Osceola National Forest Workamping is a new experience for us. Not only are we in a forest but a national one at that. So the workamping rules and perks are slightly different than with our Florida State Parks. Originally we were slated to be campground hosts at Ocean Pond Campground but when we arrived the volunteer coordinator wanted us to go to the Olustee Beach Day Park and Boating area. Since, they currently do not have any park hosts in this area and have one at the campground we said, “Okay with us!”. And, for now, it is turning out to be similar to our Troy Springs State Park experience. We clean the bathrooms, mow the grass and open and close the gates each day.
Now for the differences. First, we are allowed to stay for 6 months here instead of the maximum 4 months with the Florida State Parks. National parks and, especially, forest and wildlife refuges have different guidelines for their live on-site volunteers. Mostly, because it is very difficult to get volunteers to stay from the late spring to early fall months. And, once you have proven yourself they are allowed to let you stay longer if you wish and it is needed. Just like the state parks, each of the national parks, forests and wildlife refuges do not have many problems getting volunteers to stay from October to the end of March. So, there is great opportunities here for those of us willing to stay in Florida during the “Non-Peak” seasons!
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RVing Authors is the second part of our blog series this week. We will be giving you a listing of all the writers we have found that are either part-time or full-time RVing and writing and publishing their stories for us to enjoy. Again, we hope you will support these writers by buying their books, sharing them with your friends, family and other travelers. We have them all listed in our OGA Store page under RVing Fiction so if you would go to that page and purchase your items we would greatly appreciate it.
Robert Angel writes the Dr. Ray Raether South Carolina Travel Mystery
Death, Lonely and Peculiar (Book 1) – 2013
Iroquois County folks said Hathaway’s Campground had seen better days. Folks old enough to remember. Now, all but a few of its forty campsites were closed for repair. The putt-putt golf course and fish pond lay virtually abandoned. The only recent improvements at this rustic institution were a sophisticated website and two huge signs out on I-95. The ‘resort’ they described had little in common with Hathaway’s Campground beyond its Highway 158 address. Two Iroquois County deputies answered the Sunday morning 911 call. It took only a quick look to persuade them this was just another of Hathaway’s “Off I-95” suicides. They even found two large prescription pill bottles, one full, one empty, beside the body. Retired USC professor, Dr. Ray Raether, though, didn’t agree. Ray and his constant canine companion, Samantha, had been in their Aliner just across the road the previous day when their new camping neighbor arrived. They’d gone over to help set up her tent. Ray had encountered his share of suicidal students at USC. Even more drug abusers. The vivacious young woman he met across the road at Hathaway’s was neither suicidal nor a drug abuser. Ray would stake his Aliner on it. But if not suicide or a drug overdose, what explained her death?
Death, Long Long Ago (Book 2) – 2014
Retired Professor Ray Raether and his constant canine companion Samantha arrive at Iroquois State Park early Sunday afternoon for a few days of peaceful RV camping. Instead they learn a body was discovered just that morning in a remote corner of the Park. Murdered and hurriedly buried atop the grave of Revolutionary War hero, Colonel Jedidiah Hathaway. Colonel Hathaway has been the most celebrated member of Iroquois County’s leading Hathaway family since his death in 1780. So, desecration of the Colonel’s grave shocks the Hathaway family and all of Iroquois County. Sheriff’s Department Chief of Detectives Salvatore Patrick Ryan again asks Ray and Samantha for help solving the most bizarre case of his law enforcement career.
Robert lives quietly with his wife, writing and RV camping when he can at South Carolina’s beautiful state parks.
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RVing mysteries seem to be on the rise. More and more young people are hitting the road in recreational vehicles but they still have to earn a living along the way. We decided to write a two-part blog post listing most of the stories we have found that were either writing about characters camping, traveling and/or living in RVs. The other article will be a listing of those writers we have found who actually travel in their RVs while writing and publishing their stores. We hope you enjoy this listing and will support these authors by buying and reading their stories and sharing them with your friends, family and fellow travelers.
We have a selection picked out that you can get by clicking on our Amazon Affiliate advertisement below or you can visit our AStore page and see all of them in one place. We really appreciate it if you decide to purchase any of these that you will use our links below or our Astore page as we get a couple of pennies on each purchase to help us keep our website going.
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We have been so busy over the last couple of weeks and now we are down to less than 4 weeks remaining in our assignment here at Anastasia State Park. We have been having a pretty good time here and the weather, for the most part, has been quite nice. Between working in the campground, working here and there around the park, updating all our websites, getting our craft business ready for the Florida Folk Festival in May and trying to gather more material to write more articles for all my various blogs I haven’t had time to update this website.
We have also had some changes to the volunteer’s roster over the last two months with family emergencies and illnesses calling them home. Not much they could do about it but the volunteer coordinator here seems to have a long list of volunteers waiting to get in so she had replacements fairly quickly. Now we are getting ready for the big annual charity Poker Ride this coming weekend. Katie and I have volunteered our time to help out. Should be pretty interesting to have some of the bikers from Daytona Beach riding through. There will be music, games, and lots of food. We will have to take a some pictures and post them on our Facebook page.
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Working holidays as parks hosts or campground hosts in our Florida State Parks will take up quite a few of your required hours for the month. Not only do you have to get your regular duties done but you will more than likely get called in to set-up the park for any special events planned during the holiday, replace park staff that will be taking off for said holidays and there will probably be more people in the park during those holidays to deal with. It seems that almost every single Florida State Park that offers camping will be full during every single holiday that falls on a weekend. Of course, this generally corresponds to the kids getting out of school for the holidays. Mostly, you get local residents every weekend with a few out-of-state visitors as well. This includes Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Independence Day and Memorial Day. As hot as it gets in Florida during May and July there will be lots of people camping in the state parks.
This will make your duties a little harder to get done but the mission of the parks is to encourage attendance as much as possible. It can be nice to talk to the different kinds of visitors, find out where they are from, ask the locals for recommendations of restaurants, stores and the like. You are one of the park’s ambassadors and as such you want to project a friendly and knowledgeable face so that they will keep coming back. We also try to talk to each of them about the benefits of volunteering. You can never have too many of those!
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