Winter in North Florida

Winter in the north Florida area has roared in like a lion this month. Not only did we have snow in portions of this area earlier this month last night we got down in the teens here at our the county park where we are currently workamping. Most people come to Florida for warmer temperatures and our more than average nice weather when the snow is blowing a blizzard in the northern, central and western states this time of year.

Being in an RV this time of year can bring some interesting challenges for those of us living in them full-time. It might not snow here in this area but we still have to keep the water flowing and our little camper warm throughout the night. Thankfully, space is small compared to a home or apartment but the walls and windows are a lot thinner and not as well insulated. To temporarily help with this situation we alternate between a small space heater that doesn’t have a lot of watts and has a thermostat and will turn itself off should it get tipped over. And we light the propane oven for 15 minutes every hour or so until we go to be. We have also place bubble wrap sheets on all the windows. This is an expensive way to keep some of the cold air from seeping into the RV. Of course, we all have to wear socks on our feet and have lap blankets on while we are watching TV.

Outside the trick is to wear layers. A cotton layer of T-Shirts and flannel pajama pants, the middle layer of jeans and flannel shirts and, finally, the other layer of jackets, gloves, and shoes with thick socks. When there is frost on the ground we have been using our personal vehicle to open and close the park because our Gator doesn’t have a windshield. You don’t want to be barrelling around the park, trails, and roads in your park with no windshield in 20 to 30-degree weather even if you are in Florida. You don’t want to put your bare hands on any pipes, hoses or metal fencing on these mornings.

We hope that our fellow workampers further south are having a better time of it and hopefully this will be the last week of this silliness. The one great thing about all this is that the weather is killing all those extra mosquitoes for us. Maybe this spring won’t be as buggy!



Taking Vacation From Workamping

We are taking a little vacation from workamping again this week. We have cleaned all we can here at the park and have to wait until the flood waters have receded enough to do some more and the many miles of trails to dry up some more before the maintenance crew can get out there and chop up all the downed trees. Since the park is still officially closed we haven’t had to open the gate, clean the bathrooms or pick up trash for about 2 weeks now. We have, of course, ridden around picking any trash that we could find, hosed off all the playground equipment and the bathrooms in anticipation of opening. The front of the park is ready but the main areas that most of our visitors like the most (the walking trails and boat ramp) are still in need of work. With the water so close we have had a few close encounters with the local reptiles and watched to turkeys trout and the deer prance around. It’s almost like being back at Adams Tract River Camp (which we heard is also still quite damp).
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Cleaning Up After the Storm

Cleaning up around your park after any storm can be time-consuming and back-breaking kind of work but all of our public land areas really appreciate the help of their volunteers. Cleaning up after Hurricane Irma is and will continue to be a tough ordeal for any of the volunteer workampers (and park personnel) who can make their way back to whichever park, forest or preserve they were assigned to at the beginning of the month.

Cleaning up around your park after any storm can be time-consuming and back-breaking kind of work but all of our public land areas really appreciate the help of their volunteers. Cleaning up after Hurricane Irma is and will continue to be a tough ordeal for any of the volunteer workampers (and park personnel) who can make their way back to whichever park, forest or preserve they were assigned to at the beginning of the month. Most of all of the volunteers were probably asked to vacate the parks prior to the storm happening and we hope that all of them come back as soon as they can. Of course, if the winter volunteers want to come a little early that would probably be nice as well. We can say that one of our favorite Florida state parks we volunteered at is still experiencing some problems and may not be able to accommodate any volunteers yet. Dade Historical Battlefield State Park had quite a few downed trees and a few of them fell on the park hosts sites. Luckily, some of the Missouri State Park Rangers have come down to help cut up all the trees and they may be up and running pretty soon. You should call ahead to make sure you can come back. This is especially true of any of the park down below Ocala and points south.
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Getting Ready For Bad Weather

Getting ready for bad weather is a very popular topic here in Florida this week. With all the problems the poor people in Texas had over the last 2 weeks, we are now in the crosshairs of large storm ourselves. We went the grocery store yesterday just to pick up a few things and maybe go ahead and get some gas for the minivan. There was no gas at our favorite gas station and the others around town have jumped $0.35 a gallon in 4 days.

Getting ready for bad weather is a very popular topic here in Florida this week. With all the problems the poor people in Texas had over the last 2 weeks, we are now in the crosshairs of large storm ourselves. We went the grocery store yesterday just to pick up a few things and maybe go ahead and get some gas for the minivan. There was no gas at our favorite gas station and the others around town have jumped $0.35 a gallon in 4 days. Of course, there was no bottled water left either. We checked at Walmart and Winn-Dixie. Since our illustrious governor declared an early state of emergency the entire state has decided to get their hurricane supplies early. And to top it all off this time of the month our budget does not have room for any unexpected expenses.
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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.

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.
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