Completely relieved to be out of the madness of a city called Jacksonville, Florida. Life has become a lot more pleasant as we have ventured to a better place, Gainesville, Florida. Popularly known as ‘the Swamp’, in reference to the heavy fandom and presence of the college football team, the University of Florida Gators. Gainesville has ended up being more hospitable than the previous location no doubt.
As a note we are not staying directly in Gainesville, but staying 10 miles away in Waldo, Florida at the Dixieland RV Park, but will be spending lots of time in the greater Gainesville area. Exploring the “swamp”, its surroundings and everything it has to offer. First impression of this area was that there were tons of RVs! Everywhere you look is an RV somewhere. Glancing at the main street at any time of the day and you will see an RV going down the road in some form or another. It’s true the more north you go from south Florida the more campers you see out there. Not sure why that is though, any thoughts?
After noticing the Waldo Farmers and Flea Market right across the street on the drive in, it had been towards the top of the to-do list. It’s always super fun to visit local farmer markets in different cities. Once visiting the first time, it had become a habit of going every weekend to acquire fresh produce, and meet with many different vendors selling a myriad of items. Lots of healthy, inexpensive food, products were found and purchased here. Was even able to find discounted products correlating to the RV lifestyle such as sealants, caulking, ladder, etc.
A common sound often heard, especially on the weekends, was the sound of dirt bikes. At first, it was unknown where it was coming from, but after inquiring with some of the locals, we figured it out. Just two properties over is a Motocross track, the view is obscured by the large gas station next door. Just a couple minutes’ drive away, or double that if you walk. It is a very active track, every weekend, and some weekdays there is riders practicing. Even better is that it is free to watch them, you can just drive in, park, and watch the riders jump hills on the tracks. Very cool. There are also official tournament competitions held there, which do require a fee to get in. Many hours were spent just walking the dog, and watching the Motocross riders practice traversing the hills on the race track. A nice activity located to close to the campground.
Another fun event we were able to do on Christmas was visit a close friend’s farm in Starke, Florida, located 15 miles north of Waldo, Florida. This was a farm for rescue animals, and a humbling experience this was. From llamas, goats, chickens, horses, donkeys, and more, it was a nice treat to feed and spend time with sentient beings who have been rescued from dire situations. They were all so friendly; each had their own personality and seemed very appreciative of the fruits and vegetables that RV Living Journey donated.
During the stay there were several events on the campground. Several camping groups held their annual events at the RV park and it was loads of fun. Having live bands, open bars, and other social events, the members were beyond friendly. On the weekends with events, the park was loaded with activity. RVs and campers from all around gathered to participate in the weekend festivities. Come Monday morning, all the gatherers had cleared out and it was back to the normal rise and grind with memories for years to come.
Spending the past month in an undesirable location, making the choice to move locations from one bad place to a better place was one of the better decisions made on this journey. Life is way too short to spend life miserable in one place where you don’t want to be in. Picking up and heading towards a less hostile location made all the difference. One of the many joys of living on the road full-time, just pack up, move on, and leave it all behind.