October 25, 2009. We returned to Palm Harbor and agreed with George and Bonnie to park on their property for a few weeks. In exchange, we would catch up on the yard and pool maintenance as the property had been vacant since we left. We needed to return for a few appointments and to attend a party.
Although I retired Sept. 11, under the Florida Retirement System pension plan, I wasn’t officially retired until Oct. 1st. Under their plan, I was to receive my pension checks at the end of each month. The first one for October had to be mailed along with documents to establish direct deposit and other matters. Subsequently, we wanted to be there to receive the check and documents from the post office box and then close the box as we had established an address and mail forwarding in Pensacola (refer to an earlier post)
When we came back It was still hot and humid and we were looking forward to cooler temperatures. Ultimately we were looking forward to finally getting out of there with no expected return date! However, we sure were thankful to George and Bonnie for letting us use their RV space on their property.
Prior to retirement, I had applied on a whim for a volunteer job and RV site in a Florida State Park. Although we had loose plans to leave florida by the end of he year, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to apply. Well surprisingly in July we were offered a site and volunteer position at Big Shoals State Park. I told the Ranger that we could be there November 7th. Volunteering or “workamping” involves working a certain number of hours in this case 20 hrs. for each of us a week in exchange for an RV site. However, this particular site is in a day use park and out in the “boonies”. We wouldn’t have any neighbors and thus I wasn’t sure how long we (Joyce) would be able to deal with the isolation. Therefore, I hadn’t committed to any particular length of time.
Big Shoals State Park
This park features the largest whitewater rapids in Florida. Limestone bluffs, towering 80 feet above the banks of the Suwannee River, afford outstanding vistas not found anywhere else in Florida. When the water level on the Suwannee River is between 59 and 61 feet above mean sea level, the Big Shoals rapids earn a Class III Whitewater classification, attracting thrill-seeking canoe and kayak enthusiasts. A smaller set of rapids downstream is called Little Shoals. Over 28 miles of wooded trails provide opportunities for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and wildlife viewing. The Woodpecker Trail, a 3.4 mile long multipurpose paved trail, connects the Little Shoals and Big Shoals entrances to the park. The river offers excellent opportunities for freshwater fishing. A picnic pavilion that seats up to 40 people is available at the Little Shoals entrance. Located on County Road 135, one mile northeast of U.S. 41 in White Springs.