(Keystone Heights FL)
After a week back at my job, I decided it was time to go camping again. So, Friday evening I headed down to St. Augustine to attempt an impromptu stay at either Anastasia State Park on the Atlantic Ocean or Faver-Dykes State Park further inland on Pellicer Creek. Both were booked solid all week, so an alternate plan was needed. April is the end of the busy tourist and spring break season; later in the year may find open sites at these two parks.
It was too late for a run to the next closest state park, and I surely didn’t want to pay the rates for a commercial park in this popular tourist town. A free parking lot spot for Friday night was located nearby at the Pilot/Flying J Truck Stop along I-95. It was packed with RV’s of every kind and of course big-rig trucks. Well, at least the spot served its purpose. Checked off another type of site from my list.
The next morning I fixed breakfast, then headed for the nearest Wal-mart to get some groceries and a few RV items. Trying to locate another camp via the internet only got me very low battery levels on all my devices. Since Gold Head Branch State Park was the only one in the region that had a few spaces available on the reservation site, I took a chance and went further inland to this out-of-the-way camp.
There was one unreserved spot in the Lakeview loop for Saturday only. Tardis easily found Site 41 with 30amp electric and water. These hook-ups were badly needed. Oddly, the power post was on the wrong side; but, I was able to back in, level and connect with little difficulty. The sites are well spaced with a picnic table and fire pit; and the location of the rig is off-set from neighboring sites so it feels much bigger. Cost with senior discount $11 per day.
After the set-up, I walked the loop to find the lake which wasn’t actually in view. The only real lakeside sites were the rental cabins; which were really more like small cottages. This picture shows one on Little Lake Johnson. Cost is $22 per day; not bad at all, and it would make a great weekend get away.
Further around the loop was found the once well used boat ramp into adjacent Big Lake Johnson which, as you can see, is now mostly grassy lowlands. If you look closely, you can see the pools of water in the foreground and in the distance. The drought and local develop have taken their toll.
With the hook-ups I was able to recharge my laptop and other devices. However, the cell signal was a weak one bar. For the first time I felt the need for the Wilson Sleek booster. With the hotspot attached to it, the reading became 3 bars of 4G which was satisfactory.
A leisurely Sunday morning was spent enjoying the setting and planning for the future. The waste tanks were dumped on the way out just before noon. This park was 50 miles from my work location which is far for a commute. After a restful weekend escape, I headed back to Jacksonville to find a closer camp for the next week.
Camp: Gold Head Branch SP
Scene: Wooded site with nearby lake