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

Henry David Thoreau

Short Stay at Lithia Springs

Wednesday and Thursday
March 4 and 5, 2015
Lithia Springs Park
Lithia, Florida




IMG_8932 Because we were so busy yesterday with the repair, groceries and trying to get out to get a first come first serve site at Lithia Springs, we didn’t get to stroll around the open RVs on acres of Lazydays 126 acre property. 

Since we are not that far away, today we decide to go back to Lazydays to do that and to hear a seminar on caravaning to Alaska.  Not that even if we could go to Alaska we’d ever caravan.  Too many people, too structured and not enough time spent in the National Parks for me.  Alaska is something I doubt we will ever be able to do, given David’s medical situation,  but I want to hear what they have to say just for fun and after that see the RVs open for looking.

Before we leave, on my walk around Lithia Springs early this morning, I go down to the boat dock to check out the river.   Wow is it up and flowing.  We thought we might kayak it.  Maybe not.  To kayak you either need to paddle downstream with the river  and get a shuttle back or, as we have always done, paddle up stream as far as you like and come back with the river.   It’s never been a difficult paddle but it definitely would be today.  The river is so high the steps down to your boat are under water.






The river is WAY up and moving swiftly down stream.  No kayaking here.



The spring has been closed  because the river is so high it has backed up into the spring.   As you can see, this spring has been turned into a bit of a swimming pool.  It is the main spring and the spring run goes off to the left and out to the river.  The secondary spring has been left totally natural.



I walk on to the second spring area.  I am surprised to find no wading birds. Guess the water is too deep. In times past we have always seen a number of birds here.The gauge shows it to be at 11.20 feet. I wonder what the high water mark was.  The stick goes to 20 feet.   I’ll watch it and see how it drops over the next few days. 







We leave for Lazydays to be on time for the 11:00 seminar and find that these Caravans organized by Fantasy RV Tours are very complete.  They provide all the campgrounds,  many meals including the tips, some excursions including the tips and all bridge or ferry fees.   You pay for your gas of course, your groceries and any shopping you do.   The caravan is limited to 20 rigs and 2 wagon masters.  The catch of course is that they are VERY expensive at least to me.  To take a 59 day tour staring in Coeur D’Alene, ID beginning June 7 and ending Aug 4th is $10,795 for one rig two people.  They have a pretty heavy singles price in my mind since it is only $2,000 less than the price for a couple.  

The most interesting thing we learned here was that also do caravans over seas which include the rental of the RV.  They go to South Africa, Russia, New Zealand and Australia and are planning a new one to Vietnam for 2016.  RVing in Vietnam.  Now there is a thought.   They also do tours and what they call rallies all over this country.  For instance, 6 days at the Rose Parade, 9 day Mardi Gras Carnival, 7 day Washington D.C., 7 day Kentucky Derby Rally and on and on.   Still, it’s clearly not for me.

After that hour, we go outside and take a look at the new Brave.  Cute I think.  I actually like the color.  I wasn’t crazy about their BRIGHT yellow that I had seen before.  Very retro inside and out.









The only other things that catch my eye are small RVs.  The go to Alaska type.  I’m dreaming of buying a used something small for an Alaska trip and giving Winnona a summer off.   Dreams are good I tell myself even if, because of David’s health, they are unlikely.

I love the 25’ Born Free except for its lack of screened windows.  Everything about it is top notch.  I just don’t see why they made the screened in parts of the windows so small that you would be forced to run the AC more often than I like in such a small space.  In Alaska this probably is not a problem but I think it would be in many other places.  Possibly tough boondocking without a lot of free flowing air.  You would sleep over the cab or have to put the sofa bed in and out every day and make and unmake it.  But it’s a real quality rig.




In addition to the gorgeous wood in the Born Free, I love the two ‘open on both sides’ pantry pull outs. I pull one out for the photograph. This is a design every coach should copy in my opinion.   Winnona has two floor to ceiling pantry pull outs and even though they are open on only one side they are just wonderful.






There are very few windows in the Born Free and this is the largest.  I wonder why they didn’t make it a slider?





I also like the even smaller 23 foot Minnie Winnie.  It has many more and much better windows which help greatly with its feeling of being light and bright.  Though the wood used is not as fine as the Born Free,  it is light so the coach does not look as dark as most of the other ones we see. 

The lay out is great and it has a dedicated bed you neither have to climb into or make up every day. I try it out. Very comfy.  The Minnie Winnie would be my favorite if it had not been designed by someone who was clearly 6 feet tall.   What was Winnebago thinking?  Women do most of the cooking and clothing care.   I know the average height of humans has increased but this is ridiculous.




Many and nice windows.





Not sure even someone as tall as 5’4” could see in these two easily.   Who wants to constantly have to move a stool around so frequently?










On my morning walk I admire the beautiful tree in the day use spring parking lot. I just love Florida’s Live Oaks.   At the end of my walk, I stop by the office.




We have come to the Tampa area for several doctor appointments and have scheduled to have Winnona washed and waxed while we are here by Fantasy Car Mobile and RV Detailing.   They have done it for us before and we found their work to be excellent and their price reasonable.  

We’ve made an appointment for Monday but when I stop by the office to ask what he should do when he comes, I’m told that they will have to check.  Throughout the day, his one checks with that one who has to check with another one who checks with the head county guy and we hang around to find out what the problem is.

Late in the afternoon the park manager comes by to tell us that we will not be allowed to have a private contractor come onto county property for this purpose even though he is totally self contained.  

Now what to do?   We were lucky to get this site at the last minute.  Apparently we will have to find a private park that will allow this or cancel the appointment.   So we call Gary to see what he can suggest and begin hunting for where we can go. Of course going anywhere on a week-end including Friday is even more impossible.

One bright spot in this day is some friends we met through Bill and Nancy have come to join us here at Lithia Springs.  David and Sharon bought a beautiful Hartland 5th wheel at the Tampa RV Show in January and are back in this area to pick it up at the end of this month.  Currently they are traveling in an absolutely darling little 21 foot trailer.  But they are now full timing and moving up to the big time.  LOL  

We are so happy to have had them join us here and had hoped to spend a week enjoying their company.  But now it looks like we will have to make an unexpected move.

Looking for all the bright spots to offset todays aggravation, David checks the hydraulic hose which seems not to be leaking and to have no additional problems.  Whew!

Even with this wonderful life style, life seems to be much more complicated than it used to be.   I wonder now how in the world we did everything we used to do when we were working, farming, raising Carrie and tending to insurance, vehicle repairs, maintenance, a house just to name a few .  Or is this just me in my curmudgeon state?


  1. No, it's not just you. We feel the same way. Maybe it's something that comes with age, or maybe we just feel like like life should be easy now that we're retired, and want every day to be filled with pleasurable things.

    When we bought our Lazy Daze, Born Free was the only other Class C rated as highly. Although the quality looked excellent, the lack of windows ruled it out for us.

  2. Sorry, Sherry, but with all that other stuff at the farm, you didn't have all the medical appointments. You know what a stress that is. Hugs to you and hoping that you got Winona all cleaned up the way you wanted and found a place to be. Next: We loved our trip to Alaska in our 26 footer. We were gone from July 4 through August 15. Here are the stats:
    We traveled 7,243 total miles in 41 days, 1,265 miles in the US getting to and from Canada, 3,991 miles in Canada, and only 1,987 miles actually in Alaska.

    The total cost of the trip was $6,168, with $4,659 spent on fuel, with an average of 5.14 per gallon since so much of our mileage was in high priced Canada.

    We stayed in campgrounds, either dry camping or with hookups 30 nights, with an average cost per night of $23. Our 11 nights boondocking brought that average down to $17 per night.

    We spent very little on excursions, with the Discovery River Trip and the Columbia Glacier Trip costing just $360.

    We didn’t eat out very often, and actually managed to cook from our grocery stash for a very large part of the trip.

    Total cost per day including food, fuel, camping and all incidentals came to $150.44. 75 bucks per day per person is a darn good price for a fabulous, incredible, life time vacation like this one.

    So don't let go of that dream.

  3. Absolutely love the idea of going to Alaska but will have to wait until I'm fully retired. I'll take you on a South African RV trip for less than that. Don't like the lack of windows on that Brave or the Mini either. The Guys who design these things never use or live in them clearly. What a hassle. Hope you solved that problem. I think the big difference between S&B and RV maintenance can be the problem of finding the right repair persons on the road.

  4. I have read several blogs from full-timers who have traveled to Alaska. Every single one griped about the caravans, coming into the campgrounds late and making lots of noise, and leaving early in the morning making lots of noise. i don't think I've ever read anything from someone who has been part of a caravan, but haven't heard a good word from one who has been an observer either. I don't think the controlled and guided life would be for me, and you would constantly be in trouble lagging behind to look at something! (Lol, I am teasing you, of course.)

    I think I would like to find a dealership with a very large inventory of RVs just to look. I can't see myself ever going back to the life however.

    1. I'm sorry I wasn't clear. I would never be part of a caravan. Way too many people for me. But it was interesting to find out where they go if only to go somewhere else at that time. And interesting to see how much it costs. I'd never rent an RV to do it either. I'd buy used and sell it when I got back. At least those are my dreams.

    2. I don't know why so many people disparage caravans. There is a time and a place for everything. My experience was quite positive. Never say never. ;)

  5. So much water there in Lithia! Nice day to see the cute RVs! You're right - whoever built that smaller Minnie Winnie must not have been mini - Lol!! I am amazed how much we did when I was younger-seems the realities of life follow you wherever you go! No pictures of David and Sharon? Always nice to see guest stars on the blog ;) P.S. I like Winnona better than the red retro Brave :)

  6. Hope Winona gets her spa treatment!

  7. When we were at the WB factory last year we saw 800 Minnie Winnies that were built for an Alaskan rental company, so you'd get a great rental if you so chose to do an AK trip. Unfortunately, I don't think any of them included a step stool as standard equipment so you'd have to fight with TSA to bring one along on your flight there... ;c)

    I miss the slide out pantry we had on our 03 WB Adventurer. We don't have one on our Journey and the cabinet we use as a pantry is covered by the slide when we are on the road. We have to plan meals ahead when we travel. Obviously our floorplan was designed by a non-rver.

    I've been very impressed with the quality of the wood work in Born Frees and scared off by their price tag. :cO

  8. WOW... can't get in to E.G and have to leave Lithia...what a PIA:o(( Hope you landed in a good spot to get Winnona all beautiful!!! We loved the born free 24ft without the slide. Much more room than our Pleasureway but of course it is 4 feet longer. If we ever get to go to Alaska, we will figure it out then;o))) Glad to got to spend some time with Sharon and David...great couple!!

  9. You have had a lot of rain there, so it's not surprising that the water levels did that.

  10. If we go back to Alaska we will be in a smaller rig like that one you just check out or even smaller than that. The price tag of the caravan is almost the same as what we spent for 77 days and we were on our own.

  11. Wow...those Caravan trips are pretty pricey. Don't see one in my future either.

    We always enjoy strolling around Lazy Days. There is no better place to tour Rv's, is there?

  12. Always fun to check out different options, both travel and rig. I do like the retro Brave, it's size and style really grabbed me. I can't reach the back of the top shelf in the frig or the dials on the dryer in our rig without a stool, and to work the slides I have to stand in the passenger seat.....but I have lots of room in the shower :-) Having to move would be harder if the river were good for kayaking right now; still it's a pain. Embrace your curmudgeon, we can't be sweetness and light all the damn time :-)))

  13. we are thinking we might like to RV Alaska. . .but we will just fly into Anchorage and rent an RV. . .we've seen all the villages along the coast on cruises, so we would concentrate on exploring the interior. . .especially Denali NP. . .it's a great dream.

    Had to chuckle at your last paragraph. . .I express that sentiment often . .how on earth did we ever get it all done. . .full time jobs, raising kids, baseball, ministry. . .whew. ..boggles the mind. . .LOL!

  14. Sherry, I do believe Life really is more complicated these days. There are so many more hoops to jump through just to get anything done and the overall work ethic seems to have become much more lax than when I was younger. Running into either or both of those factors can turn a one phone call/letter piece of personal business into a prolonged effort. I agree about the windows on those units; way too small. A little Class C would be nice if we were traveling more and working less. Haha!

  15. We have a guy who comes into the park here to wash and wax. He uses a steam cleaner, so there's no water mess, it's pretty incredible and does a fantastic job! I really want to get to Alaska at some point in the future. I'm with you, no caravan for me, however we would try to hook up with friends and make it a bit more fun.

  16. I suppose with the smaller footprint of the 24 foot RV, they have done like urban planners and gone vertical, giving you more space up high. What they don't seem to know is how many of the less tall people actually have the purse strings. ;)

  17. At 4' 11.5", I have to use a stool each time I cook.....Tis life of the wee (vertical) people. Love the idea of a retro motorhome. I wonder if the idea will catch on.

  18. Sherry and David,
    We loved spending time with the both of you here at Lithia Springs. You are right! It sure is beautiful here. Thank you for the heartfelt conversations, laughter and the hands on tortilla making demonstration. I still laugh at the "Tofu pie" story. :-)) And I can't wait to get Bill and Nancy's side too. The soup was delicious and the only thing that could have made the evening better woild have been if Bill and Nancy and Gin and Syl were sharing the experience with us all. I hope our travels brings us back together soon.

  19. In our new Arctic Fox I have to stand on a step stool to reach the controls for the fans in the kitchen and bath. It's so annoying!
    Your musings about Alaska sound just like mine. I'm reluctant to sell our 21' Bigfoot until we make the trek to Alaska. Even though our Arctic Fox is only 27', I'm wondering if it might be easier to travel with a smaller trailer.
    I'm not interested in caravanning, either, unless it's with friends. But I have to admit, a caravan overseas is mighty interesting….although we still have so much to see in this country, even though we've been RV'ing for a dozen years!
    Sigh…you're not alone -- I also wonder why this life seems so complicated at times. But it's still mighty wonderful! And you two know how to enjoy every beautiful moment, even in the midst of moments that aren't so beautiful. ;-)


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