Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Dade Battlefield Historic State Park

So, this was place where parked our motorhome in mid-January and probably will leave around the 10th of May.  We were given a campsite with full hookups in exchange for volunteering at the park 12 hours per week for each of us.  The chores simple, most of time, and we have lots of spare time to explore Sumter County & central Florida.  It is primarily a day-use park with campsites (six) for volunteers. 
Even though the town of Bushnell is small, the Park has many events from early fall to late spring.  Summer is relatively quiet as the climate keeps most folks inside or going north.
The gazebo in the plaza part of the park.
"The Lodge" is a large meeting hall where many events are held.  It is rented out often for reunions, weddings and Saturday night parties by the locals.
The park is primarily a day use park with several shelters like this one.  The picnic shelters are used often for the many crafts & events scheduled from fall to spring.
Miss Kristin (Wood), our coordinator at her desk.  She is a Vermont native and she keeps us all busy with her many events in the park.
Scott chaining up a section of the tree we just cut down to be hauled off to the burn pile.  It was dead and a threat to fall on our camper. 
Nancy painting the Alligator shelter kitchen.  She doesn't mind painting, and she also painted the floor here, and the kitchen in the lodge.
Right outside our motorhome, a red-headed woodpecker.  There many of these in the park, as well as many other varieties of fowl.
Park Manager, Bruce Whiting on his new Husqvarna mower.  It was purchased and donated by the Dade Battlefield Society.  Jim, the ranger looking on.  Dimitri's camper in the background.
The State Park System of Florida can be proud of their achievements.
The park is an historic battlefield.  The second Seminole War, in part, occurred here in this park.  It is somewhat a memorial, as 105 soldiers from Major Dade's Command were killed here by a large number of Seminole's in 1835.  "Dade's Last Command" tells the story of the event here in the park.
If you can make out the lettering on the signs, they point to the two forts along the old Fort King Road, basically between the Tampa area & Ocala.
Park Manager Bruce, "hamming it up" with the volunteers during the Eggs in the Park" event.  The volunteers dressed up as different animals.  Nancy in the foreground & Dimitri in the back.
Alysha, one of the volunteers, singing at the WWLL event.  Thursday evenings in the lodge, volunteers watched movies on a large screen, preceded by an hour or so of karaoke.  It's amazing how many "singers" we had.  And that term is used very loosely! :-)
Terri, another volunteer at the WWLL event.  She too was a "singer".
Outside volunteers role playing period characters for a local high school event in the park.
Chuck, the ranger (37 years in the park system) describing how the pilgrims of the early 1800's lived and survived.  He states that he plans to retire in July of next year, 2014.  Chuck has been very helpful during our days here this winter/spring.
Volunteer Judy, role playing as an early pilgrim to the students.
Another volunteer as a Seminole, explain early life in Central Florida by the Native American tribe.
And of course, our neighbor and friend, Dimitri, aka "Mad Russian".  He has been here at least two years and does SO much for the park.  He is a true dynamo and can do just about anything, especially with his way of making things out of trees and wood.
Well, our visit here in the park has been one we always remember as volunteers.  We arrived on January 11, and will probably leave around May 10.  As of now, Lord willing, we plan to "winter" here next year as well.  We enjoyed our time here, and location is central to a lot of areas of central FL.  Our next blog will report our daughter's visit to Disneyworld a couple of weeks ago.  Till then, Joe & Nancy, RVing Beach Bums.