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. Continue reading “Spring is Trying to Be Sprung”
We made it to Troy Springs State Park just fine. We have worked a couple of hours opening and closing the front gate and cleaning the bathrooms once. Then we are off the the next several days. It’s pretty quiet around here as the river is still pretty high and our park ranger, Tina, cannot open the springs up to swimming and diving until the water recedes enough. 🙁 That is both good and bad. Good because we don’t have many visitors so we don’t have to do much in the way of cleaning and bad because we are not getting many visitors to the park so the park is not making much money. We are catching up on some cleaning, posting to our social media pages and writing articles. Hopefully, I will have enough time to add some of our craft items that we have made over the last several weeks on to our online store pages.
This park has two residential park host sites. One is located directly behind the ranger’s office next to the springs area and the other is located on the back of the property in front of the barn. When the park ranger told us we could use the camp site next to the barn I was picturing one of those big red buildings with hay, farm equipment and stuff. Well, it turns out this property had a large horse barn on it when it was purchased by the state. It is in great shape and the park personnel and volunteers have kept it really nice. Sadly, the park cannot allow horses in the park. Which is a great shame as it would bring in more money for this park. They have to get some kind of property easement agreement from one of the local private land owners that are between this park and the Ruth Springs Suwannee River Water Management land area. Continue reading “Welcome to Troy Springs”
March is such a strange month in Florida. Yes, I know our poor neighbors to the north and out west are almost frozen in and we really are not complaining but, man!, will mother nature please make up her mind. First we’re cold and then it warms up and then it rains and gets cold again. Then we start all over. These past three days were so nice, breezy, temps in the high 70s and a day or two in the low 80s but then the rain came and now it is back to being cloudy and gloomy all day long. Of course, right now it’s sprinkling again and supposed to go down to the 30s. Again, I know the rest of the country is frozen over. Hey! We’re in freaking Florida for goodness sake. Anyway, our little space heater fell in the water yesterday when we went to dump our waste tanks. Why, you ask, was the heater in the shower where the water overflows when the gray water tanks are full? Well, there wasn’t anywhere else to keep it out of the way and I really thought we would get the tanks dumped before it overflowed again.
Mom has put a moratorium on all new Volunteer Workamping assignments in the future. NO MORE SITES WITHOUT SEWERS! Even though we really love being here at Stephen Foster Folk Cultural Center State Park. The sites are all nice and big, under large oak and pine trees. The shower rooms always have lots of nice hot water. We even like being campground hosts here. We do work more during our three or four days on than we have at just about any other assignment. We do have to fight each morning to get a working golf cart to clean all the fire pits, barbecue grills and rake the sites on those who have left and before they let others in. Granted, the bathhouses are pretty large and we have to clean both of them every day we are on. It would really make it more convenient for us to have a sewer on-site. Continue reading “Its Cold Then Its Hot”
Our first two weeks at Stephen Foster Cultural Center State Park in White Springs, Florida has been eventful, wet and a little tiring. We haven’t seen the sun very much since we got here and at least one morning we had icicles dripping from the RV (condensation from the fridge). Since there are no sewers on site here, even for the campground hosts, we have had to crank up the old RV and drive over to the dump station every three or four days. Our co-campground host couple have a “blue boy” and he drives it down to the dump station a couple of times in one day just to empty out his gray water tanks. We have decided on a schedule among ourselves by working three days one week and four days the next. We are taking the end of the weekdays and they the beginning this month with Sunday being the alternating fourth day. That way all of us gets three days off in a row. Of course, if campers come by your RV to ask questions and we are home we will still answer them the best we can. Continue reading “First Two Weeks at Stephen Foster”
Only two weeks left at Big Shoals State Park and then we move down the road about 6 miles to Stephen Foster Culture Center State Park for the first 4 months of the new year. It has been so peaceful here. Yes, we get a couple of visitors each day and more of the weekend. We have even gotten a couple of visitors who asked questions or just wanted to talk for a few minutes. The work is not difficult and basically only needs doing a couple days a week. All the other times we just are available for the visitors and to close the gates at night. So if you are thinking about volunteering here we hope you will consider it in the future.
The good is definitely the peace and quiet here. The only bad we could say would be the sewer situation. You will have to buy about 80 feet of sewer hose to dump your black water and you can use a regular garden hose to dump your gray water. It would be nice to have a little storage building to use while we are here. But you can use the volunteer washer/dryer at Stephen Foster State Park for FREE. You will have the use of a Gator to run back and forth along the paved trail between Little Shoals and Big Shoals area as well as to explore the various trails while you are here. It has been nice here.
We are looking forward to transferring to Stephen Foster on January 1st. We know that it will be more work, more people and they don’t have sewers on site for the campground hosts either. We may not come back to Big Shoals as we have so many more places to explore. Nor, will we come back to Stephen Foster after we leave there at the end of April for the same reason.
We hope you and yours have a safe and happy holiday season. See you next year!