice 300-mile trip of just over 4 hours along I10. But you seen one interstate you seen em all. So I tinkered, going south along the coast from Navarre to Panama City Beach, then cutting through the Apalachicola National Forest.

The Florida coast road was unlike the those I’m familiar with in Oregon and Washington. There mountains push down to the sea, creating high cliffs with far vistas over the ocean. There are no mountains in Florida; there's barely anything you might legitimately call a hill. The road was rarely high enough to permit viewing the Gulf beyond the breakwaters, which are likely as not covered in tall resort hotels. What view I had was in the gaps between the ceaseless strip of shops, ranging from upscale to shoddy. In places, though, there were dunes of the whitest sand I have ever seen.

The national forest was subtly different from the Pacific Northwest. The old forest, where it still existed, was a mixture of long-needle pine, live oak (hung with the traditional spanish moss), and palm trees. The forest floor was covered not with the PNW brackens and other ferns, but with tiny palms. The pine, a species foreign to the PNW, seems to be the preferred tree crop. Wherever there were gaps in the mixed old forest, pine had been planted. It was better than the cosmetic buffers of trees typically planted along interstates, but mile after mile of unchanging forest became wearisome.

What was more worrisome than wearisome was yet another adventure. When and adventure stems from my own ignorance or error, I can chalk it up as a learning experience to be laughed at. When someone else’s carelessness causes me time, money, and worry, I get annoyed. This adventure was one of the latter.

After six months and 14,000 miles, my truck was asking for an oil change, and I obliged. That was the Monday before I left for Perry. When I smelled fuel the morning I left, I presumed the mechanic had been careless with a rag. By the time I realized that his carelessness had resulted in a fuel leak (having to refuel every fifty miles finally made the message sink in), I was well past any mechanic that could fix it. When I got to Perry, I saw the drip from my engine. A local mechanic found and replaced the improperly installed fuel filter. And I sent the Alabama shop a sharply worded message and a request for a refund. I doubt they will acknowledge their error [they never did!], but challenging them in writing was therapeutic.

Perry KOA

The Perry KOA, in and of itself, is an attractive campground, with good-sized sites and lanes. My own site was located right under a huge live oak, hung with Spanish Moss, a perfect introduction to the deep South. The KOA staff were friendly and helpful. The traffic on highway running by the park was not heavy, so it was very quiet.

The neighborhood around the park, however, suffers from the general dilapidation of the town. Businesses seem to be having a hard time. Nonetheless, I was able to find a garage that could fix my fuel filter problem, as well as a couple good places to eat.

Photo Gallery for Perry KOA

Perry KOA
Perry KOA
Perry KOA
Perry KOA
Perry KOA
Perry KOA
Perry KOA
Perry KOA
Perry KOA
Perry KOA
Perry KOA
Perry KOA
Address 3641 South Byron Butler Pkwy Hwy 19 S
Perry, Florida 32348
Home Page https://koa.com/campgrounds/perry/
Phone Reserve: 800-562-9864
Info: 850-584-3221
Associations
Rate (net US$) $30.40
Pros
  • Spacious and attractive
Cons
  • Dilapidated neighborhood
Reviews (as of 2018/1/27)
Reviewer Rating Out of
RV Park Reviews 6.9 Good 10
Good Sam 8 10
KOA 4  
Tripadvisor 3 5
Phoenix 7 10
  Site Type pull-through  
  Site Size 8 10
  Ease of Access 8 10
  WiFiPhoenix 7 10

Points of Interest

I spent a day traveling over to Gainesboro to see the fossils at the Florida Museum of Natural History on the campus of the University of Florida.

Florida Museum of Natural History

The museum itself is attractive, in a lovely college setting. As usual, the photos here depict the museum as an institution. The photos of fossils are included below as a part of my comprehensive collection.

Photo Gallery for Florida Museum of Natural History

Florida Museum of Natural History
Florida Museum of Natural History
Florida Museum of Natural History
Florida Museum of Natural History
Florida Museum of Natural History
Florida Museum of Natural History
Florida Museum of Natural History
Florida Museum of Natural History
Florida Museum of Natural History
Florida Museum of Natural History
Florida Museum of Natural History
Florida Museum of Natural History
Florida Museum of Natural History
(Click to view full-sized photo.)
Florida Museum of Natural History
Florida Museum of Natural History
(Click to view full-sized photo.)
Florida Museum of Natural History
Florida Museum of Natural History

Fossils at the Florida Museum of Natural History

The fossil collection at the Florida Museum of Natural History was definitely worth my time, and I took lots of photos. As of right now, however, I am unable to show them to you, since I have begun planning a major consolidation of my fossil photo collection, and the time it would take to organize a temporary local collection, for each of the museums I have not yet shown to you, would impede that redevelopment. Furthermore, I'm not allowing myself to work on it until my weekly blogs are up to date. The photos will come, I promise you. It's only a matter of correcting a few bugs in the programming, thereby generating a few new bugs and correcting those, thereby ....

Onward

After leaving Perry I headed down to the Tampa/St. Petersburg area on the west coast of Florida.

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