Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

The Campsite Dash

Holder Mine Campground at Withlacoochee State Forest to
Rainbow Springs State Park Campground, Dunnellon, FL

Did my last run but not my last dash at Holder Mine State Forest Campground.  That tiny figure to the right on the road is actually me at the end of the run.

I showered, dressed and called Ranger Paul at Rainbow Springs State Park to check on campsites for the next 5 or 6 days.  Coming in on a Tuesday, I thought we'd have no problem until he told me he had only one walk in site available through the week-end but he would hold it for an hour if I could get there.   Well that changed all plans of an easy pack up and move. 

I quickly organized the inside of the coach, jumped in the car to go get the site and left David holding the bag so to speak since he had to disconnect everything and drive the coach over.  I was there by 11 and got the last remaining site although that’s not quite the whole story.  I have found getting campsites to be a real learning process so perhaps my experiences will help someone else.

Like Howard, I’d like to see my site before I put my money down.  But we found that if we called the day before or just showed up, we could be out of  luck, particularly on the week-ends.   SO we determined that perhaps we would have to make some  reservations.  BUT when I went to make reservations for say 5 days or even 4, if it over lapped a week-end, I was unable to book the entire time and the beloved Reserve America would say there were no sites available.

Looking more closely I’d find that there were plenty of sites from Sunday night through Thursday night but everything was booked for Friday and Saturday.  Therefore, we have come to depend somewhat on “walk in” sites which are not available for reservation.  Those sites are often the least popular sites such as here at Rainbow Springs where there is a lovely campground loop with sites like this


which I wish I could have chosen but they were booked for the last two days of the 5 days I wanted to be here.  So unless I was willing to move after 3 days, I had to take the “walk in”.  In this case it was on  the short loop next to the office and store with parking lot sites like this. That's us on the right but bear in mind that the loop holds 15 sites and it isn't the week-end yet when they are full up.  The parking lot effect will be much more noticeable then.  Perhaps I'll send you a shot of that.

I really don’t like to have to unhook and move from site to site so since beggars can’t be choosers, we are trying to do a combination of walk ins and reservations.  The area around Rainbow Springs State Park and River has a number of things to do so we aren’t at the site much during the day and thus the parking lot aspect isn’t as much of a factor as it has been in other places.   Although I must admit it does seem like we should get a price break on the $30 a night for full hook ups for being in the parking lot.  All sites have water/electric and sewer.

As we usually do on “moving day”, we had a quick bite of lunch, were set up between 2 and 3 pm and set out to see the area including the lovely Rainbow Springs “Headwaters” part of the State Park which is on the other end of the park from the campground and 6 miles by car or just over 2 by water.  It too used to be a pre-Disney Florida “attraction” with gardens and trails built around the springs.   It too fell on hard times and was taken over by the state after 15 years of neglect and they have been cleaning up the invasive species that over ran the lovely azaleas and other flowers and ponds.  It is a beautiful park with hard surfaced paths through all the gardens.  There is an area where you can swim in the headwaters as well as  picnic tables, a small food concessionaire, kayak and canoe rentals during “the season” which is apparently the summer although I can’t imagine why given the heat.   There are also 3 miles of trails in the native vegetation which has not been landscaped or changed.  You can see what this part of Florida looked like in its natural state.  Admission charge  for all this is $2 per person or free if you are at the campgrounds.   Pretty fantastic swimming pool for a $2 entry fee.

We got information about kayaking the river and biking the Withlacoochee State Trail which is a 46 mile rails to trails that we want to do at least half of.   So those two and a full trip to the headwaters park are all coming up in the next couple of days.  Ain't we got fun!

1 comment:

  1. Reading that made me tired!!! Maybe you can relax for a few days.

    Travel Safe


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