There is a popular folklore song “Old Folks at Home” (also known as “Suwannee River”). Like a lot of popular songs, this one is about somewhere. I just never really knew where “somewhere” was. Now I know. It’s in northern Florida. Originating out of the lakes and swamps in Georgia the river meanders through northern Florida heading southwest until it empties into the Gulf of Mexico at Suwannee, FL. Seemingly tame, lined with live oak and southern pine draped in Spanish moss and exposed to a subtropical climate, it is quintessential Southern. Don’t let the beauty fool you. This river has been known to produce some massive and devastating floods. But not for us and not on this trip.
Down on the Suwannee – New Christy Minstrels
Our trip to Florida has a couple of key components. One is to enjoy a rally of campers at a special campground on the Suwannee River. Spirit of the Suwannee is a beautiful, very large campground in Live Oak, Florida. Draped with old growth live oaks and fields, it has a feel of being inviting and small but this place can harbor a thousand campers! It houses a large stable for horses, lots of trails (great for hiking, biking and horseback riding), and a great music venue. Music is its main theme with a large indoor hall/stage and a large outdoor amphitheater. Almost every weekend there are live bands performing here and often big name ones. If you are into music (and who isn’t!), check it out (musicliveshere.com)
Rvillage.com is an online community of RV’ers with many subgroups. If you have any interest in RV’ing there is a group here for you. AND IT’S FREE. They hosted its second rally, aptly named “Rally 2.0”. The first one was up in Elkhart, IN last year. Just to be clear, the rally was not free. With the cost, you get 4 nights camping, campfires every night (Firebirds!), coffee and donuts every morning, the New Christy Minstrels at the amphitheater and many seminars on RV’ing issues. There were also several vendor halls where you could spend money on many things. In addition to the planned stuff, there was impromptu music jamming at campsites and at the field of firebirds.
Having fun! And the “Campah” amongst the live oaks and Spanish moss
The supreme beauty of this place coupled with summer-like temperatures made this trip even more amazing. The New Christy Minstrels (Grammy Award album) with their music talent did an impromptu sing along at the firebirds the night before their concert. Another surprise for us, we got to watch them warm up during the afternoon. It was like having our own personal concert (There was only 3 of us watching this!). For those who are too young to know this group, they did a bunch of songs in the ‘60’s. Very fitting for this RV crowd.
Music is a big focus of the Spirit of the Suwannee (SOS)
The seminars were many and covered a lot of territory. The two best ones I saw were: InstaPot Cooking and Everything Electrical. The InstaPot one was about using the new timing pressure cookers. It was a versatile cooking show (I almost expected Rachel Ray to show up!), which I found very informative. The Electrical one was also very informative with lots of important (safety) information. People who were good presenters directed both seminars. Other topics presented were on travel caravans, solar, health insurance on the road, safe driving, maintenance of your RV, technology, crafts, and other stuff.
The last day consisted of coffee/donuts and saying our goodbyes’. We made some new friends. Hopefully, our paths will cross again. It was time for us to pack up, dump our tanks, and move on up the road apiece. Destination: Savannah.
One of 4 “Firebirds”. They are really cool when there is a night fire
… Next adventure; “Campah goes South”
STAY TUNED! More “tales from the campah”!
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