Dog Days of Summer

Dogs days of summer are upon us. We are still hanging out working in the Alligator Lake Recreation Park here in Lake City, Florida. With all the visitors we have had even on the hottest days here we have been keeping pretty busy with our duties. When we are not driving around on the Gator picking up trash, checking out the trails, cleaning the bathrooms, checking the trash cans and keeping the rental pavilion cleaned between uses we have been keeping busy with creating more handcrafted items, working on my websites, and entertaining my granddaughter during her visits while out of school. We have also had the big air conditioning unit die on us so we have had to replace it with two small window AC units. Thankfully, my brother was in town and able to install them properly. We had also, finally, ran out of propane and he helped me put in one of those “Stay-A-While” propane kits so that we can use the smaller, portable propane tanks you can exchange at our local Walmart. It seems to be working fine. We haven’t tried filling up our onboard tank with it. Instead, we have the smaller tank’s propane going directly into the RV. Don’t forget to keep your onboard tank’s valve off when you use one of these.

We had a dry spell for about a month but mostly since May it has rained quite a bit each month. This keeps people away from the park and it’s nice to know that the two coats of rubberized paint we put on the roof while we were still at Olustee Beach is still holding. The paint can states that it would last 10 years but we will probably redo it every other year just to be on the safe side. Of course, we may not have this RV by next year if we can ever find another one that we can afford and is big enough for all 4 of us. Yes, my youngest daughter, Katie, is still staying with us more and more except for when my granddaughter was visiting. She would much rather stay at my brother’s house hanging out with his pack but times are tight for his family too.

We do enjoy staying here in the park. We would really like to start traveling again. Other than the little problem of having to get another RV or getting a new motor for our current one we will also need to start saving up for campground fees and gas between each park. Then we would have to get new tires all the way around. That is 7 $250 per tire cost we really cannot afford right now. This old thing only gets about 8 miles to the gallon. From my research that is standard for most Class A’s and Class C’s out there. It would be neat to have a travel trailer but that means we will have to buy a truck to pull it. Not to mention that I would need to learn how to pull it, back it into camping spots, and make safe turns. I guess if I can drive a 30-foot class A then the travel trailer shouldn’t be a big deal. That reminds me I need to get my blood pressure medicine refilled.

I would still like to get on a predictable posting pattern for the website and I still have two Florida State Park Reviews that I need to finish from before we stayed at Anastasia but there are so many other things getting in the way. We have been making lots of items to sell and were getting ready for the big Florida Folk Festival in May but because of an application snafu, we were rejected on the day we were supposed to check-in. That cost us some big bucks. Now, with having to replace the AC unit we were supposed to pay for the big Christmas on the Square event in Live Oak, Florida for December but, sadly, that deadline has passed. Since we can’t seem to catch a break with the vendor’s fees I decided to create my own online store of all of our handcrafted items. That way we can start saving the fee costs of Amazon Handmade, Etsy and HandmadeArtist charges monthly and again when we actually sell something on them. http://swcstore.southernwomencrafts.com This new online store will not be opened, officially, until after the new year. That should give me a couple months to get all of our products online, looking good and making sure the website works as it should all the way from looking to buying to shipping. We have a newsletter function we are trying out for the site to begin collecting subscribers so please wander on over there using the above link and sign up. We hope to be sending those out once a month for now.

There are no workamping tips this month, or campground reviews, or even visits to one of our local Florida State Parks to talk about right now. We did go the Rum Island Springs county park for my granddaughter’s birthday last month which was very nice. We set up the canopy tent first thing in the morning over a picnic table and waited for the relatives to show up. She got to go swimming most of the time while we were there. It is a really nice little park but extremely busy every single day. The port-a-potty needed to be changed out and there was some trash in the picnic and swimming areas that we picked up but the park was shady and the water was ice cold. Next time we hope to be able to rent one of those inner tubes to float down the river a little ways just to see where it goes.

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Hoping Fall Comes Soon

Lemony Yellow in murky water May 2017
We are hoping that fall comes real soon here at Alligator Lake Recreation Park in Lake City, Florida. We have had some nice rain, stormy rain and some downright mean rain over the last couple of months in the North Florida area. In May and the beginning of June, most of the storms would wander all around us and not so much inside the park area where we are currently working/living in our old Class A RV. We still open and close the entrance gates Tuesday through Sunday. Mondays we get to sleep late. Which is really quite nice. A couple of times over the past few months it was raining pretty good when it came time to open and one of the park’s maintenance guys would drive over in his truck and unlock the gate for us. Let me tell you that was really nice as there was a time or two over the last couple of weeks, before my daughter came back, that I was riding around in the rain trying to make sure everyone had left and I could lock us in. That’s okay if I had wanted a shower right about then but that’s life in the workamping world. You just never know what kind of day you will have.

Yes, we are still here at the park and come the 1st of October we will have been here a year. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we just can’t get another assignment for a while yet. Thankfully, the park department’s manager and secretary don’t mind us being here and we have been doing a good job. They finally, got someone to work over at Falling Creek Falls this month and the regular winter couple should be back by September or October. So that is a big help to the park personnel. If you get a chance and want to know more about the area try the county’s information website and app at SPRINGRUS.COM

Not much going on right now just trying to stay cool, work around the park and create new items for our new online store I am currently working on: http://swcstore.southernwomencrafts.com We have a post next week with more details on that and other things we have been working on over the summer. In the mean time, we hope you will enjoy the picture galleries below of our lovely park in May, June, and July.

May in the Park

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June in the Park

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July in the Park

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Half Way at Alligator Lake Park

We are half way through our stay at Alligator Lake Park here in Lake City, Florida. We had agreed to stay for 12 months here as we wanted to get off the road for a little while and fix up our RV and hopefully build up my writing and craft items. So far, we haven’t been able to save any money towards the new RV motor but we have been building up our craft items we have for sale. Of course, we are still working on getting ready for being a vendor at the Florida Folk Festival at the end of May.
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Free North Florida Springs – Part 4

Free North Florida Springs – In our forth and final episode in the series we will be listing a couple of the free springs left on our list and relisted a few of the websites you might want to “favor” or “bookmark” for future reference. Again, please remember that all of the springs we have listed are located somewhere along one of the rivers, have a tendency to flood several times a year and do not have the same amenities as the ones in our Florida State Parks. Also, please do not harass the local wildlife, bring mosquito repellent, wear water shoes to swim and always bring along someone who is a better swimmer than you are. The buddy system works for a reason. Most of these places are in the middle of a wildlife and/or wilderness area and you do not want to swim alone. Finally, please be kind and take your trash with you or at least use any trash cans that may be provided. Leave only footprints and take only pictures.

Resources

Checking River Levels: http://www.srwmd.state.fl.us/index.aspx?nid=253
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Free North Florida Springs – Part 3

Free North Florida Springs – In part three of our series we want to introduce you to a little known spring located with the Troy Springs Conservation area and Ruth Walker Tract. In fact, it is located off the same hard road as Troy Springs State Park. The area is run and maintained by the Suwannee River Water Management District so there are not a lot of amenities. There is, of course, no charge to visit the springs but be aware that this one is located down a not well maintained dirt road after traveling down a crushed rock road. There is no sign leading down to the spring itself you just got to find it. It took us two tries to finally locate the place but it was well worth it. The springs area is fortified with large wooden beams. There use to be a wooden walkway leading down but when we visited there (May 2013) it was almost gone. There is a parking area around the spring but no port-a-potty or picnic tables. It is used and kept clean mostly by local residents. The best direction we have found on another website: http://www.flsprings.com/content/ruth-spring
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