Seasonal RVer Gifts LTRVD0398

Seasonal RVer Gifts

Seasonal RVer Gifts is our main topic in today’s podcast. We will cover propane heaters, electrical tools for RVers, RV books, kitchen tools, and more.

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Senior Park Pass Price Increase

Kathy discusses the pending congressional action that will raise the price of the Senior Pass that gets us free access to National Parks, Monuments, and other federal places. The current $10 lifetime pass will soon cost $80 and could go higher in ensuing years. Get it while you can.

Portable Propane Heaters

Tools for RVers

RV Books

Greg Gerber Visit

We are so very fortunate to have Greg Gerber, RV Journalist and editor of the RV Daily Report newsletter as well as the Lets RV newsletter. He is in town for a bit and joins us in the new recording studio in our new home.

LTRVD0383 RVing NH to FL

RVing NH to FL

We’re RVing NH to FL on our way back from the Escapees Escapade in Essex Junction, VT. We cover our route and some of the issues we were faced with on our way home.

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GPS Lies

We had one of those “GPS lies” moments in NH on US Rt 4 where we were supposed to detour but no road was selected. That put us on a one way trip up a 15 degree grade the wrong way. It was exciting to say the least.

Military FamCamps

We describe the Military FamCamps we stayed at in Georgia at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base, and at the Aberdeen, MD Army Proving Ground. We also discuss some of the campgrounds we stopped at along the way.

Visit Tarpon Springs

We managed to Visit Tarpon Springs, FL. Tarpon Springs is a beautiful gulf community founded in 1876. By 1895, sponge divers from The Florida Keys discovered sponge beds just off Tarpon Springs and the Sponge industry took off here.

Soon after, more than 500 Greek sponge divers were brought in and established the Greek enclave that is still there. or 30 years, the sponge industry was the largest industry in Florida—larger than citrus or tourism. Tarpon Springs was known as the “Sponge Capital of the World.”

In the 1950’s, a sponge blight essentially decimated the industry. New beds were discovered in the 1980’s and Tarpon Springs is again the natural sponge capital of the USA.

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Tarpon Springs and especially the Sponge Docks area is now quite commercialized with many gift shops and sponge related sales. Fortunately, the Greek influence remains and there are many, many Greek restaurants and bakeries all around the town. Here is a picture of the one we had lunch at.

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Our first stop was one of the 4 visitor centers operated by the Tarpon Springs Chamber of Commerce, http://tarponspringschamber.com/ We spent several hours walking up and down the main street by the sponge docks. What a fun place! There are still sponge boats at the docks, and several boat tours will take you out in the harbor and up the Anclote river to the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico. There are also several interesting museums dedicated to the sponge industry and the early history of the town. Add to that a beautifully maintained Greek Orthodox Cathedral and you will have a full day. Visit Tarpon Springs when you are in the area, you’ll be glad you did.

Here are some more pictures of our visit.

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Hillsborough River State Park

Hillsborough River State Park was our destination today. It is quite near to us here in Zephyrhills. Its located between I-75 and Zephyrhills on US Route 301. We to0ok a lot of pictures, but not in the campground. We want to preserve people’s privacy.

Official Park Information
Opened in 1938, Hillsborough River State Park is one of Florida’s first state parks. This original CCC Park is divided by the swiftly flowing Hillsborough River with a set of Class II rapids. The river provides opportunities for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. A canoe/kayak launch is available at parking lot #4. The concession provides canoe, bike and golf cart rentals, breakfast and lunch menus, camping and picnic supplies, and a variety of memorable souvenirs. For rates and hours of operation, please contact the Hillsborough Park Pool Side Cafe at (813) 986-3322, or via their web page. https://www.floridastateparks.org/park-activities/Hillsborough-River#Concession-and-Restaurant Hikers can walk over seven miles of nature trials. Note: The Wetlands Restoration Trail accommodates both bicyclists and hikers only. When the weather calls for it, visitors can enjoy a refreshing swim in the park’s ADA accessible swimming pool.

Park Amenities
Picnic areas, pavilions, several playgrounds, the Pool Side Café and Gift Shop, and an ADA-accessible, half-acre swimming pool, are located within the park. Many trails offer visitors the opportunity to experience the park’s natural beauty. A popular trail is the Rapids Nature Trail. It meanders through oak hammocks to the edge of the Hillsborough River at the point where an outcropping of limestone rocks has created rapids. This area is a popular spot for photographers and outdoor enthusiasts. The park offers canoe rentals for visitor’s convenience.
Swimming pool hours of operation are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, weather permitting. Please contact the park for swimming pool informational updates at (813) 987-6771. The park offers full-facility camping and a youth/group tent campground. A primitive campsite is available via foot trail; reservations are always recommended.

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We stopped for icecream and sat outside by the pool. This little critter sat on the table behind us looking at our food. Sorry Charlie, no ice cream for you.

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Camping at Hillsborough River State Park
Hillsborough River State Park offers RV and tent camping with electric on most of the campsites in the 112 site campground. Each site is equipped with water, a fire ring and picnic table. Each loop has restrooms with hot showers and laundry facilities. The campground offers a dump station for your convenience. Shopping for basic food items and merchandise is available at the park’s concession by the pool. Pets are welcome, but must be confined, leashed (up to six feet in length), or otherwise under the physical control at all times.
Maximum RV length = 50 ft. Hammocks are allowed to be used in certain campsites. Sites 41, 61, 110, and 111, allow one (1) hammock each, while sites 68 and 70 allow two (2) hammocks each. Set-up requires the use of straps at least 2 inches wide on trees at least 12 inches in diameter.

Camping Reservations
Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through Reserve America. http://floridastateparks.reserveamerica.com/ or call: (800) 326-3521 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.), or TDD (888) 433-0287.

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LTRVD0355 Sugar Beet Harvest

The Annual Sugar Beet Harvest is the main subject of this week’s podcast. We have talked with many folks who have done this work and enjoyed it. We also did an interview with Cary and Sherry who are recruiters for the employment company that hires the temporary workers for the Sugar Beet Harvest. Unfortunately the audio file of that interview was lost, but we have discussed most of the material from that interview.

Reader e-mail
During our email section, we read a message from Phil Allen about a new product we will be testing that is a Kitchen Fire Suppression blanket. Check it out on Amazon here.
We also disclose that the Harvest Hosts program we discussed in an earlier podcast does have an expectation from the hosts that guests will purchase products from the host business.
We also had a question about oilfield gate guarding. Most answers are found on our webpage on this at http://www.livingthervdream.com/oilfield_gate_guarding.html

Sugar Beet Harvest
Our main feature this week is on the Annual Sugar Beet harvest. We describe the basics of the harvest and the types of jobs available. This is a great opportunity to make a lot of money in a short period of time. Kathy adds answers to many frequently asked questions about this very popular fall workamping job. If you are interested, go to their website at http://sugarbeetharvest.com/index.cfm

Transitioning Health Care from home to On the Road
We finish with information from a very informative article written by Margo Armstrong in the Escapees Magazine all about making the switch from sticks and bricks healthcare to a portable On-the-Road healthcare plan. She offers much excellent advice on starting to make the transition. One issue is having an advanced medical directive and making sure someone not traveling with you should have a copy. A good example of an advanced medical directive is available at this website, http://www.medicinenet.com/advance_medical_directives/article.htm