Category: Lessons in Camping

Next Three State Parks

AlafiaRiverSP04112014 (50)The next three state parks on our list is Alafia River State Park, Hillsborough River State Park and Lake Louisa State Park.

Information for Campers:

Alafia River State Park is located just off County Road 39 in Lithia, Florida. They have a relatively small campground with about 20 spaces designated for Family Camping and 11 for Equestrian Camping. All the sites are fairly large with about half being pull-throughs and the other back-ins. They are nicely spaced but there is not much privacy. You have a grassy area around the asphalt driveways, electric and water only. There is only one bathhouse with one shower on each side (males/females). Of course, this shower doubles as ADA compliant and the hot water comes from Solar Panels on the roof. There is a wide expanse of grassy area with picnic pavilions, tables, and benches all facing a nice little lake.
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Large Parks versus Small Parks

RossPrairieCampground (53)When you think about your camping experiences in Florida State Parks do you recall what you liked about the park?

Was it a smaller, out-of-the-way State Park or was it just outside of a large town and a fairly large State Park?

Do you prefer to stay at a place with lots of activities or do you just want to lay back and enjoy the quiet?

These questions and more you really should ask yourself before you make reservations at any State or National Park. (Please always make reservations as far in advance as you can). The reason being is you will want to get the most bang for your hard-earned, or even retired, bucks. If you haven’t visited your intended park before go online and read the material on their website, check out some videos about the park on YouTube and ask friends, relatives and your Facebook buddies what they thought about the park if they visited it in the before. You want to look at pictures and videos and go online to see what people have said about the park recently. Remember things could have changed if the information is more than a couple of years old. And please make note of some of the rules about camping in your intended parks as well. They are there for the comfort, safety and enjoyment of all the visitors not just to pick on you.
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One Month Down and One to Go

StJoes07062013 (9) We have been here at TH Stone Memorial St. Josephs Peninsula State Park as campground hosts for 1 month. It has been rainy, hot, stormy as well as nice breezes off of the Gulf of Mexico. The work is sometime hard but mostly due to the heat. We get up early in the morning before the sun rises to clean two bath houses. This can take us sometimes 2 to 3 hours to do depending on how bad they are and how many interruptions we get. We have been assigned to the Gulf Breezes campground area. Originally, we were assigned to the Shady Pines campground which is on the St. Joe Bay side of the peninsula underneath pine trees and in between the palmetto bushes. Due to the shortage of campground host volunteers during this time of year we were reassigned to the Gulf Breezes side and are responsible for the entire campground 5 days a week. The Volunteer Coordinator is Ron and he seems nice but the manager of the park, Mark, does have some unrealistic goals for the campground hosts.
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Adams Tract River Camp

Our View of the Suwannee River
Our View of the Suwannee River
Now that we are halfway through our first assignment we thought we would create a little movie to show everybody where we are a campground host till the end of June. Yes, we have posted some pictures already but a movie is always a nice thing to share with everyone. We have been having a good time. The work so far hasn’t been so hard. We haven’t really had too many campers till this weekend. With the bad weather, school still being in and the river being fairly high until this week means we haven’t had to do much yet. This weekend is the first time we have a full house. Three boy scout troops from our hometown is staying here this weekend. That is two dozen boys and a couple of scout masters will cause quite a bit of work for us. We have already mowed about 3 acres of grass, blown off all the sidewalks, camping platforms and down the boardwalk. We also refreshed the bathroom and set up a recycle station to collect aluminum cans. The all drove in about 8:00pm this evening dropping off their camping equipment and supplies for the weekend. Tomorrow should be interesting. Continue reading “Adams Tract River Camp”

Manatees and Other News

Since our February Park Fees Campaign didn’t do so well we have decided to take more CampHost positions for the rest of the year. We have had to postpone our southern leg of our Florida State Parks visits until next year. For now we have been granted a Camphost position at one of the river camps located along the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail for three months. We are looking forward to this new experience though with a little bit of trepidation as they had to close 3 of the 6 camps due to the rising water of the Suwannee this past week. But after a quick call to volunteer headquarters today we were told that they hope to have them all opened by this Sunday. That’s good because a lot of the schools will be getting the spring breaks soon. There is nothing like a kayak or canoe adventure to get away from it all that stress for a week or so. We expect to see quite a few people over the Easter Weekend. Phooey, we are starting our assignment on a holiday. :< Come to think of it our camphost assignment at St. Joseph's starts July 1st just before the holiday as well. Continue reading “Manatees and Other News”

Have An Emergency Fund

FaverDyles12082012 (15)While traveling it is always a good idea to have an emergency fund of some kind in either cash and/or credit cards. You never know what is going to happen when you travel. Case in point. We have been at Faver Dykes State Park just south of St. Augustine, Florida. Again, because we promised the family we would be close during the holidays. Which in this case was probably a good thing. We were able to stay at Goldhead State Park for about a month (they were not that busy and they gave us permission) but we had to move to the next park on the list near Jacksonville. Our RV is too long for us to spend any time at Little Talbot Island State Park camping area and the other RV spots were too expensive. Continue reading “Have An Emergency Fund”