while at the springs…stuff happens

I know I have neglected to keep up on our sharing of the Journey. I am going to confess, these past few months have been not only extremely busy, but also a bit overwhelming. In our last installment, I shared that our family had decided to slow our travels and stay in the proximity of Florida for many reasons I had previously mentioned.

We have begun to explore the natural sites that Florida has to offer. Such as the first National Wild Life Refuge (Pelican Island), which was established in 1903 near Vero Beach, FL. I loved that even though the mild hikes didn’t make you break a sweat (well I did sweat but that was cause it was almost 100% humidity – it is Florida after all!!). It was such a beautiful tranquil setting. With a marvelous view, well pictures would probably speak better than my words:

After a few more local explorations, we decided to get some “long term logistics done”. Bus maintenance was overdue, and we had tossed the idea of a long term winter spot in Florida since (Keith’s health) does much better in Florida weather. The family celebrated many milestones, to name a few: Ella, Xavier, and Keith’s B-day (plus several extended family members), Duncan’s High School Graduation. Family gatherings’ for Mother and Father’s day.

However, we were itching to get back “on the road again”, we knew that would be limited. So we headed a few hours north of our now winter spot (in what’s known as the Space Coast).

Ocala is known as Florida’s horse country. It didn’t disappoint, to those of you that are familiar with Florida’s landscape and its famous beaches you may not be aware of this hidden gem. In a state filled with palm trees and sand, this would seem completely foreign, with its hardwoods and emerald brilliant rolling “hills” and their majestic horses munching away at the grass. This area is also surrounded by another natural wonder, “hot” springs. So we decided to partake in the delights of the Florida Springs.

Fun Facts About the Springs:

Temperature is a constant 72 degrees ALL YEAR AROUND

Source of 90% of Florida’s drinking water

(The how and why of the spring) Water in the springs rises through the limestone, which has a relatively soft texture. As it rises, the rock itself filters out many of the impurities. Which creates crystal clear and reflective (almost turquoise surface) water.

The family ventured out first to Ginnie Spring near Gainsville. Though the natural beauty was magnificent (the experience however left to be desired as the location was crowded and during these times that can be overwhelming). “Reality” also happens when you live life on the road and one of which is getting sick – I had a double ear infection and had negated to go get medical help until the last possible minute and was miserable and missed that outing. I finally relented and got medication, which I am glad for because that earned me a trip to Silver Springs State Park . We did their famous glass bottom Boat tour of their pristine springs. This is one that I would highly recommend – though I would caution if you do, make sure it’s during the week and not during busy times.

Reality came crashing down as we sat down for lunch after our wonderful day at the springs, everything went up in “smoke”.

So here are a few lessons to share about RV living (even home living). Never neglect your smoke detectors or electrical protectors. So, a quick back story for those of you that travel in RV or such, if you have ever wondered if having a surge protector is an important asset, YES, IT IS. Here is why, as I finished prepping lunch we promptly loss all of our power and the generator kicked in with emergency power. The oddity this time was that when Keith went outside to check the power outage (which in itself is not strange, it happens from time to time). However, what does not normally happen was the smoke detector in the power bay going off. Smoke coming from the shore power cord that provides power to our bus/RV. We feel blessed that our bus/RV has an internal power surge protector and we took measures and added an outside surge protector too. The electrical failure was contained between these and didn’t come into the bus. We have seen too many times where similar situations have caused fires to claim an RV all too quickly. We were sparred, our home on wheels will be repaired and we will continue to explore soon.

This journey continues to show us that we do not know what is around the next bend, we just need to be willing to go with the flow and readjust our trajectory.

“Remember its not just the Destination, but the Joy of the Journey...”