Bushnell, FL to Summerdale, AL
Summerdale, AL - Events of Monday, May 26 to Thursday, May 29, 2014
After our excursion to Bradenton on Saturday, we worked on our pre-departure chores off and on over the balance of the Memorial Day weekend. We were in Florida about a week shy of 6 full months, which is the longest we have been in one place since we started full-timing almost 8 years ago. We had a lot of things to put away, a few more things to leave in the shed, tire pressures and oil to check, laundry to catch up on, plants on our site to water, and the list goes on.
We also made a Walmart run on Monday to stock up on a few groceries so we wouldn't have to run out shopping as soon as we arrived in Summerdale. Late on Monday afternoon, we decided instead of grilling our own burgers for the holiday, we would take advantage of Burger Monday at Beef O'Brady's one more time. On Mondays, they have their half-pound, Angus, build-your-own burgers for $4.99 (regularly $7.99).
Margery had her burger with the works minus onion, and Paul had his with just cheese and ketchup. The burgers were as good as they always are - juicy and flavorful. Margery had onion rings for her side, and Paul had fries.
We headed out on our trek to Summerdale, AL on Tuesday morning. On this stop in Summerdale, we'll be there a shorter time than usual because we stayed in Florida much longer waiting for our pavement, shed and landscaping to be done. Not only would we be in Summerdale less time, but we also pushed our stay back 5 or 6 weeks later than usual.
Our drive on Tuesday was a little over 5 hours, which is a little longer than we like to go in one day. However, our overnight stop at Florida Springs RV Resort and Campground in Bonifay, FL was in the Central Time Zone, so gaining an hour with the time change made the drive seem to be somewhat shorter than it actually was.
Florida Springs RV has about 40 RV sites, all of which have full hookups as far as we could tell. Some sites have 30-amp electric and some have 30/50-amp electric ($3 extra). There is free cable throughout the campground, although some of the wires run long distances over the surface of the ground, and there is free Wi-Fi in the office. Our site was close enough to the office we could have used the Wi-Fi from inside our rig. However, there was a good Verizon 4G signal, so we just used our own Mi-Fi.
The gravel roads in the campground are a little bumpy in spots. The sites are also gravel, and because there are a good many trees, some of the sites (like ours) are all gravel. A few sites have a little grass. Some of the sites are a little close together, and some have a bit more space.
Florida Springs RV has a lot of trees, but they do have several satellite-friendly sites. Even with trees on the south side of our site, our dish still found the satellite fairly easily. Being this far south helps because the dish is pointed high in the air so it will clear relatively tall trees that would block the signal farther north.
The campground is conveniently located only a short distance off I-10, but there is surprisingly little traffic noise, especially at night. I-10 isn't as busy as a lot of other interstates, and traffic diminishes quite a bit at night.
Florida Springs offers the typical 10% discounts for Good Sam, AAA, AARP, etc. They also offer a 50% discount off the base rate to Passport America members. Our price for a 50-amp site with the PA discount was $19 plus tax. There is an additional charge of $1 if you pay for your site with check or charge card instead of cash.
On Wednesday morning, we hit the road again for the final leg of our journey to the Escapees' Rainbow Plantation in Summerdale, AL. With a longer drive on Tuesday, our drive on Wednesday was only about 2½ hours, and we arrived a little before noon.
The sites in the campground at Escapees' Rainbow Plantation are generously-sized, and all have full hookups except for a dry camp area. About half the sites are 30 amp and the other half are 30/50 amp. The sites are mostly grass, although the bare spots under the live oak trees increase in size every year as the trees grow. We reserved a site that has a tree only on one side and that has grass on the door side.
Wi-Fi is available for a fee. Rainbow Plantation is also in a Verizon 4G area. However, last fall and again on this stop, the signal strength was weaker than we remember it being on previous stops. We don't know if Verizon moved their tower or if there is some kind of interference, but both internet and telephone reception were kind of flaky late in the afternoon and into the evening, especially when it was raining.
Campground rates for a 30-amp site for Escapees members is $19 daily and $116 weekly with no additional charge for electricity. The monthly rate is $240 +electric. There is a charge of $1 extra a night for a 50-amp site.
Since our stop in Summerdale was later than usual, we didn't expect to see many people in the campground because Lower Alabama gets quite warm in summer, and everyone takes off for cooler areas. There were only a few RVs scattered here and there.
We don't have a lot of sightseeing planned for our shortened stay in Summerdale, but something is likely to turn up. We do have a lot of favorite restaurants we want to visit, so eating out is high on our list of things to do. Stay tuned.