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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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.

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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Spring is Trying to Be Sprung

Spring is really trying to be sprung here in north Florida. In the last 7 days we have had almost 90 degree weather and highs in the 60’s. We have had mostly sunny days and mostly rainy and cloudy days. Nothing really seems to faze our visitors here at Alligator Lake Recreation Area in beautiful Lake City, Florida though. They come every single day to walk to trails, ride their bikes, play on the playground, picnic at one of the pavilions and every single weekend their are lots of birthday parties. Generally, the big screened in pavilion is only rented on the weekends and is reserved all the way into August, I think. So we have lots of trash cans to empty on Saturday and Sunday. The other smaller open but covered picnic pavilions are first-come-first-serve so we get quite a few people here first thing in the morning to stake out their favorite ones. Other than picking little pieces of confetti string and candy wrappers the visitors have been fairly good about cleaning up after themselves by putting their trash in the cans. We still have to chase down the occasional piece of tissue paper or paper bag that ends up the surrounding wooded areas.
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