Don’t let the sunny skies in the feature photo fool you — it’s not all that sunny where we are in Florida right now. But 19 hours after finding out there was a mandatory evacuation from our campground we are a.) none the worse for weather, b.) have settled into a very nice RV campground for 2 days (all we could get), and c.) have reservations for the next 4 nights — getting us to the check-in date for our winter reservation. Whew!
The Walmart in Pace FL ended up pretty full last night. Several of the campers from Fort Pickens followed our lead (not by intent, they just ended up there next to us). Sunday night I was too tired after pushing to relocate before nightfall, so I did a little research and left the rest for Monday morning.
After a fitful sleep (I never handle uncertainty all that well — you should be able to figure that out by now) we got an earlier start than I wanted and by 8 a.m. I was working the phones in search of a place to stay for the 6 remaining nights until our winter reservation.
Sunday is never a good time to try making plans — too many RV parks don’t answer the phone on Sundays! This morning we started checking our usual resources: the Good Sam Club website, the RV Park Review website, StayWhere, Reserve America. Most of our preferred choices were already booked but a little patience was all it took. This is a particularly challenging time to be making reservations. For one it’s the beginning of the Florida peak Snowbird season; for another we’re dealing with the New Year’s Holiday and holiday weekends are always harder.
What we found is a nice enough compromise for a last minute plan. Eagle’s Landing RV Park has 60 full hookup sites, the price is reasonable for what you get and they had room for us for 2 nights in a very level, satellite dish friendly site. And best part about it is that it was only 25 miles from where we were in the right direction. From here we have about 330 miles to Ocala. We drove on over in more rain, lucked out in having the rain stop while we set up camp, and breathed a sigh of relief to be settled in for at least 48 hours. When we arrived we asked to be put on the list in case there were any cancellations but after working the phones a little more we found a better solution.
I tried quite a few campgrounds closer to Ocala and had miserable luck. It’s amazing how many places are full to the gills for the time we needed. Finally we found a campground in Hampton Springs called Rocky’s Campground (just outside Perry FL). Now, don’t get me wrong — the town of Perry isn’t a lot to talk about. We stopped there overnight in ’12 and had a miserable night’s sleep in an overrated motel, had a hard time finding a resto for a decent meal, and was thoroughly un-impressed by the community. This campground is operated by different people though, so we’ll give it a chance and it’s only 4 nights.
One nice thing is that this will cover a chilly time in the forecast — Highs in the 50’s and lows in the low 40’s. Won’t have to worry about staying warm without a plug in. Also, there’s the trip balancing aspect of getting to do a measly 220 miles on Wednesday and then 120 miles on Sunday. That way we arrive in Ocala earlier — which would have been harder had we been forced to do 330 miles in one stretch on Sunday. And if we had tried to make the trip from Fort Pickens that would have been even further in one day — about 370 — not our preference at all. All in all this is a better plan than what we had. God is Good.
Thanks for stopping by. I’m gonna go snoop around our temporary home. I’ll talk with you tomorrow.