Sunday, May 23, 2010

2010-13 White Springs, North Florida

White Springs

I got back on the road again on Monday heading towards White Springs.  I took hwy 75 all the way and even though there was a light rain much of the way, the traffic wasn’t bad.  Considering it’s a major artery in and out of the state, I was lucky.  And the good news is that the rain washed all the bugs and dirt off the camper and truck. Woohoo.

I should have checked my Passport America Parks a bit closer and stayed at a campground called Lee Country Rv instead of Kelly Park where I’m staying.  Kelly is only honoring my Passport America discount for one week.  So I’m paying about $20 a night, instead of  the $13 a night I could have been paying at Lee Rv.  But I’ll be more careful next time and make better arrangements.

This is another nice rural area, the closest town with good grocery stores and shops is down in Lake City, a 10 mile drive.  White Springs has a number of really nice homes in an old Florida setting, aka really large spreading oak trees and the largest magnolia trees I’ve ever seen.  The one thing they don’t have much of is a town.  Only two restaurants, a gas station and a few churches.

I’m here for the Florida Folk Festival and decided to purchase my tickets in advance to save a few dollars. So I stopped off at the large Florida Sate Nature and Heritage Tourism Center in the heart of White Springs.  But no go.  They don’t sell the FFF tickets.  Brochures advertising the event were everywhere, but not a ticket in sight.  So I went to the main entrance of the Stephen Foster State Park, only about a block away to get my tickets.  That’s where the event is to be held.  No go again.  The Ranger at the front gate said they don’t sell the tickets either.  I was directed to the back entrance to the park and told to go to the Administration Building to get the tickets.  Once there, I parked in the visitor parking spot, and proceeded to try and find the entrance on a single story green building.  A sign on the corner of the building said “ Admin. Office”.  But the door facing the parking lot was locked.  I ended up walking around the back side of the building and there was the unassuming entrance.  Upon entering, a secretary asked what she could do for me.  I told her I’d like to buy tickets for the upcoming Folk Festival.  Sure she said, and then called someone’s office deep in the bowls of the building to make sure I could purchase the tickets.  I was then escorted all the way down a long hallway (almost back out to my truck) and Lucy signed me up for the tickets.  She told me they had only one computer/card reader that could be used to purchase advanced tickets.  Hmmmm the government is the same all over, whether it be state, county or Federal.  She didn’t actually have the tickets and had to go to another office to get them.

That ordeal over, I’ve been exploring the local area a bit.  Discovered a small park called Falling Creek Falls.  Imagine a Falls In Florida.  The park has a couple historical buildings and a boardwalk to the falls.  The water pouring over the falls looked just like root-beer.  Kind of made me thirsty for some.  Even visited an old country church that has two doors out front.  One for men and one for women to enter separately.

Later, I stopped in one of the few stores in town, the local hardware and thrift shop.  It has a new owner.  The guys a full time fire fighter and this is like a second job owning the hardware store.  He’s stocking more supplies for the local farmers including live chickens and turkeys.  Imagine.  Three deer heads were over the poultry corner and he told me he had shot two of them right on his own property just outside of town.

Wild flowers are in full bloom all along US 41.  Wonder if this is a left over from the Lady Bird Johnson beautification era?  That was way back in 1965.   Wouldn’t it be nice to expand that idea all over again.  Maybe get our minds off of all the problems going on in the world.   I’m always thrilled to drive on any part of US 41, as it is the same highway that goes through my hometown of Houghton Mich.  And eventually ends in Miami Fl.  It’s always been my physical link to my home in Mich.

I’ve had more time to read lately, what with only one Tv station to watch.  One book I recently picked up and have started to read is:  THE JOY OF NOT WORKING, by Emie J Zelinski.  A most thought provoking book.  I remember years back when I first got a Gov. job back in Orlando Fla.  I was only a temp and my hours would sometimes be cut back from 38 hours a week down to 30 hours.  I was always eager to work less hours, even with the effect of a much smaller paycheck.  Even back then, I realized that I could not make more time.  So having a few extra hours of leisure was like giving me extra hours in a day to enjoy life.  Reading this book is like taking a refresher course in how to use my leisure time most effectively and bring more joy and fulfillment into my life.

I may quote a few passages in my next blog to spur your thought waves.

The dog to old to learn
new tricks, always has been

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