Our electrical issues continued yesterday morning. The surge protector, Progressive Industries, Inc Model EMS-HW50C, kept shutting all AC power down. Al worked on it for a couple hours, trying to isolate the problem, without too much success. At this point, we didn't know if the problem was us, or the campground's power. After Tuesday's storm, we had noticed our water pressure was way down, and Al went all over our water filtration system, thinking something was clogging it up, but it was actually the water at the spigot...the pressure coming out was down under 20lbs. of pressure all day. So this morning as I took the trash down to the dumpster, I stopped in to the office to inquire whether anyone else had reported electrical issues, and the ranger told me no, but the lightning strike did hit the water pump station, and they were also finding things electrically wrong in the park office. A workman was there at that time working on the soda coolers which apparently had been fried. She said she would send him to our site after he was done in the office to check power at the pedestal. meanwhile, Al had called Progressive Industries support, and together they determined that possibly the "negative" had been lost somewhere..made sense to them! But, we had to leave for our interview at Otter Springs, so we completely disconnected from the electrical power for the afternoon.
It was about an hour's drive to Trenton, Florida where Otter Springs Park and Campground is located, west of Gainesville. It was a private campground, and the county of Gilchrist took over the management of it a few years ago. It has a very quiet, isolated feel about it, no big highways within earshot, and you drive past several large farms to get there. However, Walmart Supercenter and associated shopping is 15 minutes away. Not too bad!
I loved how quiet it was as we arrived, and there was a huge field to our left hand side as we drove down the driveway, with bluebird boxes nailed to the fence posts. Some wildflowers were already blooming, it looked so springlike. We parked at the office and went in to meet Kadie, the manager, who was lovely...so perky and obviously tending the park with a loving hand. She's really trying to get the park as a campground out there on people's radars, and has set up several fun activities for both kids and adults. We chatted for quite awhile, we asked questions about duties and hours, and she asked us a few things as well, but overall it was such a positive experience. Before we made a final decision, she sent us out to take a tour of the campground and park facilities, and to take the dogs for a walk down to the Suwanee River, about a mile away on one of their nature trails.
The campground has 105 sites, a few tent sites but all others are full hookups, EWS. No cable, but most trailers we saw there had some kind of satellite dish, either roof-mounted or free-standing. Out ATT service on the phone was ok, we didn't bring the verizon aircard though, but I can't imagine being within 40 minutes of Gainesville that it wouldn't work. There are 2 bath houses, a recreation building with games, some fitness equipment, and television, picnic pavilions, basketball/volleyball courts, a Lodge house that can be rented out by anyone in the community having a function, otherwise he campground holds functions such as potluck dinners, card/board games, breakfasts, etc., 3 cabins that are rented out, and a "stilt house" that can be rented. They also have a heated pool, inside a screened building...nice! Canoe rentals are available, and they along with personal watercraft can be launched at the springs right in the campground, and floated down to the Suwanee River. best of all for us, the big field right outside the park as we drove in....can be used as a giant dog run; Casey can run and play ball there to his heart's content.
The Lodge House
Canoes for rent at the launching area in Otter Springs.
Headed down the trail to the river
The trail ends here at the river's edge.
You know they had to go for a swim! It wasn't too hot, in the low 70's, but after walking briskly down the trail, it was a little warm!
Some spring flowers for those back home!
So, after our chat, and checking out the campground, and the facilities, we have decided that yes, we would like to call this place home next January through early April. So we are now employed as workampers for the summer at WaldenWoods MI., Amazon for the Christmas shipping season, and at Otter Springs for next winter! So if anyone is in the area of these campgrounds, please be sure to shout out and give us a heads up, we'd be delighted to see you :-)!
Back at Rainbow Springs, the electrical seems to be working again, and Al put everything back together again. We had a nice dinner of BBQ pork chops, peirogies and onions, took the dogs out for their evening walk, and watched Survivor and Top Chef. Alas, later in the evening the surge protector started shutting down the electrical again, but Al is pretty sure what the issue is now, and will be working on that today, so stay tuned for the resolution! Have a great day all!