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Did you know that one of the state parks in Florida actually used to be a little gambling town? Or that a river actually disappears underground for 3 miles right in the park? We didn’t either until we stayed there in our Winnebago Travato 59K camper van. We are loving being retired and living this “No Man-Bun, No Bikini” style of Van Life!
There are so many things we did not know about Florida. For instance we thought the Santa Fe River was in Texas. Well, it is actually… but there’s a Santa Fe River in Florida too and it one-ups the Texas river by pulling a disappearing act. It was so cool to hike out to the place where a river actually disappears underground. The swirling water, logs, turtles and other wildlife at the mouth of the cave was mesmerizing.
And we didn’t have a clue about the cool history of the state park known as O’Leno. O’Leno actually stands for Old or Ole Leno. It was shortened to O’Leno as time went on. But it actually started out as a town that made the gambling game of Keno famous and got it’s original name from that… Keno. We often think that our current society is the only one that insists on things being politically correct but when they could not get the name of Keno registered for a post office in 1876 they just changed the name of the town to Leno, kind of like the guy who misspelled his girlfriend’s name on the water tower and just changed girlfriends. We also did not know that this is the oldest of all the Florida state parks! We thought it was going to be just a stop over on the way to something we thought was going to be cool. It turned out to be the cool stop on the way to something that might have been overhyped.