So this post is being presented to you from the inside of my camper, while only working part-time, and doing some social distancing….I started to write about weekends 8 and 9, about our vacation in Savannah and then as we all know we were hit the realities of Covid-19, Corona Virus, whichever one your prefer to refer to it as. I am sure I can speak for everyone, it has turned everyone’s lives upside down. I will get back to my post about Savannah shortly but for now I just wanted to do a quick update as to weekend’s numbered 10, (Falmouth Springs) 11 (Cypress Creek Preserve) and number 12, the first weekend we were home for the social distancing.
Weekend #11 found us at the cabin to work on the bathroom. On our way home we stopped by Falmouth Springs. We took a beautiful walk down the boardwalk. I believe the boardwalk is longer then the river. It is a beautiful area and brings back fond memories as to when we were building the cabin and did not yet have a shower, we would work in the Florida heat and then on our way home would stop there and take a dip in the refreshing spring. It is known as the shortest river in the world. The spring bubbles from an underground cave and travels the length of the river about 450 feet and disappears through an opening at the other end. It is one of the many first magnitude springs with a daily water flow of about 65 million gallons. We have been there before with high water, very high water and it flows backwards. The air temps ares about 10 degrees cooler down on the boardwalks because it is like being in a pit, with limestone walls and beautiful green tree coverage. I think it is one of the best local secrets around.
Weekend 11 found us boondocking at Cypress Creek Preserve, which is a 7400 acre piece of SWFWMD (South West Florida Water Management District) property located on the outskirts of Tampa. This is a beautiful lush spot, with shade and sun. Reservations can be made on the SWFWMD’s website, 60 days ahead of time. It was the beginning of the social distancing request. So not sure really what was happening, we didn’t change our plans and we were very glad we didn’t. We may have seen maybe 10 other people there the whole weekend and that was even including my mom and brother who came out to have dinner with us. There is a combination gate at the entrance of the property, which you receive the gate code when your reservations are confirmed. There is a walk gate for anyone who just wants to hike. After entering the property there is about a mile, dirt road, and my one advise is to take it super, super slowly, to the primitive campground, unless you don’t mind your belongings being moved everywhere but where they belong in your camper. There are two camping areas, a primitive (which is the one we stayed at) and an equestrian. Both can handle big rigs, have a port-a-potty and a covered picnic table area, so if we had a few people there we could all hang at the picnic tables. Each site has a picnic table and a fire ring. I believe there are three campsites in each area. We got up each morning and walked and then again in the evening after dinner. It was so peaceful and nice not to be listening to the never ending drama that was unfolding in the “real” world.
The breweries were still open so we figured why not let’s find one. We went to In the Loop Brewing in Land O’ Lakes, which has an awesome vibe, with a great courtyard and view. There was no social distancing happening there. We brought Eris the Lowrider Camping Hound, as it was too hot to leave her behind, and upon arriving she was the hit of the courtyard by the little people that far outnumbered the big people. The average age was 2, maybe 3. It was jammed packed. We stayed for one and headed back to our peaceful campground.
Everything changed the following week, the world ended as we knew it, and all Florida State Parks closed for camping, and shortly after SWFWMD followed suit. Hopefully, our world will get back to some sort of normal or at least the new normal will become clearer and reservations will be able to be made once again. We plan on returning, maybe in November after summer, which apparently started in Florida in March this year, and after the new normal becomes clear once again. We highly recommend this campground. We have yet to be disappointed with any of the SWFWMD properties, so check them out when you get the chance.
Weekend #12 Covid-19, so this weekend found us at home questioning things like what would be next to close and would I be working on Monday and would the suppliers that Mike uses be open….it was a weekend of uncertainty. The breweries and restaurants were already closed and by the time of this writing anything that is a non essential business is closed. However, besides the breweries and restaurants all the other businesses, including the law business, are considered essential, so I have a job and Mike can do his work as well. We are socially isolating to a point, for instance in my job there is me and a few other employees and no clients, everything is done via email, and Mike’s job is mostly a two person operation. So business as usual for us except for the point that no one is hiring now in my field so I am underemployed and I am afraid that until this is over as I won’t be able to get full-time work. We only have 44 weeks before we hit the road so we plan on hanging on until then. Hopefully things will return to somewhat normal soon.
So the fun and different thing we did last weekend was we went to a food truck. One might ask what’s so different about that? I would answer by saying it was in one of the neighbor’s yards. Food trucks are showing up in neighbor’s yards around the neighborhood. We have met some neighbors, (from a distance of course) that we would normally not have met previously. I have met more people these last few weeks then I have met the whole time I have lived here, which is a very long time (as in 44 years). So if there can be a silver lining to this, people are unplugging, going outside for fresh air a change of scenery and meeting new neighbors. The food truck was the Surly Mermaid. It was delicious and we will be hosting them in our yard on April 1st. So if anyone is around come on by and get some delicious food and maybe meet some neighbors (at a distance of course) and try out the new normal.